Kick Your Food Addiction to the Curb
Kick your food addiction to the curb and stop binge eating for good health! You really can take control of your eating and win the battle of the bulge by switching your body from carb burning to fat burning mode! Imagine never feeling ravenously hungry, never craving sugary, carb loaded sweets and actually turning your nose up at anything that even tastes like it has sugar in it while losing weight, gaining more energy and confidence in your life!
I was overweight my entire life. I am not kidding when I tell you that I’ve had the same body type, the big pot belly since I was 2. My mom has a picture of me in a bikini and I have chubby cheeks and legs. I could blame genetics and I could definitely blame my mom for feeding me carb-loaded sugary foods but I don’t and I won’t blame anyone.
Instead of continuing to complain about it, I decided to do something to change it and that sparked interest in learning about the low carb high fat or LCHF diet. Especially after I failed Weight Watchers last year! I failed because I was so damn hungry ALL-OF-THE-TIME! Starving our bodies is NOT the answer to losing weight and keeping it off because our bodies are not naturally designed to “let go” of calories and fat. It’s designed to store as much as possible to preserve us against famine. Years and years of evolution did this to our bodies and the good news is that we have not just one but TWO methods of burning fuel for our bodies!
We are Hybrids, just like our cars!
Hybrid cars are able to switch from using fuel or electricity to power the car and much like the cars, our bodies are the same way. We can burn fuel from carbs which is the body’s preferred method of fuel. The body easily breaks it down and burns it up, BUT when you put too much fuel, more fuel than your body can use at any given time, it has a unique system to store it instead of waste it. It will store it as body fat, which is why those of us who love donuts, chips, pasta and cakes have so much body fat. The body is sophisticated and will convert it to fat so if we ever starve, we can continue living by burning our fat stores.
When you switch the body into burning fat for fuel then the pounds literally melt away. The body will also stop craving carbs and sugars because it will realize that it has more than enough fuel when you follow the diet. The New Atkins for a New You Diet is not the same diet plan that came out years ago because you eat plenty of vegetables and healthy carbs, but it’s in gradual stages and you jump start your body into fat burning mode with the Induction Phase, which is where I recommend everyone to start.
Diet is a four-letter word
Diet is a four letter word and I hate to use it, especially since this is not a short-term way of eating for me and my family. This is a brand new way of life and the results are incredible! I was that crazy and deranged woman who resembled Dr. Banner and the Incredible Hulk (I would turn into Hulk and go nuts) if I didn’t eat every few hours because my blood sugar would drastically plummet without the constant carbs my body was screaming for every few hours. Did you know that your body becomes addicted to sugar and carbohydrates just like it can become addicted to nicotine or drugs?
I prefer to use the commonly used acronyms WOE (way of eating) and OWL (ongoing weight loss) when talking about the plan I personally follow. This way of eating teaches us how to make better choices and we learn how to take control of ourselves instead of letting our bodies determine how and what we eat. It sounds crazy, but you really can become a slave to your body if you don’t know how to control your body!
The first phase of Atkins is Induction and it teaches us to train our bodies to eat for nutrition and fuel while switching from carb burning to fat burning mode. We learn to control our hunger by feeding ourselves healthy fats which makes us feel full for longer periods of time and cutting carbs to the bare minimum. The best way to stop an addiction is to simply stop feeding it. This is not a calorie restricting diet or WOE like Weight Watchers or other diets.
The best of this WOE (way of eating) is that it’s not restrictive. That’s right, what you eat is your choice, but choosing to eat the foods that feed your cravings will have the same results they’ve always had. You will crave more and you will put on weight, mostly fat, if you continue to make poor choices. The best aspect is knowing that I can work my way back up to eating healthy carbs again, in slow phases, and I can slowly test which carbs have a negative effect on my body and appetite. This isn’t a NO carb diet, just low carb to start with and gradually work your way back to eating a moderate amount, if your body can tolerate it.
