From Sugar-filled to Energy–fuelled
By Janine Rotter
Are processed, refined and sugar-filled foods making you and your family overweight and unhealthy? Are you fatigued and irritable? Do your kids suffer from concentration issues at school? If you are eating these types of foods daily, are you willing to throw away these foods for you and your families’ health? Processed, refined and sugar-filled foods are the cause of these leading health problems worldwide: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, obesity and type-2 diabetes. All of these are on the rise in adults and even our children. When you have the combination of a high-carb and high-sugar diet along with leading an overweight and underactive lifestyle, you are often left with health issues. For some, health issues come in the form of uncontrolled blood sugar and type-2 diabetes. Statistics show that 80% of those cases diagnosed with type-2 are overweight or obese. According to data from the Diabetes Prevention Program, lifestyle interventions are even more powerful than medication when it comes to type-2 treatments. That’s right - lifestyle interventions are even more effective than medicine. If you are willing to eat right, there is hope. Following a clean-eating lifestyle will have you feeling amazing within weeks!
With exercise and a clean-eating lifestyle, one can successfully manage and lessen the effects of type-2 diabetes and other health issues. We need to start educating our children about proper nutrition at a young age so this becomes a habit and not looked upon as a diet, but rather a lifestyle. Teaching them to eat to fuel our bodies rather than to comfort our minds when we are stressed or sad is crucial. This is our job as parents, aunts, uncles, family and friends. Stop the childhood obesity epidemic that is leading to childhood diseases such as diabetes and strokes.
You may be hearing on the news that there has been a decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease, also known as CVD. This is not due to changes in lifestyle such as diet and exercise; this is due to improvements in the medical care and treatment, and the use of certain drugs. What they don’t tell you is this disease is not improving. We are not getting healthier; we are just developing better ways to deal with the problems associated with CVD, including heart attacks and strokes. This is unfortunate as we are just masking the problems, not truly preventing them with proven, preventable measures through altering our diet and exercising. We need to make these lifestyle changes for our health and the health of our loved ones – today!
I am here to tell you that this lifestyle can reduce your risk of CVD from occurring and can reverse its deadly effects. If we went to the doctor and were told that we have high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes or high blood pressure, it would be far nicer to be told that this could be reversed by simply changing the foods we eat. Instead of writing a prescription for certain drugs, they would write us a meal plan to follow. What if I told you this is possible, that you can change your health by the way you eat - would you change it? What about the opportunity of providing your children with the best chance at education with mental clarity and incredibly healthy energy levels without the need for prescription drugs? What else would this mean for us? No more medications that cause horrible side effects, of course!
When you follow a clean-eating lifestyle, you will naturally lose weight. The healthier you eat, the healthier you and your weight will become. Of course, it must be mentioned that moderation and portions are crucial. Just because you are eating clean does not necessarily mean that you are eating the correct amounts. However, if you are, you will be fuelling your body with whole, natural foods and lean proteins, and in turn you will get a wonderful, lean physique. If you have certain goals in mind, you will need to eat for your body type and your specific goals, and understand that nutrient timing is important for reaching certain goals as well.
If you struggle with digestion and constipation issues, this too will be regulated when following this lifestyle. You will have more energy throughout the day. You will feel more satisfied after you eat because you will be nourishing your body with the nutrients it actually needs, and your cravings for junk food will subside - if not completely diminish. You will have increased mental well-being and your blood sugars will be stable and maintained throughout the day so you will never get that crash as you do when you diet.
You will also sleep better at night, hopefully getting 7-8 hours per night. I think sleep is one thing that is overlooked much too often. Sleep plays an important role in balancing and rebuilding. The less sleep you get, the weaker your immune system is, leaving it less able to fight off colds, flu, and other infections. You will have better Immunity to illness due to the fact that whole foods carry with them wonderful nutrients that help ward off sickness. Less sick days for you and the kids!
Are you willing to eat 5-6 times per day to have the energy to fuel your body? You need to EAT to fuel the body, if you do not eat, what happens? You get tired, you get grouchy, and you may even get headaches. You will not be eating 5-6 large meals; you will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, with two or three smaller snacks between. Eating several times a day will keep you from getting hungry and gorging yourself at one or two meals per day. No more skipping meals to lose weight! If you skip meals, you will GAIN weight, guaranteed!
Breakfast is rule #1. Think about it: if you go to bed at 10pm and get up a 6am, that is eight hours without food. Then add onto that the fact that your last meal was probably dinner around 6pm or 7pm, making it a total of 12 hours since your last meal. That means your body has gone without any fuel source for 12 hours. If you get up, are running late and skip breakfast, you will be at 18 hours by the time lunch rolls around. You have to make time to eat breakfast for this very reason. Even if getting up earlier is what it takes. Have a to-go box ready to take out the door with you and eat it on the road.
If you work outside of the home, be prepared to pack your meals. Being prepared is crucial for success. I call this P*O*P (Prepare, Organize and Pack). Start by packing snacks with you for work: fresh fruit and vegetables, all-natural nut butters (no sugar added), low-fat string cheese, and Greek yogurt are great options. If you are not prepared, you will find yourself reaching for the fast and easy processed foods. I suggest buying an insulated cooler. Pack your snacks the night before if you get up early and have a tendency of running late.
It is very important to eat several times per day. If it’s been 2-4 hours since dinner and your still up, have a snack before bed. It is a myth that eating after 5pm causes you to gain weight. Your body needs the fuel during these hours for rebuilding and repairing. What causes you to gain weight is the nutritional value of the food that you choose to eat in the evenings.
If you have refrigerators at the office, I suggest stocking it with snacks that will last you the week. I always like to have protein on hand to make a quick and easy protein shake. To that you can add all-natural nut butters and raw oatmeal in a shaker cup for a complete meal that would consist of a protein, a healthy fat and a complex carb.
Remember, it is always best to eat a protein with each meal and each snack. This will keep your blood sugars from spiking when you eat fruit or carbs alone. Keep it simple- always have an egg, cheese or meat with your fruit and breads. Add fresh vegetables to each meal and eat fresh fruits at least two times per day. Eat every 2-4 hours to sustain energy levels and keep your metabolism in the fat burning mode.
Always remember, when following the clean eating lifestyle, cut out processed foods; that means anything in a box or a bag and anything that contains sugar!
Here’s to a Healthy YOU!
My name is Janine Rotter. I am the owner of Results Fitness Center and Healthy Mind & Body: nutrition plans and nutrition coaching. I am a certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition with over 30 clients to-date that have lost over 90 kg accumulatively in less than one year.