|Body Fat (%)||42.9||39.8||-3.1||-7.2%|
Please forgive me for the analytics. There is still a little bit of accountant in me. In any case, the results are pretty good, but perhaps not as good as they could be. In this post I would like to review my eating guidelines and then recommit myself to them, since I really haven't been following them very well for the last month and a half. I know, I know, as a health coach, I should know better. So let me just remind myself of how I would like to be eating, and then we'll talk.
Guideline #1: Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods (unpackaged, unboxed, without labels). No-brainer.
Guideline #2: Keep sweets and junk food to a minimum. When you do eat them, eat them right after a healthy meal (ideally, lunch). If you eat your dessert after a good meal, you are likely to eat less of the not-so-good stuff, and you will not have the blood sugar spike that would come from eating the treat on an empty stomach. Win-win.
Guideline #3: Lunch will be the biggest meal of the day, breakfast the second biggest, and dinner the smallest. This is based on the body clock in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The theory here is that the different organs of your body are strongest and most capable at certain times of the day. Your stomach is strongest in the morning (between 7am and 9am) and your small intestine--the primary digestive organ--is strongest between 1pm and 3pm. Those are the times when your body will be able to digest food most effectively. Keep your dinners small (e.g. soup or salad).
Guideline #4: Do not eat after 6pm. Your body goes into repair mode in the evening, but if it is still trying to digest your latest meal (i.e. your dinner was too large or you ate too late) then it focuses instead on the digestion and skips the repairs for the night. THIS IS BAD! You need that nightly maintenance. It keeps you young and healthy and keeps everything in good working order.
Guideline #5: No snacking. Eating snacks or being on the 6-small-meals-a-day plan forces your digestive system to work all the time. It needs to rest and your body needs to be able to focus on something else for awhile. Also, if you are eating so constantly that you never allow your blood sugar to drop a bit and then to stabilize on its own, you will become (or remain) very dependent on food as your body will lose the ability to regulate blood-glucose levels on its own, as it was designed to do. So stick with the old, traditional 3 meals a day, like your grandma used to eat, and you will be healthier and happier. (For more on this, take a look at the following link.)
Guideline #6: Guidelines 1-5 are not rules, they are guidelines!!! Do not take them too seriously. Do not be rigidly compliant, to the point of refusing to eat the bite of wedding cake offered to you by your new spouse on your wedding day. Do not beat yourself up for not being perfect. Just do your best, pay attention to when you do stray a bit, ask yourself why, and then get back on track.
That's it! And just so you know, I am recommitting to these guidelines here and now, with you as my witness. March will be better! Yes! Go team!