Okay you guys, I have a confession to make. I have a hard time knowing what I should actually be eating and, like a lot of people, I go through phases of eating unhealthy food, then jumping back to a nutritious diet. So recently, I met with nutritionist Kelly LeVeque of BeWell by Kelly (who just happens to be a celebrity nutritionist with clients like Jessica Alba and Molly Sims!) and she broke down how to create a healthy meal plan and stick to a diet. I thought I’d share a few of her tips with you guys!
1. Avoid processed carbohydrates and sugary foods.
Okay, so we’re going to get a little technical here! Kelly taught me that fats and proteins don’t cause insulin to be released, where sugary foods and carbohydrates (which turn into sugar) do. Fat turns off hunger hormones and even helps to keep you hydrated and gives your skin a youthful glow! Carbs, on the other hand, are broken down into glucose (sugar), which spikes insulin (the “storage hormone”) in your bloodstream. The insulin pulls the sugars out of your blood and into your cells, then causes a sugar-induced crash that leaves you feeling hungry quickly after. Glucose can be absorbed into your muscles and liver as fuel (this is where carbo-loading comes from!) but once those parts of your body are full of glucose, your body stores the extra energy as fat. In the end, it comes down to eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks, so that you feel full and prevent that afternoon sugar crash!
2. Give yourself at least twelve hours of fat burning a day.
Kelly recommended eating carbs (and only one serving size!) with only one meal a day if you can, but with two meals at the most. As discussed, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which your body manages by producing insulin. Once in your bloodstream, the insulin remains there for six to eight hours, during which time you can’t burn fat. This means that if you have carbs (like pancakes, waffles, or toast) at breakfast, you’ll be unable to burn fat until the afternoon! Kelly suggested skipping carbs at dinner so that you can burn fat until you eat breakfast the next day! If you love eating carbs at dinner, she said to skip them at breakfast by eating a Fruit Free Be Well Smoothie or eggs. Try to limit fruit because it does have a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, but is okay in moderation. In summary, you should skip carbs for at least one meal so that your body can burn fat, and eat only one serving of carbs when you do eat them!
3. Make healthy meals with the “Fab Four”
Kelly had a super easy formula for creating healthy meals with what she calls the “fab four”!
Fat + Protein + Fiber + Greens
If you apply this to a few of your meals, you should feel fuller and more energized throughout the day! There are lots of meals that you can eat with this formula, with everything from smoothies, to salads, and dinners with a protein and two sides of veggies. Once your body adjusts to eating meals like this, cravings for sugary foods and bread should slowly disappear!
4. Eat the highest quality calories you can find.
This might mean eating something that is higher in calories per gram than a processed food. For instance, instead of eating chips that have 100 calories, try eating celery or an apple with peanut butter which is closer to 200 calories. Even though it might have more calories, it’ll make you feel better and stay full longer. By eating whole foods like vegetables or proteins like meat or even an all natural peanut butter, you get a higher quality energy that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Kelly’s Recommended Snacks and Protein Supplements:
She also recommends this Perfect Fit Vanilla Protein Powder to add to smoothies and shakes!
My take away from meeting with Kelly was to eat everything in moderation and to try and avoid sugary processed foods and carbohydrates. I learned that I was feeling so tired in the afternoons because I was eating too much bread! It’s okay to eat bread from time to time, or indulge in your favorite pasta dish or dessert, but you should balance it out with healthier meals. I still love eating sandwiches but instead of having the full sandwich, I’ll have it open faced to eliminate the sugar crash from eating those carbohydrates! Whole, unprocessed foods are always the best option. (This means foods that grew on the earth or ate what grew on the earth!) In the end, it’s all about finding what makes you feel healthy and energized!
What are some of your experiences with trying to eat healthy, I’d love to know!
Feature image via BeWellbyKelly.com
If you enjoyed reading this post and want to see more like this, you can subscribe to my blog here!