After the first 2 weeks of Induction, you can choose to move on to Phase 2 and add 5 more grabs of carbs to your daily intake. This means I can add 2 – 3 strawberries, 2 tbsp of peanut butter or a 3/4 cup serving of sunflower seeds in the shell as a snack or to accompany my meal. If I tolerate those well and continue to lose weight, then in another week or two, I can add cottage cheese, ricotta cheese or whole milk yogurt in place of the hard cheese that I was eating.
You get a huge variety of foods in this WOE and I have experimented with new ingredients and recipes. I never ate Spaghetti Squash until I started this WOE and I was surprised that I actually liked it and it filled me up! The best part is that I am 3 weeks in and I am not craving any carbs or sugars. I don’t feel tempted when my kids had birthday cake or when I pass by the baked goods in the grocery store. I don’t feel truly hungry anymore and I am in total control of when and what I eat because my body isn’t screaming for fuel. Besides, my body fat percentage is 50% so I have PLENTY of fuel to keep my body quiet for the time being!
The key to low carb diets is eating fat!
Cutting carbs and switching your body into fat burning mode is not as simple as you might think. It’s a very complicated process and our bodies work harder to burn the fat. With that said, you must be sure to track your macros (proteins, carbs and fats in grams) daily to make sure you hitting your target ranges. It’s easier than ever to do thanks to the invention of phone apps! I use the Atkins Carb Counter AND MyFitnessPal apps together because I am moderately active and increasing my daily exercise goals so I need to make sure I take in enough calories and the two apps make it easier for me to track it.
Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter (Kerrygold brand is my favorite) and heavy cream make you feel full and satisfied while giving your body the stuff it needs to break down fat and burn it up. Yes, your body needs fat to burn fat, remember – I said it was a complex process. I don’t know the exact science behind it but it works! You also have to make sure you hit your daily protein limits because our bodies need the amino acids in the protein to carry out the process. In layman’s and non-technical terms – you body will literally steal the stuff from your own muscles in a process called catabolism if you don’t give it enough protein daily to do it’s job.
You don’t want your body to break down it’s own muscles because it leads to a whole new set of problems. Did you know the heart is a muscle? It’s all muscle, minus the arteries, veins and valves. Do you think your body cares if it breaks down your heart in order to metabolize the fuel? People who have yo-yo dieted for years, and those who suffer from anorexia and starvation usually develop heart issues because a weakened heart can only work so long in it’s weakened state.
Learn to eat to live, don’t live to eat!
I openly admit that it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to learn to track my macros and I felt restricted when I first started out. I literally pouted because I knew I wouldn’t be eating brown rice and my favorite carb-loaded Korean foods ever again. But I also knew that Diabetes, liver issues and heart issues were creeping up on me and if I continued to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, then those issues would become my reality in the very near future.
Learn to eat to live and create a bright and healthy future rather than living to eat. It’s truly amazing to see how much time and energy is freed up when you are no longer addicted to food. It’s kind of similar to when I quit smoking 7 years ago because I didn’t realize how much time I actually spent smoking in a day and once I kicked the habit, I had more time to pursue other interests. The same is absolutely true for food addictions or any addiction!
I now realize how much time I spent obsessing over food, thinking about shopping for it, eating it, cooking it and worrying about it. Everything has changed and I now have time to workout, pursue new goals like going back to school and spending more time with my family doing things besides cooking and eating! And just like smoking, I didn’t realize the total cost factor of it all until recently.
The cheapest meal plan, ever!!
When I began this new WOE, I complained, moaned and groaned because I am a badass couponer. Yes, I really am, and there aren’t too many coupons or discounts on unprocessed foods. But there are a gazillion coupons for the processed foods, especially those made with hydrogenated oils! Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils are literally poison for your bodies so stay away from it!
My usual weekly grocery bill every week for my family of 5 was between $40 – $80, depending on whether I bought fresh meats and how much fresh produce I bought that week. Oh yes, we ate loads of fruits and veggies, but most of our fruits and veggies were carb heavy varieties like white potatoes, carrots, and bananas which have TONS of carbs and other such foods. (If you really LOVE fresh fruits and starchy vegs, then you can still have them in the later phases and you can have more if you exercise more.)
