A little over a year ago, I started seeing a naturopath for nutrition coaching. If you know me, you know that I work out regularly, and hard. If anything, I have a tendency to overtrain, so being physically active is never a problem (in fact, it’s a necessity), but I knew something was off. I literally couldn’t think of anyone I knew personally who worked out as much or as hard as me, except those I know who run regular half and full marathons – or my friends who are also personal trainers.
Once I realized my insurance covered an appointment with a nutritionist, I decided to get to the bottom of things.
Today really marks the one year anniversary of making change in my nutrition, and I’m consistently 10 pounds lighter, and a full 5% less body fat. I never blogged about it before because…well…I didn’t want to talk about it publicly. What if I didn’t see results? What if I gave up on my goals? What if it just got too hard and I wanted to binge on Taco Bell? Now I’m ready to talk about it.
Top 10 Things I Learned from Nutrition Coaching
- Sometimes good nutrition and exercise just aren’t enough. Straight off, the doctor asked about my thyroid; after some detailed bloodwork, she helped me find the right medication and dosage for my annoyingly slow thyroid.
- I CAN live without cheese! I love cheese, don’t get me wrong. But at this point, I just don’t eat it unless it’s some kind of special moment. Once I made a personal agreement with myself to just stop eating cheese, it became really easy to skip it (as opposed to having a little here or a little there).
- It’s about ratios, not calories. Never once did my doctor tell me to track the amount of calories I ate – not once. She asked me to instead look at my ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. As long as I hit 30% fat, 30% carbs, & 40% protein, I could do my thing. And once I started really hitting that goal, I wasn’t hungry for much else.
- It’s all about the lean protein! When she first told me to shoot for 100 grams of protein a day, I exclaimed, “That’s so much!” Now I realize how easy it is. I have at least one (but usually two) protein shakes a day, and load up on my chicken breast or sliced turkey.
- I’m not hungry anymore. It seems like a “duh” moment, but once I made the transformation of eating all that lean protein, I stopped being ravenous at 10:30 in the morning – and stopped being exhausted at 2:30 in the afternoon. Just like that.
- No more sugar. No, really, it’s gone. Goodbye. You can’t live here anymore.
- It’s totally ok to eat a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Rarely. I’ve found that if I really eat the good stuff all week, it’s ok to go out and treat myself on a Saturday night. Not surprisingly, those treats are memorably delicious.
- Alcohol is the devil. This really is the tough one. Once I buckled down and stopped drinking completely for a couple months, my body fat really started to melt off. I also realized how hard it is to hang out socially and not have a drink, simply to be part of the crowd. And when you’re not drinking, those people end up being really boring.
- It’s going to take time. I went into this process with a long-term goal in mind; and yes, there were some times where I felt very, very low. I thought, Why isn’t this working?! But now, a year later, I think about how much I have learned and transformed how I eat.
- Coaching is imperative. If it weren’t for my doctor, there is no flipping way I could have done this. She provided the expertise I needed, as well as some very important moral support. She provided feedback when I needed it, and celebrated my successes when things started working.
Oh yeah – and #11 – you’ve got to plan ahead. Being a teacher means we are bombarded with treats, almost every single day. For instance, today someone brought in Voodoo Donuts, a student brought me a homemade cookie, and a teacher dropped a Hershey Kiss in my box. These are all fabulous things, but I didn’t even look at the donuts, I secretly threw away the cookie, and gave the Hershey Kiss to a student. Now consider Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and so on – we are absolutely tempted at all moments, and I’ve learned to just say NO. If I can say no to candy, frankly anyone can.
If this post interested you, let me know and I will be happy to post some of the super easy recipes I came across to help supplant my deep and intense sugar cravings (like protein chocolate chip cookies or my buddy, Kyle’s sugar-free root beer float).