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Category Archives for Nutrition

Eat More Fuel Foods to Help You Feel Your Best

 

What are fuel foods?

Fuel foods provide your body with nutrients.

They give your body energy.

They sustain you.

Fresh foods that are less processed are great choices.

When you are planning what you will include in your nutrition plan look for foods that are less processed, full of nutrients, and provide you with energy instead of making you feel sluggish. Pay attention if what you eat makes you sleepy within a few hours. Look for foods that you can’t resist overeating and evaluate if there is a better choice.

Start adding more of these nutritious foods into your plan. Plan realistically and stick to your plan. Don’t make it complicated. As you go along you can level up your eating plan. As you learn which foods don’t make you feel your best you can begin to make better choices.

If there are foods that tend to cause you to overeat you can look at swapping it out for a better choice.

As you progress in your weight loss journey you can continue to level up your foods to more nutritious choices. As you do this you will notice that your taste buds will change to enjoy the healthier foods. You will have more energy and you will feel more satisfied.

Action step:

Look at what you ate over the last week. Are there foods that you could swap out this next week to help you get to your weight loss goal?

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more in this series click here for the main page with all the links.

 

hunger scale

Using a Hunger Scale to Curb Mindless Eating

hunger scale

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Using a hunger scale to stop overeating

The hunger scale is a useful tool to help become more aware of the body’s signals for fuel. Once I started practicing using a hunger scale I realized how many times I was eating just because I felt like it was time to eat. I realized how often I had habits of putting bites in my mouth when I wasn’t hungry at all. A piece of cheese while waiting for dinner to be ready, a handful of nuts before bedtime, a morning snack when I was bored at work. Cleaning my plate even though I was full. It all adds up.

Tune In

Using the hunger scale can help you tune back into your body’s needs. It’s a way to eat when you get a little hungry and stop when your satisfied but not full. If you have fat to lose you have stored calories on your body. Allowing yourself to get a little hungry before you eat allows your body to tap into those fat stores and use them for energy. When you eat every two or three hours you don’t allow your body to use up those energy resources.

There  are many different versions of hunger scales you can find on the internet. This one is how I think of my own hunger scale.

hunger scale

Put it in Practice

Start listening to your own body’s signals. What does a -2 feel like for you? How does your body feel when you are satisfied at a +2 but not full. Journaling this at each meal can be helpful. The more you practice the sooner you will find the sweet spot. Your goal is to stop at satisfied. Satisfied is where your body is telling you it has had enough. I spent years thinking I needed to get to full each meal. This one tweak – stopping at satisfied – helped me break a months long plateau and has continued to help me make good choices.

When this is dialed in you will have more and more opportunities where you do not overeat. Be prepared to leave food behind. It’s OK to not eat the last few bites if you are satisfied. Even if it’s broccoli. Using this tool can help you learn to stop when having a treat. It can help you learn not to overeat when out to dinner. Some of the physical signs of “satisfied” I noticed were subtle. I tend to sigh when I am approaching satisfied. If I pay attention and stop a few bites later I find that it is perfect. If I am moving past “satisfied” I start picking out the good parts of my food. That’s a good signal from my body that I am no longer eating for fuel but for entertainment.

It takes a while to get it dialed in. Feel free to comment below with any questions you might have about the hunger scale.

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more topics like this click here for the main page with all the links.

24 hour planning

End Overeating with 24 Hour Planning

24 hour planning24 hour planning is one of the best tools I’ve learned in my weight loss journey. Using this tool consistently has taught me to plan ahead, decrease the number of decisions I need to make in a day, and best of all it has taught me to have my own back and stop self-sabotage. Having my own back means that I make a commitment to myself and then I follow through and stick to it.

Prior to using 24 hour planning I made a lot of last minute decisions. I chose what I would eat based on how I was feeling. I didn’t always make the best choices when I was tired, stressed out or bored. I was also subject to last minute decisions when there were goodies on the break room table or when friends wanted to go to lunch. 24 hour planning has simplified the weight loss process for me.

