An Easy Recipe & Why Losing Weight Doesn't *Always* Mean Eating Less
I’m dropping in on our normal Tuesday slot to check on a couple things, but first, wanted to talk briefly about the nature of our activity level and our nutrition, and how they’re related.
We’ve covered before about how intensity is the driver of results: sustainable body change (especially in women, but overall) comes from burning fat during some periods of high intensity, breathless, burning, sweaty, quick (40m or less) workouts balanced with longer-duration rest and recharge activities like leisure walks, meditation, and/or yoga.
What gets lost- especially around this time of year!- is that the solution to fat loss isn’t necessarily eating less. Of course, our caloric intake shouldn’t be nuts, but, when it comes down to counting every calorie, we’ve all got better things to do.
Here’s where I advocate playing detective with our bodies: if we know how to listen, when we don’t include intense activity in our days, we can feel our metabolism naturally downregulating throughout the day. This is communicated in the form of less hunger, less energy, and less ridiculous cravings (as you know if you’ve spent an afternoon marathoning Harry Potter: your snack cravings were likely behavioral, not an actual hunger, and you didn’t feel like jumping up and running around…or even taking your dogs out to pee.).
The problem here is that we often are so used to eating the same thing or the same way day in and day out- especially while “on a diet”- that we haven’t paid attention to the cues our bodies are giving us in years. So, when we’re in a phase of life where we’re exercising less (either more skewed toward recharge activities or due to illness/lack of motivation/injury), instead of naturally eating less but still gravitating towards what serves us (veggies, proteins, fat as needed for delicious factor), we’re used to blindly following a plan, failing at it, and falling victim to the f it effect: “f it, I already had a burger instead of grilled chicken…I’ll get fries too. And a beer.” This leads to us feeling bloated and sluggish, with a heaping side order of shame that we failed yet another plan.
There’s a better way: eat more slowly, pay attention to our hunger levels, eat until satisfied, and see how our energy levels respond, which will tell us if we hit the Goldilocks spot (not too little, not too much, but just right).
This is a process- one that doesn’t get finished overnight!- of learning what our bodies are telling us and when. It won’t be perfect the first (or second…or tenth) try, but I can assure you that, if we stick to the process of seeing what happens when we eat well and adjusting if we experience negative effects (bloat, gassiness, energy crashes), there will come a time where food is just food, not the mental equivalent of the balance beam, and what works for our desired outcomes will be intuitive.
To get a grasp on what our bodies are telling us, we need to let go of eating at programmed times and on programmed plans and allow for adaptability: still being able to eat in service to our goals, changing the plan based not on what it says is down for Tuesday, but based on how we feel, our activity levels, and our cravings (so we don’t fall victim to the f it effect at the drop of a hat).
Without the hormonal surge of intense workouts, for example, many of us get sleepy with high carb consumption (and also crave more sugar). Which makes sense, if we think about it: the nuts and bolts of carbs are to provide our bodies with energy, and, once they’re broken down, if we aren’t using them to fuel a workout (which raises the levels of other energy-boosting hormones), the associated blood sugar crash leaves us feeling like a freight train hit us. Without activity, our bodies aren’t using as many calories (we don’t require as much energy for fuel to function!), so our bodies aren’t telling us to consume as much as when we do perform intense workouts.
I *hope* you’ve had a chance to check out the eBook, where I get into some more practical specifics of that and provide some of my go-to meals for different situations. If you have, comment and let me know something you learned or, if you’ve tried a recipe, how you liked it!
AND, because you’re dope, I’m leaving you with one of my go-to breakfasts that wasn’t in the eBook.
6m EGGS WITH SMOKY, GARLICKY SPINACH
2oz. pancetta (or 2 slices bacon)
½ onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
8oz. spinach (about 5c) (It will wilt down!)
1t crushed red pepper
Salt + pepper, to taste
Set a pot of water to boil.
On a different burner, heat a pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and stir often until it begins to render and turn brown, about 5-7m.
Add onion and let begin to caramelize, stirring occasionally, about 5m. Add garlic and stir for 1m. Add spinach and red pepper. Mix together until spinach is wilted to desired wiltiness.
Once the water is boiling, drop the eggs in the pot, cover, and set a timer for 6m. At the end of 6m, dump the eggs out, run under cold water, and peel carefully: the whites should be set, but the yolks runny.
Place on top of spinach + pancetta, top with salt + pepper, serve immediately. Enjoy!