I was talking to one of my challengers last week and we were discussing why she was stuck at a weight loss plateau. I was just asking her questions and trouble shooting what the issue could be. One of the things that I know really affected me personally was the amount of sugar that I took in on a regular basis. I was eating clean, following the proper portion sizes and not really having any cheat meals but I wasn't budging on the weight loss. So I decided to start tracking my food with myfitnesspal to see where I was going wrong. It was apparent after just a few days that I was getting way to much sugar each day from natural sources. For instance, I would have a full banana in my shake, have a cheese stick and 20 grapes for a snack and then carrots and hummus as a snack. From a general perspective that looks perfect, clean and healthy. In reality I was taking in to much natural fructose and I was stalling out my progress. It wasn't until I started tweaking my daily sugar intake that things started to change.
So I am going to give you a glimpse into my own head and how I tweaked my plan.
When you are trying to lose those last few pounds or even want to break a plateau your food consumption makes a difference.
When planning out my meals I never put grapes, mangoes and bananas in the same day. I always space them out.
Always measure your grapes. It's super easy to grab a few handfuls here and there but with 23 grams of sugar per serving that adds up quickly. I measure my grapes, put in a baggie and eat what is in there!
For bananas, I very rarely eat a full banana any more. I put a 1/2 banana in my shake most days unless I am going to be eating grapes then I leave out the banana.
For fruits you always want to measure them out. I do two cupped handfuls or 1 cup of fruit per serving. I actually only do 1/2 cup blueberries in my morning oatmeal.
I keep my fruits to 2 servings per day with the max being 3. If I do 3 then at least two have to be berries. Right now apples are the easiest snack for me and a lot of times I do an apple and 14 raw unsalted almonds as my am snack!
Carrots- I rarely even eat carrots as a veggie anymore and if I do they are mixed with green veggies. I try to stick with cucumbers, celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. This also keeps that sugar in check. Carrots are the highest sugar veggie!! Which makes sense why I wasn't losing weight. They have that hint of sweetness and I would take down a mini bag at a time. AGAIN, thinking I was doing a good job by making healthy choices but in reality I was just killing the sugar level!!! I know, it seems crazy but track it you will be amazed!
So the one thing I noticed when I started to pay attention is that there are a lot of places that sugar is hidden. You have to read your labels on everything. You would be so surprised at the random places and names for sugar. One question I was asked is what type of sugars do you use. I actually only use honey and maybe agave nectar but not very often.
I didn't start out this way. I never realized how much sugar I was truly consuming and I never thought it was as much as I was having on a daily basis. This is an extremely hard habit to break. My biggest struggle is once I do have sugar, I want more and more. I have a very hard time stopping at one sugary item. I realized when I was having natural sugar I needed to balance my food out. That is why combining a complex carb and protein together was important for me. I never thought I would be able to drink my tea and coffee black. But I kept cutting back and then one day I thought, HECK if this is stopping me from losing weight then I'm cutting out the sugar. Guess what, it helps and I will never go back! I can sniff out sugar in an instant. Plus now that I don't eat it, my body doesn't always react well when I eat sugar.
If you need a sugar substitute then go with raw honey, raw maple syrup, agave nectar! Try to stay away from everything else. It will make a difference for sure.
Also, when I did start cutting back the sugar I started craving it quite a bit!!! It took 1 week before the sugar cravings were completely gone. Now I can say confidently that I don't need something sweet after dinner. In the past I had to hav a sweet following dinner. I can bypass cake and cookies and know that I want to reach my goal weight more than I want the cookie. But don't get me wrong. I love sweets, I enjoy every minute of them and I do let myself have something if I really want it. But it's all in moderation and I only do a cheat meal once a week!!!
This is by far the easiest and the most satisfying sweet snack for those cravings as well. My kids thoroughly enjoy this snack as well!!