To Compensate or Not to Compensate?
Do you ever wonder how the contestants on the show The Biggest Loser lose weight consistently each week? Sure, there is a lot we don’t get to watch but from watching the last couple episodes I realize it’s because they are consistently being motivated and show dedication even when it gets tough. It is because they are always trying new things and are open to change. The trainers surprise them with different workouts and different challenges of the week, and always have different chefs coming in to show how to eat healthy without giving up flavour and how to shop on a budget.
Most of this blog is going to focus on how we can create healthy living and facilitate good behaviours starting in the kitchen. The kitchen is so important for setting healthy goals because it teaches us to move the bad out, and bring the good nutrient rich foods in. Start by emptying your cupboards and fridge of foods that are prepackaged in sugars and salts and throw away any processed foods. Fill up with healthy grains and lean proteins, and fresh fruit and veggies where you can easily grab them.
When talking about a healthy diet, there is no way we can lose weight or be healthy if all we do is eat a diet that isn’t nutritious. Have you ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? Well it’s true! And from the article posted in Time Magazine called Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin also explains this. Did you know that you would have to bike for 2 hours a session, 4 times a week at an intensity of moderate to vigorous activity just to eat one Big Mac from McDonalds… WHICH is usually eaten within 5 minutes… Is that 5 minutes worth all of your hard work just to balance your calories in and calories out? Shocking I know!
Don’t get me wrong because exercise is great for you! I REPEAT, GREAT FOR YOU! Don’t just think “well this article and blog say I shouldn’t exercise to lose weight”, because you definitely should, it is that you should be more mindful of what you put in your mouth after the bout of exercise. There are many different factors that play a role for a healthy lifestyle and exercise is one of the greatest, we all know that it helps lower our risks of disease, improves our quality of life, helps improve self-confidence and when you watch your calorie intake you can maintain and lose weight but also there are many more fantastic changes for the body. This blog is really about how to tackle the kitchen, and how we can self-monitor our progress.
Research shows that those who are in the process of making change start to do what is called “compensation.” It is GREAT to see that so many people are making changes and showing ambition and dedication towards their goals but how can we prevent this thing called compensation? People tend to start making compensations after about week 8 of change and what this means is that we only exercise or eat healthy just to indulge later… Life happens, and birthdays and celebrations come and go, so yeah this mindfulness before an event can be a great idea and help you be the person you want to be, but do we find ourselves doing this more than we should? Will this help us get to our ultimate goal? Although, I get it! It makes sense that this would happen because a lot of people usually find what works for them, whether it be the same breakfast or same dressing on their salad, or even the same workout and stick with it for as long as they can. The problem with this is becoming so bored or that it is so repetitive you start to fall off and lose track of your real goals and what really matters to you. How can we prevent this from happening?
Easy! Keep things fun and exciting with new recipes, new workout buddies, new music on your Ipod, try a new class at your fitness facility and even looking for gyms that offer free day passes for first time of admission. Break each day, each meal and each session at the gym down into small goals that lead to small wins, and facilitate new behaviours in your home or work environment by keeping healthy foods visible and motivational boards where you can see it. The possibilities are endless, so spice up your life!
Since I am a huge follower of The Biggest Loser, here is a delicious and fun recipe that will definitely keep you on your toes for a while!
This is a featured recipe taken from The Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook by Chef Devin Alexander.
When I’m cooking for myself, I prepare this potato with medium salsa and it has a nice kick. Feel free to use mild or hot, as many of the contestants do.
When it comes to topping the potato with salsa, start out with 1/3 cup of fresh salsa and drain the liquid from it. It will likely only be about 1/4 cup (maybe a bit more) in the end. Note that the toppings won’t fit inside the potato – they will spill out over the top, making it even more decadent to eat!
1 (8-ounce) sweet potato
4 ounces extra-lean ground turkey
3/4 teaspoon all-natural salt-free fajita or Southwest seasoning
Olive oil spray (propellant free)
1/3 cup fresh salsa, drained (from the refrigerated section)
2 tablespoons jarred all-natural roasted green salsa
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
Using a fork, poke the potato 5 times on all sides and place it in a microwave-safe bowl or dish. Cover the dish loosely with a paper towel. Microwave it on high for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the potato (it will be very hot) and continue microwaving for 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until cooked and tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the turkey and seasoning.
Place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, lightly mist it with the olive oil spray. Cook the turkey for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink, breaking it into bite-size chunks as you do.
Cut an opening in the potato that stretches 1 inch from each end of the potato and deep enough to open the potato completely without cutting it in half. Put it in a medium shallow bowl. Stuff the potato with the fresh salsa, then the turkey, then the green salsa. Top it with the yogurt. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Per serving: 342 calories, 35 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates (13 g sugar), 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 304 mg sodium.
Be the person you want to be!