Happy New Year Celiac Scoop friends! I hope everyone had wonderful Gluten-Free Holidays! My holidays were filled with family....friends....and delightful Gluten-Free Goodies. Unfortunately...that means my jeans are now a little too tight, and I'm afraid to step on the scale at the gym. I'm sure many of you are in the same boat right now... But, let's not get down about it. We all have to "splurge" once in a while... and let's face it, one of the fun things about the holidays is doing just that. In December, we shop too much, we spend too much money, and we eat waaay too much.
But here it is! A New Year! New possibilities are ahead of us, and its the perfect time to develop healthy new habits. It shouldn't be about going "on a diet" just to lose the holiday weight...it should be about making permanent lifestyle changes... It's about living our healthiest! And living Gluten-Free and being healthy should go hand in hand. :)
So, cheers to 2011, and making it the healthiest yet! Who's with me?
Here are some tips on weight loss that have helped me every time I've gained a few and want to get back on track asap:
1) Eat more lean, healthy protein.
I admit, I never crave protein. I crave carbs and sweets. But, when I force myself to eat protein FIRST...it actually helps me to FEEL better. My mind is much more clear, I have more energy, and I'm actually not as hungry for the carbs and sweets.
Good sources of protein include: lean chicken and fish... "lettuce burgers" (my favorite is the In-N-Out Protein style), eggs, and nuts.
One of my absolute favorite high protein recipes is this one for GLUTEN FREE COCONUT SHRIMP (Try it out and let me know how you like it!)
2) Chow down on Veggies
Veggies provide many vitamins, enzymes, and fiber that are good for our digestive systems. I love eating raw green or red bell peppers, celery topped with Skippy Natural peanut butter (high in protein and good fats), a salad made with iceberg and romaine lettuce and spinach, or a bag of peas in the pod. You can pretty much eat an endless supply of veggies! So get chowin' down, and enjoy watching the extra pounds disappear!
3) Cut way back on Sugar
One of the reasons people GAIN so much weight during the holidays is SUGAR. It's all over the place...you just can't avoid it! You get a box of Sees candy as a gift from every person in your office, and of course you have to try them all! Then, when you get home, your neighbors have left a plate of delicious homemade fudge on your door, so there goes another 500 calories. You throw a party with your closest friends, and of course, since they all know you're gluten-free, they bring you endless supplies of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, cakes, and pumpkin pies. They surprise you with gluten-free cinnamon rolls...which go perfectly with all the gluten-free goodies you've already made for yourself.....and even after the party is over, you're snacking on the leftovers of these treats at all hours of the day!
Let's face it, we ate too much sugar in December! This means that now the bacteria in our digestive systems is way out of balance. The only way to get back on track is to take probiotics, eat probiotic yogurt and/or cut out most sugars. Read more tips on managing bacterial imbalance HERE.
One way I like to get balanced back out is by subbing PLAIN, probiotic yogurt for sour cream. (The Mountain High brand is great). I love eating cucumber chips, salsa, "sour cream" and guacamole as delicious and healthy snack while I'm watching American Idol or The Bachelor. :)
4) Avoid processed Gluten Free Foods and microwave dinners.
Beware of items labeled "gluten free." Just having the label doesn't mean it's healthy for you! Many GF dinners, and items like toaster waffles, have A LOT of sodium and calories. Even if everything else you eat is pretty good for you, eating these items will keep the weight on you, and prevent you from shedding those extra pounds.
Always check labels for fat grams, calories, and sodium when trying to lose weight. There ARE some healthy options out there, such as AMY'S brand Mexican Tamale Pie (very delicious, and under 200 calories!)
Otherwise...it's better to get back to eating mostly home-cooked meals. Brown rice pasta, like the kind from JOVIAL, topped with low-fat marinara sauce, is one of my favorite healthy meal choices. Plus, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare! That's what I call fast food. What's YOUR favorite healthy, homemade dish?
5) Get moving!
Do you have a gym pass? Thought about taking up roller-blading, tennis, or swimming? Whatever way you want to get moving.....this is the year to DO IT! :) Make a goal to create a new, lifelong HABIT... and keep it up! Even if all I have time for is 30 minutes at the gym a few times a week... trust me, it works! You'll feel and look better, and be happier overall. On top of that, sitting in the sauna at the end of a nice workout can be very therapeutic and relaxing. Exercise will help you produce endorphins too.... which we all know is the happy hormone! And who wouldn't like to feel a little happier...especially in January, when we're all prone to a little post-holiday blues.
For more tips on losing weight on a gluten-free diet, read THIS.
I hope these tips help everyone have their healthiest year yet! Send me your comments and suggestions, and let me know how this works for you!