Benefits of 24 Hour Planning

  • 24 hour planning helps me make decisions when I’m not overly hungry or tired. I make better decisions that way.
  • It helps me make decisions that align with my weight loss goals.
  • It gives me a chance to follow through and create wins in my life.
  • 24 hour planning also gives me a chance to learn from failures and strengthen my resolve in meeting my goals.

Why is it Easy?

You can put any foods you want on your plan. It’s important to make it a doable plan so that you can fully commit to it. So don’t stress about the foods you think “should” be on your plan. Put what you will actually eat. The practice is in following through the next day.

What Will You Learn?

You will learn how to practice committing to yourself and sticking to your commitment.

You will learn to focus on today and not get overwhelmed by the overall goal.

You will have opportunities to learn as you practice sticking to your plan. It won’t always be perfect and those moments are your chance to evaluate and grow.

Ready to Get Started?

Grab a sheet of paper or your journal  and plan tonight for what will you eat tomorrow. Think about what obstacles you might face tomorrow. Plan for them. You don’t have to write exact amounts on the plan if you don’t want to. This is not about trying to be perfect. Meet yourself where you are right now. This is about making a commitment to yourself and learning.

At the end of the day answer the questions below. Write it out. This is where the learning happens. This is where discovery and skill building happens.

What did I actually eat?

Did I start eating only when hungry?

Did I stop eating when I was satisfied?

What did I do well today?

Did I stick to my plan today? Why or why not?

Now with all that in mind fill out a new plan for tomorrow. Repeat each day.

Example of my 24 hour plan

Here’s a sample of one of my 24 hour plans. This one is from yesterday which was Easter. I splurged a bit with potato salad. I planned ahead for it. I didn’t plan for eating any Easter candy and I didn’t eat any. I am getting better at sticking to my commitments to myself.

a.m.- Keto coffee, eggs, bacon

noon – big salad with cheese and salami

dinner – tri tip, potato salad, deviled eggs

Still Have Questions?

Comment below if you have questions. I’d love to help.

 

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more topics like this click here for the main page with all the links.

end overeating

End Overeating and Simplify Your Weight Loss

end overeating

Photo by Michael Nunes on Unsplash

End Overeating and Simplify Your Weight Loss

Today is April 1st and I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. My goal for this challenge is two-fold. The object of the challenge is to post daily for the entire month. This helps to grow my blog and to get me in the habit of consistent writing. My second goal is to start developing parts of a future course to help women who struggle with weight loss to end overeating and gain victory over food.

I will link each topic here so if you are interested in following along you can return to this page to see links to all the content. I will be covering things like:

Why do we overeat?

Simple daily practices to help you lose weight without a special diet.

How to end emotional eating.

What does God say about our relationship with food?

What beliefs do you have that might be holding you back?

Who am I?

My name is Tammy Fuller and I’m a Registered Nurse. I have struggled with my own weight for decades. I have tried many diets. Some worked well for me but I could only stick with them for a few months and always felt deprived. When I quit I would gain all the weight back and more. I was frequently ashamed of myself and was not comfortable in my own skin.

One year ago I was 100 pounds overweight. I have hypothyroid and take a medication that can cause weight gain. I got to the point where I knew something had to change. Since then I have lost 38 pounds and kept it off. I have implemented some simple practices in my life and I know that I will not only lose the rest of the weight but it will be the last time I have to lose it. I’d love to share with you what has worked for me. Follow along this month as I share more.

POSTS:

End Overeating With 24 Hour Planning

Using a Hunger Scale to Curb Mindless Eating

Eat More Fuel Foods to Help You Feel Your Best

Bringing the Joy Back to My Diet – Joy Food and 24 Hour Planning

Learn From Overeating So You Can Stop

Clean Up Your Thinking With a Daily Thought Download

6 High Performance Habits That Can Make You Extraordinary

Developing a Habit to Change Negative Thinking

keto coffee

Why I Start My Day With Keto Coffee

I have been a coffee drinker since my Marine Corps days. Back then my First Sergeant taught me to make coffee that was more like mud. I would add a packet of hot chocolate to it to make it more tolerable. In later years I learned to make better coffee and would drink it with just a few drops of liquid stevia.