My first shopping trip was over $150 and that was just for one week! For some of you reading this, you might turn you nose up at me and laugh, but when you’re accustomed to spending half that amount, no matter what the actual figure would be, spending double is jaw dropping! I had to purchase items we never used before, like Kerrygold Irish Grass Fed Butter, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (you need the minerals in unrefined salts), uncured bacon (we actually eat the cured bacon instead), heavy whipping cream, coconut flour (it’s a small bag, but you only use a little at a time), meats, meats and more meats, hard cheeses, eggs (check prices at your local drug stores, they are better than grocery chains in price) and loads of lettuce, zucchini, green beans and other low carb salad toppings and condiments.
The second week was no better because I still spent about $130 and most of it was on meats, low carb vegetables and nuts for snacking as well as peanut butter (get the one with the only ingredient being peanuts). What I didn’t realize was that I was never hungry, seriously, never. I would feel hunger, as in, I should probably eat something, but not hunger like the HUN-GRAY, feed me or I’ll pass out kind of hunger. I also noticed I never felt the urge to want to stop and eat while I was out.
I used to love and I mean LOVE “treating” (poisoning) myself to McDonald’s fries when I would run errands. I would make up any excuse to need to eat lunch “on the run” and order a McDouble, fries and a Dr Pepper. Since I never feel that kind of hunger and I don’t crave carbs, I skip the drive-thru (it’s not even a thought) and save money by eating at home and save myself health issues by eating foods that actually feed my body instead of feeding my food addiction.
If I will be out and about running errands for a while, or during a mealtime, then my food goes along with me and the problem/temptation issue is resolved. So I save a buttload of money by not eating out at all and we don’t make plans to eat out much anyway. The food at home is so much better now that it’s not processed or full of preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce or artificial flavorings.
We don’t snack much either since meals are substantial and filling and the snacks that we do eat are healthy and filling. An example would be a hard boiled egg and a 1-inch cube of cheddar cheese or 2 tbsp of peanut butter (made from peanuts only) and a stalk of celery. These foods cost more in price, but when you learn to eat just a serving and you are satisfied (from the healthy fats) then the food lasts longer and costs less in the end. This WOE of eating is great when learning about healthy portion control. You aren’t required to weight foods but I advise that you do as well as measure when you pour out liquids, etc. Doing this will ensure that you keep your portions and servings right and will stretch your budget even farther.
I won’t lie, whole and unprocessed or minimally processed foods are way more expensive than the ultra processed stuff that will ultimately kill you. Truth be told, I think that there’s a whole conspiracy theory about our government and the way they do things. The food pyramid guide tells us to load up on carbs, sugars and to stay away from fats. This is the perfect recipe for Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity and not surprisingly, big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and clinics make a buttload of money off people who have these diseases. So telling us to eat more means they will ensure future earnings when we follow these guidelines and fall ill.
My best advice to you is to stop feeding yourself crap, junk and shit you can’t pronounce or spell and start eating whole, natural and clean foods!! Healthy people don’t make hospitals and clinics money because they don’t need medications, testing supplies or hospitalization! Becoming fully informed and fully educated about this way of eating is the very best gift you can give yourself. Most people fail to lose weight, get healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle for lack of knowledge rather than lack of willpower or support. Knowledge really is power and the information is so easy to access so get started today!
Employers, health insurance companies and incentives to get healthy
Our health insurance companies LOVE it when we get healthy because we save them so much money a year! My husband’s employer, HEB loves it so much that they hold a yearly Slim Down Showdown contest and the grand prize winner gets $10,000!! I would enter but you have to travel to a bootcamp in San Antonio and you need to lose a seriously substantial amount of weight, more than my total 87 lbs. to have a chance to compete for the grand prize. Besides I am really not the type of person who likes to be in the limelight or who wants to spend time away from my family for a week. But for those of you who find this appealing, hurry to enter since the deadline to apply is November 1st! Just click the link at the beginning of the paragraph to apply online!
