I’d say the biggest struggle I’ve had, as I’m sure most people as well, has been with weight. I’ve never been much of a fad dieter although I’ve had my fair share of diet pills, shakes and low carb eating. I would say, I was never a person that could eat anything and not gain a pound. I’m short so weight shows pretty easily on me.
I’ve always tried to make good choices and exercised but nothing seemed to work for me. As I’ve gotten older, it’s much harder. Work stress, life stress, wife, mom of two toddlers, it’s hard to make sure I’m taking care of myself. Sometimes I just want a basket of french fries to make me feel better!
After my first child, the weight came off pretty good, thank you to nursing! After nursing, well, I went back to feeling miserable and weight coming back on. Then after the second, I really wanted to make a change. While I was pregnant with the second, one of my favorite people in the world, Chalene Johnson started a quest to get answers to diets. If you don’t know who she is, you should! She has tons of work out dvds (how I originally found her), she has a podcast with tons of great information ranging from health to motivation, and has a self help book around goals!
I’ve always thought, these fad diets just don’t work and what may work for one person, doesn’t always work for someone else. And well, Chalene proved that by going to the experts! From there she compiled all the information she learned and developed a program where you learn your diet. Not a diet in today’s term where you are restricted but in the traditional term of what you are actually eating and providing your body.
The program is called 131 Method. There is an online version and a book. I have both ha! The online program is great! It helps guide you and has so much information. If you like hearing the science and information about topics, they have a video for just about everything…sleep, hormones, intuitive eating, motivation to keep you going and so many others!
I will say it’s not easy and you have to go in with the proper mindset. There are no rules, just helpful guidelines that you choose if you want to follow. It’s not restrictive and really, you make up the rules. Sounds amazing, right! The goal is to take the stress out of “dieting” and actually figure out what your body needs. The biggest piece of this program is determining what is causing you inflammation and healing your gut. I know everyone has talked about gut health but not so much inflammation.
You know that 5 to 10 lbs you’ve been trying to get off and nothing is working? Or you are suffering from chronic pain, breakouts, tummy issues…well it’s most likely inflammation. You know that yogurt that is oh so healthy or that quinoa you eat with your chicken or even oats, those can be causing you inflammation. Healthy foods are not always healthy for each person. For example, I loved greek yogurt and I ate plain greek yogurt every day with some PB2 or would smash some fruit up to mix in. Well come to find out, that yogurt was not my friend along with other dairy products. I also know I can’t eat too many tomatoes.
The other part of this program is incorporating fasting or intermittent fasting. Again, you choose how this works for you and if you want to do this part or not. Your diet, your rules! I thought, no way (picture arms crossed and that angry look your toddler gives you…that was me) but I listened to the information and decided, what the hell. Now, I know what you are thinking, you’ll starve, you will loose muscle, you won’t have any energy. Well that’s all false! You learn the tools to prep for a fast and how to actually fast. Honestly, I love when I have a 3 day fast. Sometimes it can be rough, if I didn’t prep correctly but generally, I feel so good. My skin looks great, I have more energy (yes, you read that correctly) and I look more lean. When you fast it’s not about weight loss, that’s just a temporary side affect because you are loosing water weight. The goal is giving your system a break then slowly incorporating foods back into your system and determining what is causing you inflammation.
The program is broken down into three phases for twelve weeks. Seems long but really it’s not that bad. The reason it’s broken into phases is to start the gut healing process but also eat how our bodies were meant to eat. Our ancestors did not always have the luxury of eating meat everyday or bread and definitely not the processed foods we love today!
The first phase is low carb, high fat. Dr Atkin’s had it right but the problem is, you’re not meant to be low carb all the time. Our bodies don’t always need all the protein, as much as people have you believe. Yes meat is good for you, fat is good for you and eggs are good cholesterol even the yolk. So eat the entire dang egg! The key is making sure you eat quality meats and healthy fats (raw nuts not roasted in oil’s or sugars, avocado’s, healthy mayo, etc). The goal is teach your body to become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner. Here your body will learn how to “eat” your stored fat aka ketosis. Dana loves this phase!
The second phase, is what I call a vegetarian phase. We still incorporate some meats, again it’s your program so you can do as much or as little as you want. We usually cut it down to 2 -3 times a week. Here you are eating more micronutrients and high fats. I know what you are thinking, I have to eat a lot of salads? Salads don’t agree with me! Well sure, you can eat salads but there are a variety of recipes that fill the void of meat. Just check out my meal planning section! Also, think that salad’s bother your stomach, well it’s possibly you may have a sensitivity but maybe you are missing an enzyme to help break it down. Tip, chop the salad into smaller bits and you may find your stomach does much better 🙂 Dana is not a fan of this stage but he understands the benefits.
The third phase, our favorite is called carb charge! Ok, it’s not just about eating all the carbs but instead phase the healthy carbs in so your body knows how to use them properly. I mean you are still eating “carbs” in all the phases as everything has carbs in it. This phase you are incorporating in a particular order. I know, sounds confusing but it’s really not! The program walks you through all of this!
Within these phases you are incorporating the various fasting methods, if you choose to do so. And yes, I still drink alcohol but I limit and I am selective. And yes, I still have a cookie or two here and there. Again, it’s YOUR program, if you eat something, either an apple or cookie, you know how you’ll body will react.
This biggest thing you’ll notice is your changing appetite, what you crave or don’t crave and your taste buds. Things that I thought I couldn’t live without, I rarely to never eat or drink!
This was a long post but I hope this was helpful. I’m not perfect in my eating but I try my best because I want to feel good and live as long as I can, at least what I can control. If you have questions, feel free to comment below or email us!
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