What to expect
Kind of sounds crazy to recommend eating more fat to lose weight and combat sugar cravings, doesn’t it?
Remember in the 1990s when everyone was told fat would make you fat? Many of us who were adults then went “fat-free,” which in turn increased our intake of sugary, processed foods. Since then the amount of sugar in our diet has skyrocketed. We’ve seen negative health outcomes such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!
The key is to focus on a healthy, balanced plate like I have mentioned several times. Remember to have half your plate filled with nonstarchy vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein, one-quarter starch. Incorporate fruits into your meals and snacks daily, limiting them to three servings per day. But don’t forget about fat! Heart-healthy fats are your friend and can aid in weight loss, combat sugar cravings, assist in stabilizing blood sugar and reduce risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Heart-healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds should be incorporated into your diet. They help to keep you satisfied and fuller for longer. Try adding nuts and seeds to salads, yogurt and oatmeal. Drizzle olive oil on roasted vegetables. Spread avocado on sandwiches, add to salads and mix into smoothies. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish twice a week, so add it to your grocery list or choose salmon the next time you eat out.
What to eat
Here is a suggested meal plan to follow for Day 9 of the Sugar Shutdown. Please note you can make changes to fit your tastes, dietary and calorie needs.
As always, our important reminders:
- Do not skip any meals. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Listen to your hunger cues. Eat until you’re satisfied, but give yourself a break before you start to snack to see if you’re actually hungry. (If you’re hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re probably hungry.)
- Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
- Eat snacks that have both a protein and a carbohydrate (nuts and fruit, hummus and vegetables, string cheese and grapes). This will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and help you stay full and keep cravings at bay.
- If you mix and match any meals, remember you want: A maximum of two to three servings of fruit daily. Watch your serving sizes and your snacks! Four to six servings of nonstarchy vegetables. Half of your plate at lunch and dinner should be nonstarchy vegetables. If you can get them in at breakfast too, all the better. Snack time is an easy spot to get another serving in as well! We encourage using leftovers, especially at lunchtime!
Three-egg vegetable omelet with cheese
½ cup cooked grits (flavor with salt, pepper and butter, not sugar)
Celery and almond or peanut butter
3 ounces of chicken
Sweet potato (with butter and cinnamon, not sugar)
One or two hardboiled eggs and an apple
¼ cup shredded chicken
¼ cup brown rice
¼ cup black beans
Sautéed bell peppers and onions
2 tablespoons salsa
Optional: 2 tablespoons sour cream, ¼ cup shredded cheese
Serve on a bed of mixed greens
How you should be feeling today
You can almost taste your sweet success! Tomorrow is the big finish and you should be beaming with pride and accomplishment. As you approach the finish line of this program, it is important to begin to think about how you will maintain this lifestyle change. What will you do differently now? What has worked for you? What hasn’t? How will you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Keep pushing through, only one more day to go! Keep up the great work.
A lot of people want to know how the numbers stack up. How much do I need to exercise to burn off that doughnut I just ate? The numbers may surprise you!
According to an HBO documentary entitled, “The Weight of the Nation – Kid Quiz,” the following numbers are something to think about:
- Run six miles, or 105 football fields, to burn off the calories from one cheeseburger.
- Swim 31 minutes to burn off a small bag of chips and 65 minutes to swim off a large order of fries.
- Climb 2,605 stairs to burn the calories in one can of soda.
Think about these numbers the next time you reach for a can of soda or can’t decide between ordering a side salad or French fries. Don’t forget one of my favorite sayings: You can’t outrun your fork!
Nuts are a great source of heart-healthy fats. Harvard studies have found that a handful of nuts a day may keep the doctor away.
The studies showed that people who ate nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than people who didn’t eat nuts. Daily nut-eaters were less likely to die of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and had a reduced risk of premature death.
Eating nuts also lowers LDL (“bad” cholesterol), raises HDL (“good” cholesterol) and lowers blood pressure. Nuts have fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which may provide cardio-protective, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters were less likely to gain weight in the studies. Nuts are high in fiber and protein, which delays absorption and decreases hunger.
No one nut was found to provide more health benefits than another.
Choose mixed nuts to always have a variety! Here are some tips to include nuts into your day:
- Spread nut butter on your morning toast instead of butter or cream cheese.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts on yogurt or oatmeal.
- Toss nuts into a salad or stir-fry.
- Top fruit or vegetables with nut butter.
- Try nut-encrusted fish or chicken, such as pecan-encrusted trout.