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Day 40 – Beware of Taking Clean Eating Too Far

I will be the first to endorse clean eating as a great health strategy. It is a great philosophy for better health and often for weight loss. Purging the body of chemicals is a great way to detox the liver and allow the body to start getting rid of unwanted body fat…..but here’s the danger: Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins is the real way to eat clean. The danger lies in all of the “paleo muffins” and “clean” desserts that are all over the internet. Now, for an occasional treat, these things can be better for you than the processed varieties, but be careful. They are often way higher in fat and calories than the ones they are meant to replace. (cleaner calories and healthier fats, yes…but still calories and fats). So, if you are eating clean, KUDOS to you! Just make sure that you are not trying to take clean ingredients and re-create processed treats on a regular basis. As with all things, use caution, moderation, and reason when you make your choices.

Day 39 – Stay Away From Quick Fix Shakes and Bars

Stay away from “quick fix” shakes and bars that promise you miracles. There are hundreds of programs out there that have testimonials of great weight loss. There is no doubt that you can lose weight eating only certain foods provided to you by a company…but what happens afterwards? Every day, I work with clients who have lost and gained hundreds of pounds over and over because they did not learn the basics and strategies of weight control. These programs only provide a short term fix to a long term problem. Develop a plan that will lead you to short-term weight loss that you are able to maintain for the rest of your life.

Day 38 – Have Your Treats in the Morning

Your body is most receptive to burning carbs for energy in the early part of the day. Having high carbohydrate treats and snacks in the late afternoon and evening is a recipe for fat storage. A great way to “have your cake and eat it too” is to eat them for breakfast or lunch. Pay attention to the way your body feels after you have a treat (any time you have it). If it causes you to crave more, stop and evaluate if this is a good strategy for you. Make sure you decide ahead of time how much you will have. Put that amount on a plate, and put the serving dish AWAY. After you’ve finished enjoying your treat, BRUSH YOUR TEETH. It can help take the taste out of your mouth that can leave you wanting more.

Day 37 – Avoid “High Fiber” Foods

Avoid “high fiber” foods just because they say they are. When foods have “high fiber” on the front of the package, they are often trying to mask “high sugar.” Fiber is fantastic for your body, but adding fiber to a high sugar bar or cereal does not have much benefit for weight loss. Fiber One bars have 10 grams of sugar per bar, almost as much as a bowl of Fruit Loops.

Day 36 – Compare Everything to a Bowl of Fruit Loops

A serving of Fruit Loops has 12 grams of sugar. When you are reading a label, compare the sugar content to this to decide if it is something you should buy. No matter how many calories an item has, if it contains excess sugar, it will get in the way of your fat loss. The body cannot process fat loss effectively in the presence of excess insulin, so keeping sugar levels moderate is one of the greatest things you can do to reach your goals. If you are choosing a packaged food, look for items with 5 grams of sugar or less. Kind now makes a line of “nut and spice” bars with 5 grams of sugar or less.

Day 35 – Read the Back of the Label Instead of the Front

Companies put information on the front of the package that they want you to focus on hoping that you will be swayed by that and not read the back. “high fiber,” “low carb” and “low fat” are marketing terms that are often used to mask artificial sweeteners and ingredients that will actually get in the way of your weight loss. Real food does not need a health claim. You can even find pop tarts that are “high fiber.”

Day 34 – Set Small Weekly Goals

Setting huge goals can make the task seem impossible. Breaking up your large goal into smaller ones can make the process feel more achievable. Think about goals other than weight loss as well like packing your lunch every day or not eating after a certain time. These small behavioral/nutritional goals will add up to weight loss without making you a slave to the scale.

Day 33 – Watch Your Sugar

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the convenience of granola bars and snack foods, but there is often a great deal of hidden sugar in them. Even “no sugar added” canned fruit has more sugar than whole fruit. When at all possible, choose whole foods over packaged ones. The soluble fiber in whole foods helps to slow the blood sugar rise. Keeping blood sugar levels stable helps you to avoid energy spikes and crashes as well as insulin spikes which can lead to fat storage.

Day 32 – Pay Attention to How Your Body Feels

Pay attention to how your body feels soon after you have a high carbohydrate snack with little or no protein. It is likely that you will be craving more. That “I can’t stop” feeling is often physiological. Yes, it becomes psychological over time when you repeat the behavior, but it starts as a physiological craving linked to the rise and fall of blood sugar. If you start to have this response to a food, WALK AWAY QUICKLY. These types of foods are very challenging to eat in moderation. Be careful when you make choices that you know will do this to you.

Day 31 – If You Want to Have a Dessert, Eliminate a Serving of Carbs

This won’t completely balance out the calories, but it will help. Bread and pie do the same thing inside your body. Carbs all turn to sugar in the body. An excess of them causes fat storage. Balancing your choices can help to keep insulin and sugar levels lower so this is less likely.