Each employee or spouse of HEB who does the yearly health screening and shows improvement or stays within the healthy ranges gets discounts on yearly health insurance premiums and sometimes we can earn a cash bonus too! Check with your employer or your significant other’s employer for benefits, perks, discounts for gym memberships and also check with your health insurance plan to see what is covered or partially covered.
Ways to save on this new WOE
With some planning and minimal prep work, you can afford to eat this way and save yourself so much more than just money in the long run. To save money on groceries while getting started, watch the sales ads in your local stores. My grocery store has what’s called “loss leaders” every week, items that run on special sales to “lure” us into the stores to shop. It’s their competitive edge to get us to come back week after week. Things like chicken leg quarters were recently as cheap as 77¢ per pound so I stocked up and bought a few packs. I tend to purchase multiple packages of the meats when they are super cheap and freeze them. I also use a FoodSaver vacuum sealer for long-term freezer storage to ensure that my meats won’t suffer from freezer burn and have to be tossed out which equals money in the trash can.
If you don’t want to invest in a FoodSaver then simply cook all of your meats all at once and store them in freezer bags and you save yourself the trouble of fully cooking meats for the week, which is a huge time saver. This is especially helpful if you are the type of person who likes weekly meal prep. Pinterest is a gold mine for anyone who wants LCHF meal prep ideas. I like variety so it doesn’t work so well for me but I am sure if I worked outside the home, then meal prep would be ideal and a total time saver!
Vegetables are a bit tricky because you really can’t stock up because they don’t keep for very long. I’ve started experimenting with growing my own vegetables at home. I mostly started with green onions and they are doing great but the real challenge is growing my romaine lettuce. I keep the small inner leaves and stem from each head and place them in shallow dish with water and will transplant them into a container and grow indoors while regularly fertilizing to feed it good nutrients. I am not sure how it’s going to work out, but if I am successful then I will save quite a few dollars that way since we eat one salad with 2 cups of romaine lettuce per serving.
If you are good at canning (I suck at it), then I recommend buying up green beans and any other vegetable suitable for this WOE and canning it for future use. I would make sure to look up low carb canning recipes as you don’t want to add sugar or other hidden carb creeping ingredients to your recipe. Buying these items in their peak season and canning them will save you loads of money!
Break the cycle of addiction and make your dreams come true!
Now that I am no longer addicted to food, and it only took about 2 weeks for me to notice that food is no longer the first thought of the day, I can focus on new goals for my life. I started regularly walking 2 miles a day before starting this new WOE but I decided to add more and go from being what’s termed “lightly active” to “moderately active.” I plan to go from Moderately Active to Very Active to Extremely Active as I build endurance and get stronger.
The levels of activity:
- Sedentary: Not much daily activity, little to no exercise (I started here)
- Lightly active: Daytime walking. 1 – 3 hours a week of exercise
- Moderately active: Active day job. 3 – 5 hours a week of exercise
- Very active: Intense exercise 6 – 7 days a week
- Extremely active: Training twice a day, very intense workouts
I am not entirely sure just where I fall right now, between lightly and moderately active, but when I think about where I started just 7 weeks ago, I’ve come a good distance already! I was literally a couch potato and now it’s hard for me to sit still! I am addicted to exercise because it makes me feel so good thanks to the endorphins! I replaced my food addiction with workout addiction. I use the term “addiction” loosely here because I don’t workout ALL DAY LONG, I do my daily workout and move on to other things during the day.
Coming Soon: Get fit and healthy on a tight budget series of posts and videos!!
I didn’t invest in a gym membership or buy expensive equipment when I first started my journey and if you are interested in getting fit on a budget then subscribe to my newsletter and my YouTube Channel because I am working on posts and videos to share how I do it all on my minimal budget! After all, I am The Korean Couponer, and I like to find creative and frugal ways to meet my personal goals in life! See the bottom of the post to subscribe and see additional information about me on social media!
Replace a bad habit with a good one!
