Finding The Right Diet For Your Body Type
I've made changes to my diet recently in 8 specific areas. I was stuck in a state of exercising regularly, eating seemingly healthy, but still not able to lose weight. Belly fat was the most stubborn of my weight loss problems. I was also tired all of the time, unable to sleep, and bloated. I've been tweaking my diet over the past year trying to find what works best for me. Here's what I've found to fight bloating, and to keep my energy up and cravings down. I've also included a few general diet tips for you to include in your daily intake.
- Sugar. I'm not generally a sweet tooth. I don't crave sugar, I'm more of a salt-craver. There was just one area where I had sugar without even really noticing that I was definitely ingesting sugar. Cream in my coffee. I've always liked for my coffee to not taste like coffee. :) Lately though I've been really embracing the taste of coffee. Instead of creamer I would use agave as a healthier option. This is still sugar though! Now I've switched to putting a little almond milk, cinnamon, and coconut oil in. Voila! This is my new morning cup of coffee. It also helps me to not over-consume. I used to drink coffee because I wanted the sweet taste, it was almost a dessert. I would consume too much caffeine and then have trouble sleeping at night. Now it's specifically a morning thing for me. Boom, insomnia solved. Well, there's some other things I had to change to figure out my sleep schedule. I'll be writing about those soon!
- Alcohol. You probably know my history with alcohol by now. Over the past year it seems my body just can't process or metabolize alcohol anymore. One drink sends me into a hangover with a pounding headache and nausea almost immediately. I don't really know what happened to my body, but I'm not mad about it. I can't drink at all anymore, my body won't allow it. It's for the best. There are a lot of pressures around drinking socially well into adulthood. I'm here to help you. Don't drink just to have a drink in your hand. Get soda water with a splash of juice to sip on instead. If you want to skip the sugar, skip the juice. La Croix has been a lifesaver for me and I now get the hype of the bubbly zero caloric beverage.
+ Vegetables. You hear you're supposed to get 2 pounds of veggies a day. How on earth do I fit all of this in to my daily intake? Well I don't know about 2 actual pounds, but I pack as many cups of veggies as I can into my 2 egg scramble. I don't add meat or cheese at all anymore. Only veggies. I cook in olive oil (healthy fats, yay!) Then for dinner I have 1 carb, 1 protein, 1 veggie. Have a shake or juice of some sort for lunch to fit the rest of the veggies in. Grind those greens into a yummy liquid!
+ Water. Honestly this one has never been a problem for me. You may just have to consciously make yourself drink water. One thing I do is always have a S'well Bottle full of water on me. I put cold water into it so it's cold all day. That helps me drink it. I'm one of those people that actually likes cold water. A lot of people swear by drinking it room temperature, whatever. As long as you're getting water, it's good for you. So that's my advice, drink it on ice, or at least cold.
+ Protein. I'm a big believer in eating beans, legumes, and tempeh to get your protein. I honestly feel fuller than when I eat actual meat. Meat makes me feel heavy, but not full in a healthy way. It also makes me bloated. I'm by no means a vegetarian or vegan anymore, but I really try to be conscious in knowing that meat was once a living and breathing thing. Even with fish. I can't quite give up eggs as much as I'd love to live a vegan lifestyle. Eggs are packed with healthy protein, and it's how I get a lot of my other daily nutrients in. If you are a meat eater though, I encourage you to eat lean meats. Turkey, chicken, with fish being the healthiest.
+ / - Carbs. I've really changed the way I ingest carbs over the past couple of months. I don't try to completely cut them out like I used to, but I also don't indulge in bread and potatoes. I save bread and potatoes for special occasions now. Holidays? I'll be eating some mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving for sure. But on regular days, I get my carbs by eating long grain wild rice and whole grain pasta. This also makes it easier for me to include a protein and a vegetable to make a whole meal.
+ Nutrients. I work out a lot. I used to get muscle cramps and spasms that would wake me up in the middle of the night, either in my calves or toes. These were incredibly painful. I found out it was because I wasn't getting enough potassium. I now eat a banana daily, but I also drink coconut water which is packed with potassium and electrolytes. If you're exercising regularly, you need to be sure you're replenishing nutrients. I try to include a protein shake after a workout. Do research before buying a protein shake. Look at what all is in it. It should include not only protein, but a few grams of carbs, other nutrients, and vitamins. Be careful not to buy ones that are high in sugar. My two favorite brands are Ideal Shape, and Plantfusion (vegan)
- Fried Foods. My number one weakness. I'll eat fried anything. It's very hard for me to turn down. I work in a bar too, so there's always some sort of fried food sitting around in the back for us to nibble on. I have to actively make myself not eat it, every day I work. My cravings have subsided tremendously since I've been really focusing on a healthy diet. I notice on days that I don't get enough protein, I crave fried foods. Just another tweak for my diet. On days I work, I have to make sure I've eaten enough protein.
My number one advice for you is to cut one thing out of your diet at a time and see if you feel better without it. If you're less bloated and more energized without gluten, you may have an intolerance. Same for dairy, caffeine, or alcohol. Anything that you're ingesting that makes you physically uncomfortable is probably not working with your body. You may also just be deficient of a specific nutrient. It will take some trial and error to figure out what helps you feel your best, but it's so worth it!
What are some diet changes you've made that have really changed your life? What are some changes you'd like to make but aren't sure you can fully commit to? Comment below!