Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feel Light = Eat Light

Before I start this post I want to say that not at all promoting a lifestyle that encourages being thin or restricting yourself from food. I promote a healthy lifestyle and I like to share my experiences. However, if you're happy with your body, whatever it looks like - then I'm more than happy for you. I'm not trying to push anything on anyone. I've just started doing this and I feel a lot better so I thought I'd share :)

I recently had a session with my trainer, and had an epiphany. I came up with this concept, which is now what I constantly tell myself when I'm eating. "Shivani, if you wanna feel light, you gotta eat light".

I want to thoroughly explain this so it's meaning doesn't get misconstrued. I'm not saying, eat "light" as in eat "a hell of a lot less". Think about it, it's common logic. How do you want to feel? Light? Agile? Fit? Strong? Or heavy? Weak? Tired? I noticed that it wasn't just about WHAT I was eating, but HOW MUCH. For example, I'd eat tonnes of healthy stuff. I'd eat a huge salad, with tonnes of veggies and feel super full afterwards. But, I wasn't losing any weight or getting any fitter.

After a couple months of increasing the amount of workouts per day and still not seeing results, I started to get really frustrated. Then I had a conversation with my trainer about what he eats. He's a really tall, lean guy. (Keep in mind, everyone's body types are different so what works for him or for me, might not necessarily work for you - but I think this tip is still important for everyone). It seemed like his portion sizes were a lot smaller than mine.

So I started changing my portions, splitting them up between two meals and eating more frequently throughout the day. I felt so much lighter, not at all tired and I found that the effects of my workouts lasted a lot longer. Which is what we all want right?

It wasn't easy at first because my stomach was used to eating much larger portions to get full. But after a day or two, my body adapted pretty quickly and I was feeling fine after a small bowl of soup, then a bowl of fruits an hour or two later. And I also felt the difference immediately.

Here's an example of what I'd eat in a day:
Meal 1: small bowl of fruit (berries mostly)
Snack: green juice/smoothie
Meal 2: small bowl of soup (lentils or black eyed peas)
Snack: carrots and hummus
Meal 3: half a veggie wrap (kale, tomato, avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, cilantro, lime yogurt dressing, lemon juice wrapped in a whole-wheat thin tortilla) *save the other half for the next day
Snack: small amount of almonds
Meal 4: small bowl of quinoa with chopped veggies (bell peppers, lettuce, broccoli, beets, kidney beans, sweet potato, a little balsamic vinaigrette)
*water with all meals, sometimes an herbal tea (no milk or sugar)

And this would all be eaten before 7:30PM. The great thing about eating small portions is that you always have leftovers. So stick 'em in the fridge and eat 'em the next day! I like to change this up with lots of salad options, but I'm trying my best to stay as raw as possible and stay away from lots of dairy. I feel so much healthier and happier this way. And now my body is actually maintaining toned muscles!

Of course, I have my cheat days - I'll go out for sushi or dessert, but those days are few and far between (like, once a week). I'm not a nutritionist so I don't know if this is a perfect diet nor am I trying to say that it is. (And I'm open to any suggestions anyone has!) However, I do feel so much better eating this way. A really easy way to start doing this is to cut your portions in half and save them for later in the day, or the next day. But when eating smaller portions it's really important to be eating every couple of hours.

Next time you're preparing a meal or going out to eat, think to yourself: how do I want to feel after this? I ask myself this every time I see something unhealthy or I feel like eating a huge portion of food. And it's helped me keep myself in check because I'm thinking about how I'll be feeling afterwards instead of thinking about the immediate satisfaction. 

This "method" [if you will], has really helped me cut my calories and cut a lot of the crap I was eating before that I thought was healthy, i.e. CLIF bars. This is the "cleanest" I've ever eaten and the best I've ever felt.

Has this type of eating ever worked for you before? What healthy eating methods do you recommend? I hope you found this post helpful, and please don't hesitate to leave any questions or tips in the comment section!

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