Once I discovered eating a ketogenic diet I also learned about keto coffee. Many people also call this Bulletproof Coffee. If you are going to be technical, Bulletproof Coffee is a brand name using specific products. This recipe is for a  generic version but you can also buy the Bulletproof brand of MCT oil and coffee.

I follow a ketogenic nutrition plan. This means that my body is adapted to using ketones for energy instead of glucose. To maintain this fat burning process I eat a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Keto coffee is easy to make and supplies me with a generous serving of fat and deliciousness in the morning. On weekdays this is all I have for breakfast. It’s frothy and similar to a latte.

Read more about the keto diet here.

 

Keto Coffee

A delicious frothy coffee to add healthful fats and boost ketones for more mental clarity and energy. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1
Author Tammy Fuller

Ingredients

  • 10 oz brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to blender and blend until frothy. Be cautious when blending hot liquids. They sometimes splash out of blender.

Recipe Notes

Warning! When you first make this start slow with the MCT oil. It takes time for your body to get used to it. I would start with just one teaspoon for the first few days and gradually increase the amount up to one tablespoon. Otherwise you may end up with what's known in the keto community as "disaster pants."

emotional hunger

Understanding the Difference Between Physical Hunger and Emotional Hunger

hungry

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional Hunger

  • Have you ever had the urge to eat even though you just recently ate? This used to happen to me all the time. I would eat a great lunch and as soon as I got back to my office I felt the urge for something sweet.
  • Have you ever eaten just because it was time to eat and you weren’t even really hungry? Me too. All. The. Time.
  • Have you ever kept eating past the point where you were stuffed? Yep. Me too.
  • Feeling the need to reward yourself with comfort food after a rough day? Totally!

As part of my weight loss journey I’ve been learning a great deal about the differences between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Distinguishing the difference between the two is one of the most important skills when working on decreasing overeating.

Physical Hunger

One of the best indicators of actual physical hunger is that any food will satisfy it. If you are hungry for just an In N Out burger and nothing else will do it’s likely that you’re feeling emotional hunger. Physical hunger occurs after some time has passed since your last meal. It comes on gradually and you can wait. In fact you may find that if you wait, the hungry feeling goes away for a while. You may have a rumbling sound or an empty sensation in your stomach. One key point is that satisfying true physical hunger doesn’t make you feel bad or guilty.

Emotional Hunger

Emotional or psychological hunger is a desire to eat even when you are not physically hungry. It can come on suddenly and feel very urgent. You may feel that you need to eat immediately. When trying to satisfy emotional hunger you tend to eat more – you have difficulty stopping when you are full. You may also crave a specific food. Emotional eating tends to trigger guilt, shame and a sense that you are powerless over overeating. It may satisfy you temporarily but since the root problem isn’t fixed, the hunger returns. The problem may be unmet emotional needs, the discomfort of feeling negative emotions, stress, anger, depression and boredom. It can even be simply out of habit.

Take Action

To start becoming more aware of how you feel when you are hungry try journaling for the next week or so. Each time you feel hungry or you just want to eat, write it down. What are you thinking about? What physical sensations do you have? Start to look at possible triggers for overeating. Once you can identify your triggers you can begin to take action. You can limit the triggers or develop alternate healthy behaviors.

Remember that emotional eating does not solve the problem you are trying to numb and you add problems – weight gain, feelings of shame or guilt, unresolved issues. And you never learn to actually notice your negative thoughts and emotions and learn to manage them.

 

keto flu

How to Combat the Keto Flu: Simple Tips to Feel Better Faster

keto flu

Photo source: Flickr Desl

What is the keto flu?

The keto flu is a phenomenon that stops many people from fully experiencing the benefits of a ketogenic diet. They start the diet and when they start feeling poorly they use it as proof that the diet doesn’t work for them.  Unfortunately this means they quit right before the magic happens.

The first time I ate a ketogenic diet I experienced keto flu symptoms. I was fatigued, achy and felt like I had “brain fog.”  It resolved over a couple of days and I took those days to take it easy on myself.  I wish I would have known that there were some simple things I could have done to feel better.

