Friday Food Talk: Your Nutritionista Consulting
The Nutritionista Herself!
If you’ve been following the blog, you might know that I’ve got a cute little dress to look good in for my sister’s wedding, so I’m trying to tone up and drop a few lbs. Well, this is where Leah came in. I serve as one of her experts, but my true expertise lies in personal training, not the nutrition part of the weight loss equation. I know that burning more cals than you eat will result in weight loss, but I was having a really hard time sticking to the plan I was on (just your standard American diet, trying to count cals and stay balanced). I kept having massive sugar cravings, which I would inevitably give in to, falling off the wagon time and again.
So when Leah mentioned I try her plan, I jumped on it. I knew I needed to change something, because what I was doing was barely or not working at all. However, I also knew that her plan was WAY different than anything I had ever done before. If you’ve ever checked out her blog, you’ll know that she’s a lover and advocate of fat — lots and lots of fat. As a former Weight Watchers devotee, this terrified me. I still wanted to give her plan a try though. The other thing she’s huge on is eating whole, minimally processed or completely unprocessed foods, which I am all for — I really had no arguments with that one.
Leah urged me to add more fat — even animal fat — into my diet, along with even more protein, and to minimize the carb intake. Don’t get me wrong, she never told me to cut out carbs, because she knows I need them for as much as I work out, but she did tell me that I should decrease my intake, and get them from fruit and whole grains more than anything else. This meant cutting out the sugars and decreasing even my fruit intake, which really was OK, because I was eating wayyy too much of it.
Like I said, I have massive sweet cravings that I’ve always just attributed to a sweet tooth, but they had gotten really bad. I was downright addicted to sugar. Needless to say, that first week was mighty rough. I whined to her that this was haaard. And she nicely told me to suck it up. JUST KIDDING. She did tell me it might be tough to overcome the need for sweet, but that after I pushed through it for about a week, it would get easier, and after about 3 weeks it would be a breeze.
The big thing that took some getting used to, though, was eating full-fat foods. When she told me to eat Fage Total instead of my normal 2%, I balked at the thought. WHAT?! Do you know how much fat is in that?! (and in my head, And how many points!?) Then she told me to cook with butter, to sautee my veggies in it. Then she asked me to use cream or half and half in my coffee. I was in shock at first! How is this going to help me lose weight, crazy lady? And do you want me to get heart disease? She pointed me in the direction of quite a few interesting studies to answer that question, which is no. She told me I would feel more satisfied actually on fewer calories because many were coming from fat. But I was still a skeptic. It just sounded too good to be true.
But it wasn’t! After I stopped being a petulant child and actually following the plan she had laid out for me, I started to feel slimmer. I stopped feeling bloated after meals, and I was truly fuller on less. She asked me not to count calories, so I didn’t (I listened for once), but she did calculate how many I’d eaten one day after I sent her a log of my eating, and it was much less than I thought! I was completely full on 1500 or 1600 calories, which shocked me! I was also worried I would be dying in my workouts without as many carbs, but the fruit gave me as much as I needed, and I actually feel better in my workouts, and I’ve been able to push harder because I didn’t feel weighed down.
After a month (OK, three weeks since the first week I was still dragging my feet), I hopped on the scale and saw about a five-pound loss! Screw-ups (bridal shower weekend, a snafu with Halloween candy) and all! I probably could have done a little better had I planned more, but I loved how I wasn’t constantly thinking about how hungry I was. Either way, people have noticed that I’ve shrunk a little, and a former client of mine saw me this week and he excalimed, “You look fabulous!” right away, telling me that I ‘had to have lost weight,’ because I look smaller. My clothes also fit better, and relatives I saw at a bridal shower a week or two ago told me my face definitely looked slimmer.
I’m super happy with how well I did on Leah’s plan, and I have to admit that this skeptic was wrong. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and I even started to like cooking, because what I was creating tasted good and was actually satisfying. And when I did slip up? It was so much easier to get back on the wagon. I could cut the sugar back out within a day where it would take me weeks before. It has also really helped with that pesky little bad habit I had of saving all of my calories until later in the day. I find that I eat as much as I need when I need! So while I’m far from being an intuitive eater, I stopped even worrying about the overall intake (although the calculator in my brain does do a rough tally whether I want it to or not). I’m definitely going to keep this up, and come January 22nd, I will be that hot maid of honor giving a killer speech right before tearing up the dance floor!
I seriously encourage everyone I know to check out Your Nutritionista Consulting to try her plan, whatever your goals may be! Leah knows her stuff and is so easy to talk to about all of your concerns. I even told one of my trainer friends here in Chicago about her ideas, and she passed along Leah’s name to her client! And if you decide to give it a try, you get to work with me too as your PT! Either way, check her out!
Have you tried YNC? What did you think? Does this sound like something that would work for you? Spill!