Thursday, April 08, 2010

Diet Coke, Sugar and Protein

I've had a love for Diet Coke for probably almost 10 years now. It's been an ebb and flow of trying to be really good and limiting myself to 1 a day to 2-3 a day. Right before the challenge started I was probably having 2 a day and easily used it as a relaxer in the evening after a hard day at work and then coming home and dealing with the kids. Also, before this weight loss challenge I had a thing for sugar around 8:30 every night. I needed sugar and really wanted it. I couldn't get it out of my head and almost always gave in to my cravings.

I am proud to say that on the Isagenix program I've lost my cravings for both. I'll have a Diet Coke when we go out to dinner, but really besides that I don't really want it. I'm always drinking water now and my body really wants water - which is a good thing! Isagenix makes this energy powder that is great for when I'm feeling low, tired, or after a workout. I can't drink it all the time though because it's too much. I don't want sugar anymore and really we haven't had many sweets around the house. I'll indulge here and there but don't crave my favorites anymore. I'm sure I'll eat them now and again but for now I'm being good.

A work acquaintance of mine is opening a gym so I went to scope it out and talk to them. They are the ones that gave me a fat analysis last month and I also went to get new results. The first test probably wasn't really accurate so I'm going to wait another month to get another set of results and then I'll share here. Anyways, in talking to their nutrition expert there he really thought I was eating too little of calories, which I had decided might be the case after working out so hard last week and not losing any weight. My body was thinking I was starving it and probably started holding onto all my fat to protect itself. He recommended really stepping up my protein amounts (150 grams a day) and especially to eat a protein (Isagenix) bar or shake before I work out and then to consume either a half of a bar or half a shake within 15 min. of working out. I need to research some more so I can explain better on here what it does, but I felt really good today.

I felt like I ate a huge amount of food today and really it was only 1,500 calories. To up my protein I added our whey protein (no flavor) powder to my morning shake and 2 T. of cashew butter which I got at Sprouts the other day. Cashew butter has the same amount of protein as peanuts but half the calories and tastes really decadent. This shake kept me full until lunch and usually I'm needing a small snack in the morning because I've been feeling hungry. I had a plain shake for lunch and then ate one of our bars 1 hour before I went to the gym and another 1/2 bar after working out. I seriously felt so amazing when working out because I had enough protein in me to help fuel my body (protein gets converted to energy just like everything else).

I thought when he told me yesterday to aim for 150 grams of protein that he was crazy and there was no way I could do that. Today I ate 158 grams - just slight changes in what I am doing and I feel I'll hit it and hoping it will help me in my weight loss as my body uses my fat for energy instead of my muscles. I also took Almonds and my Soy trail mix for snacks (both are good sources of protein) but didn't even touch them as I felt so full all day.

So...up your protein especially before and after you work out and see if you don't feel a difference. Jordan has even been doing this lately and I don't know if he feels a difference or not. I'll have to ask.

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