The process known as keto flu happens when your body is transitioning from a primarily carbohydrate burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. You may feel irritable, have a headache and feel fatigued. Some people even feel some heart palpitations. The body is trying to achieve a level of homeostasis. Many of the symptoms are related to dehydration and electrolyte loss. This usually hits around day 2 to day 4 of the keto diet. Unfortunately this is also about the time that your carbohydrate cravings will be raging.

Why does keto flu happen?

As you eat less carbs your insulin levels go down and your body gets rid of more water and with that water goes some of your electrolytes.

How to cure keto flu:

  • Tackle dehydration by drinking more water. Be intentional about drinking water throughout the day.
  • Get more salt. You can use any salt but I recommend Himalayan Pink salt as you will get other important electrolytes along with it. You can add salt to your water or you can just take in a bit of salt throughout the day. You can also enjoy some broth to get the extra salt in. I recommend a homemade bone broth. I also enjoy an electrolyte supplement called Jigsaw. It adds a bit of flavor to my water with some electrolytes. Sodium, magnesium and potassium supplements are helpful on a ketogenic diet.
  • Eat more fat. While you’re adjusting to the ketogenic diet you need to make sure you’re getting enough fat. Keep your carbs under 20g. Eat a moderate amount of protein. And eat fat to satiety. If you’re hungry, eat fat.
  • If you have done all the above and you are totally miserable you can try adding in a few more carbs to get you past the rough patch. The best way to get the extra carbs is with some berries. A small serving of berries and heavy cream can be a delicious way to do this. Some sweet potatoes or other vegetables can be another good way to get appropriate carbs. Then you can slowly decrease your carbs over the next few days.
  • Spoiling yourself with a nice warm Epsom salt bath can be soothing. It's also a good way to absorb some magnesium.
  • The Payoff

    Once you get past the keto flu you will begin to experience the benefits of a ketogenic diet. You will have more mental clarity, energy and you will be a fat-burning machine.

    Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

    intermittent fastingEver thought about getting started with intermittent fasting?

    Getting started with intermittent fasting is one way to lose weight with some small, simple changes in the timing of your meals. Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn fat, lose weight and get healthier. And since there is no special equipment, no supplements, no books and no particular foods to buy, it’s also one of the easiest and least expensive ways to lose weight and get healthier. I combine intermittent fasting with a ketogenic lifestyle. The two eating styles pair well together and fasting becomes simple when you are fat adapted with keto. Read more about my experience with keto and intermittent fasting here.

    A flexible eating plan

    All you need to get started with intermittent fasting is a clock and a tiny little bit of willpower. I promise it won’t be hard and it is something you can easily do. The beauty of intermittent fasting is that it is very flexible. You can do it anywhere, anytime for as long as you’d like.

    And you’ll start to see benefits from fasting when you don’t eat for at least 12 hours. That may seem like a long time, but it really isn’t. Let’s say you eat a late dinner around 7 p.m. All you have to do is not snack after dinner. Then go to bed, sleep for seven to eight hours and get up at 6:30 a.m. By the time you had your black coffee and gotten a shower your 12 hours are up and you can eat breakfast.

    Kick it up a notch

    When you’re ready to take it to the next step, try postponing breakfast by an hour or two. Or skip it altogether and head out for an early lunch around 11 instead. Do you see how easy and flexible this is? You can work in your fasting anywhere, anytime. Just don’t eat for a few hours before and after you go to sleep. I fast for 18 hours which means that I skip breakfast. Then I do all my eating in a 6-hour window. This is known as an 18:6 fast. There are other variations such as 20:4 and 23:1. You can tailor it to whatever works for you.

    No matter how you fast, it is important to stay hydrated. This will help your body burn fat and keep your energy levels up. Water is always a good choice, as is mineral water which will also help replenish the salt and minerals your body is losing when you’re fasting. Herbal teas are nice when you want something warm to drink as is black coffee.