If you were like me, eating carb loaded and sugary foods used to make me “feel good.” The pleasure center in my brain would elevate my mood temporarily when I ate the foods I craved and wanted when I still ate carbs and sugars. It’s the same with smoking, drugs and alcohol, we get a temporary boost of happiness or calm but it’s literally poison for our bodies to use sugar or carbs, drugs or alcohol. You also have to continously feed the addiction with more and more of the substance that produces those results. We can get the same exact feeling that lasts much longer with daily exercise and you won’t be left feeling guilty after you finish your workout!
Ever kick yourself in the ass for polishing off an entire chocolate cake or plate of pasta? I don’t ever feel bad for working out hard and breaking a sweat and I gain more than just an elevated mood after I work out. I gain confidence and courage and I feel really good about myself, even if I do still have lots of weight to lose and tons of muscle to build until I reach my ultimate goal. I know each workout is one step closer to being totally healthy and fit. Food addictions are self-sabotaging and I got tired of riding that crazy roller coaster so I jumped on a new ride with this WOE and exercise!
Health problems crush your dreams too?
I once again have goals of going back to school and becoming a nurse. I gave up that dream two years ago because I believed that my body couldn’t handle the physical demands of nursing in order to be a good nurse. Little did I know then that it is more than possible, but I needed to overhaul some things in my life first!
At the very least, I have two full years to lose weight, build up muscle and strengthen my body so I will be able to effortlessly turn patients, stay on my feet all day and turn my body into a fat burning machine before ever taking on the challenge of nursing school. I will also have had plenty of time to destress myself prior to taking it on which will ensure that I won’t be adding too much to my plate – pun intended!
I say have two years because my youngest won’t be in elementary school until 2018 so I won’t be applying for nursing school until he’s in school full-time to eliminate the added cost of childcare. Since we don’t plan to have anymore children, I want to enjoy these precious few years with him before I embark on my new career path. I will be taking 1 – 2 courses online each semester until then to get as many non-nursing courses out of the way to save myself time and stress when I am enrolled in the Nursing Program. A lighter course load is always better in my own personal opinion!
If you have had a dream crushed because of health issues then just know that some dreams are still possible with changes. I decided to make serious and lasting changes when my OB/GYN told me earlier this year that having another baby would pose a serious health risk to me and the fetus if I did get pregnant again. I had severe pre-eclampsia with my youngest and he had to be delivered 6 weeks early and spent 11 days in the NICU. I was fortunate to have been able to carry him so far along because pre-eclampsia can happen at any point in pregnancy. My blood pressure was 180/100 the day I was admitted and it took constant IV medications to get it under control so I could safely deliver the baby.
The fact that my risks were higher because of my obesity and high blood pressure was a total wake up call. I knew that it was my failure to do anything about it in the past, except ignore it and live in denial for many years, that led up to this door shutting in my face. The hardest aspect was acknowledging that these were things that I could control but failed to, time and time again, and I had no one to blame but myself for making those poor choices everyday.
Getting healthy and losing weight won’t increase my chances of having a healthy pregnancy because my age is also a factor (I am 38) and I am grateful for the 3 beautiful children that I do have so I shifted my focus to getting healthy, going back to school and helping others who desire to make lasting changes in their lives. Not a bad trade off in my opinion!
You get to start a brand new journey today!
Today is a brand new day and a brand new opportunity to switch directions and create the future you’ve always wanted!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.” – Lao Tzu
Set a small but attainable goal and achieve it. You will feel so much happier for it and it will give you the desire to achieve more.
Seven weeks ago I was confessing to you guys that I wasn’t sure I could even walk the half mile to take my kids to school and now I don’t even break a sweat so I am pushing myself to jog it as much as possible. I can’t jog the full mile, but with small increases and as long as I keep trying, I will go farther and faster. I notice my endurance increases with each attempt to push just a little bit more.
Don’t give up on your dreams, try and find ways to achieve it! No matter how many times you fail, get up and try, try again! I failed Weight Watchers last year but look at me now! Succeeding and loving my life for it! Join me on the journey to a healthy new you because the only thing you have to lose is the bad habits, food addictions, extra fat and health issues! You will gain so much more than just freedom and you can achieve more you could ever imagine when you kick your food addiction to the curb!!