I am being forced to gain weight back after losing close to 40 pounds. I do not want to gain this weight back in fat, but I know I have to eat a lot more in order to gain the muscle I want. How do I balance eating more with keeping myself fit and FEELING like I’m staying healthy?
Eating more shouldn’t mean eating poorly. Instead of filling up on processed foods that are energy dense but low in nutrients (chips, candy, etc.), fill up on real foods that will satisfy your body’s nutrient needs and help you gain back the weight you need to put on. Incorporate whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein. And bask in the glory of being able to enjoy dark chocolate guilt free! Of course, hitting the gym for a combination of cardio/strength training will keep you feeling good mentally and physically. Please e-mail me (email@example.com) if you’d like more specific tips.
Can you go over some general guidelines to follow for if you are looking to lose weight specifically/what worked for you? thank you!
In my experience interning under dietitians, I’ve sat in on a lot of nutrition consultations and have identified two general issues people have with eating well. They either don’t know what foods are healthy, don’t know what a healthy portion size is or, in many cases, don’t understand either of those things. To me, eating healthy means eating mostly real food– food that isn’t processed. As a general rule, these are the things you’ll find on the periphery of the grocery store– fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, etc. You run into trouble when you start wandering the inner aisles looking for chips, cookies, and cereal. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, you just have to know what to look for. Portion control, on the other hand, takes a little bit of education and a lot of practice. Check out my Control Freak post to get started on the education part. Putting it to good use will be your job. Weight loss occurs when you have a handle both of those concepts and are outputting more calories than you’re taking in.
What’s a healthy meal to eat before or after a night of drinking to ensure you have something with substance in your stomach that is also healthy?
Before drinking, I’d focus on getting a well-rounded meal with whole grains, protein, and healthy fat. An example of this would be a chicken stir fry made with brown rice, topped with avocado. Or go the breakfast for dinner route and have scrambled eggs, whole grain toast with an all-natural nut butter, and fruit. Aim for 400-500 calories!