I LOVE FOOD. Like, intensely. Hands down the hardest part of my fitess journey so far has been learning to embrace clean eating. Don’t get me wrong- I am SO glad that I have, and now I am (finally) to the point where I actually prefer it. However I was not always this way. Not even close. The thing is, I’m an emotional eater. AKA Hi! I’m Kelsey and I eat my feelings. If I’m sad, I just need a treat. If I’m upset, don’t talk to me unless you’re giving me chocolate. If I’m excited? Well you know we have to celebrate by getting a treat! See the problem here? Pair this with the fact that food is SO social, and I baxically thought I was doomed. I had such a negative connotation in my mind regarding “health foods” and sincerely felt that eating healthy mean depriving yourself and not eating anything that tastes good. The beautiful news it that this could not be further from the truth. HALLELUJAH
Ok- lemme back up. When I first began the BBG program at 8 weeks post-partum, I purchased the HELP guide (Kayla’s Healthy Eating Nutrition Plan) but did not even read it. I was exclusively nursing at the time and my midwife (who was AMAZINGG btw) recommended I NET around 2600 cals a day to keep up my milk supply. This meant that I needed to eat around 3000 calories if I was working out hard. This sounded like my absolute dream come true! That is until I realized she didn’t mean 3000 cals of donuts and pasta, and do you have any idea how hard it is to get 3000 healthy calories!? I digress. I ended up eating basically whatever I wanted, which most of the time was NOT healthy. I was already making one huge life change by introducing daily exercise, and honestly the thought of changing my diet as well was completely overwhelming. So I didn’t!
When I was about to begin my second round however, I knew if I really wanted results I needed to change my diet. Even more than that, I knew I needed to be healthier. I read Kayls’s HELP guide at this point, and I thought it was great! It is very educational and teaches the basis of good nutrition and the importance of having a well balanced diet. I HIGHLY recommend it to any of you who need a place to start! Because I was still breast feeding my little man though, I needed to be eating more calories than her two week sample meal-plan suggested. Also, I was still battling with my post-partum anxiety, and didn’t want to overwhelm myself. Counting Macros was not even remotely a possibility for me at the time, because I got overwhelmed even trying to count calories. At the end of the day, I wanted to make a dietary change, and NEEDED to be healthier, but I needed to make it SUPER SIMPLE for myself. So that’s what I did.
This is when I created my four simple rules to help me break my emotional eating habits, and give myself and my baby the nutrition we needed and deserved. Let me be clear though- “simple” does not mean easy. At first these rules were SOOOO HARD for me to follow. But I just sucked it up and did it. To me, these had to be hard and fast. No bending. No matter what the circumstance, I decided then and there to not allow myself excuses. I set my rules and set my goals and stuck to them by holding myself accountable. As I mentioned, converting to clean eating was the hardest part of my fitness journey. But it is everything guys. You really can’t expect your body to make changes if you aren’t fueling it properly. The good news is though, making healthy choices REALLY DOES become easier over time. The longer you eat clean, the more you will want to. Especially because you start to realize how much better you feel.
My life is crazy busy, and to this day, seriously all I worry about in regards to food are these rules. I don’t worry about macros or calories or only eating certain amounts or at certain times. Maybe if I were better at those things, my progess would be better, or happen faster, or whatever. But THIS IS A LIFESTYLE. I needed a way to eat better that I knew I could sustain- and even enjoy- all year round. You have do figure out what works for you, and this is simply what works for me. Without further ado…
MYSWEATLIFE’S FOUR SIMPLE RULES TO CLEAN EATING
- No candy/dessert/refined sugar.
- No fried/fast food.
- No soda or alcohol.
- Drink AT LEAST 10 cups of water each day
That’s seriously it! I love carbs and can’t live without them, so I just choose complex carbs such as whole wheat bread, quinoa, ect. I love sweets so I can’t live without them either, I just opt for Greek yogurt with fruit or a tasty protein bar for dessert. I also try to eat continuously throughout the day to keep my metabolism going and never let myself get too hungry- though some days that doesn’t happen. Like I said, life is crazy! But as long as I am eating clean and following these rules, I feel good and I see progress. Last but not least, I DO NOT restrict my calories. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat until I’m full. In fact, the only time I felt I wasn’t making progress, it turned out to be because I actually wasn’t eating enough. So I do loosely track calories on occasion, simply to make sure I am getting ENOUGH. For me, I shoot for AT LEAST 2000 calories a day. Typically it’s more around 2200/2400. Remember that your body cannot progress if you aren’t fueling it properly. Not eating enough is just as bad for you as eating crappy food, in fact, I think it is worse. LAST BUT NOT ABSOLUTELY NOT LEAST, I allow myself ONE CHEAT MEAL each week. Because I get a lot of questions about what my cheat meals are like, they usually look something like this- Chicken fingers, fries, Dr. Pepper, a chocolate shake, and then candy later that night. haha my cheat meal is WHATEVER I want to eat, and as much of it as I can. And in full disclosure, YES, there have been times where my cheat meal turns into a “cheat weekend”. In fact on holidays or vacations I let myself cheat as much as I please. But the thing is, that has become less and less over the months as I have truly grown to love and appreciate the COUNTLESS benefits clean eating.
I hope this helps answer your questions! I will be posting more about my tips and tricks for following my “rules” , so if you have any other quesitons don’t hesitate to ask!!
LOVE YOU BABES!!!!!