    Give intermittent fasting a try and see if you can’t make it work for you. It’s one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised how energized you’ll feel on fasting days once your body gets used to this.

    traditional diets

    How I Failed With Traditional Diets…or Did They Fail Me?

    traditional diets

    Traditional diets didn’t work for me. They worked short term but I couldn’t sustain them long term. I had success with many different diet plans. But I had never done the thought work required for changing my relationship with food.

    My most successful traditional diet was Jenny Craig. This is a program where you get a personal consultant to work with you and they provide the food. Each week you go in and get weighed and talk with your consultant about how the week went. You set personal goals for the next week and select your next week’s food. You leave with boxes, bags and cans of food and a menu plan for how to use them. From this program I learned about portion control and accountability. I stopped the program because I was having jaw surgery. After recovery I felt that I was close enough to my goal weight that I didn’t need to go back.

    What was missing?

    Unfortunately I had not learned the skills to transition to a good eating plan. I hadn’t changed my thinking about food. I hadn’t learned to deal with urges and cravings. I hadn’t learned about the many ways I was using food for so many more reasons than just fuel for my body. I had basically learned how to eat processed food and practice calorie restriction (which doesn’t work long term). I didn’t know enough about nutrition. What I was learning was the government’s dietary guidelines which virtually guaranteed my eventual failure.

    Slowly my old habits crept back in and I gained weight.

    Fast forward many years and many pounds…

    Earlier this year I had far surpassed my heaviest weight ever. I had working on personal development for the last couple of years but had never quite been able to do the mental work it took to conquer my thinking about my weight. Little did I know that my thinking was the root of the whole problem.

    Coming soon I have a 4-week program to share with you what I have been learning. My goal is to help you think differently about food and to equip you to come up with your own nutrition plan. If that sounds like something that is interesting to you sign up for the newsletter by filling out the subscription form at the bottom of the blog so you will be one of the first to know.

    keto coffee

    Benefits of Keto Coffee

    benefits of keto coffee

    What are the benefits of keto coffee?

    Keto coffee (also known as butter coffee, fatty coffee or Bulletproof coffee) is a delicious frothy coffee drink that can help decrease hunger, increase energy and improve mental clarity.You may wonder how one drink can do all that. A breakdown of the ingredients can help clarify things. I make mine with organic coffee (12 oz.), 1 T grass-fed butter, and 1 T of MCT oil. If you’re new to using MCT oil start with a smaller amount and increase over time.

    Why organic coffee?

    Coffee is not only delicious but it also has some health benefits. Coffee provides antioxidants which help your body fight off cell damage. Studies have shown that coffee may provide protection against Type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.Using organic coffee is preferred to conventionally grown coffee. Conventionally grown coffee is chemically treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Choosing organic helps to ensure that your coffee does not contain these extra chemicals.

    Why grass-fed butter?

    Butter makes this cup of coffee creamy, rich and delicious. But more importantly grass-fed butter is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, beta carotene and Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It also contains higher levels of CLA which is a fatty acid that helps your body store muscle instead of fat.

    Why coconut oil or MCT oil?

    Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which boost your metabolic rate and provide easy energy for your body and especially your brain. Using coconut oil is an inexpensive way to get MCTs but purchasing MCT oil is a much more powerful way to boost ketones. I use NOW brand MCT oil from my local health food store or sometimes Bulletproof Brain Octane. The Bulletproof brand is more expensive but also contains a more concentrated form of the good stuff. In addition to boosting your ketones for more fat burning and brain energy, MCT decreases the action of ghrelin which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry.

    What if I don’t like coffee or can’t drink coffee?

    If you don’t like coffee or can’t drink it you don’t have to drink keto coffee as part of your ketogenic diet. You can get healthy fats from a variety of sources. You can even get the benefits of the grass-fed butter and MCT oil by using them in other ways. For example, you can cook with butter and use the coconut oil or MCT oil as part of your salad dressing.

    Using decaf coffee is fine. I’ve even had people say that they enjoy the recipe with tea or chai tea instead of coffee.

    I’d love to hear if you’ve tried keto coffee and what you thought about it. Comment below.

     

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