The Truth About Dieting

Everyone has dieted. Maybe you are a serial dieter. Jumping from one fad diet to the next, wondering, “Why I can’t ever seem to sustain the results?” What is the issue? Why can’t we maintain the results we see from these trendy diets? We tend to place the blame within ourselves — we believe we fail because we are not disciplined enough. That is not true. The truth is most of us do not have the comprehensive knowledge + understanding of nutrition to successfully diet. And without that knowledge + understanding, we also cannot successfully maintain the results. The companies selling these diets leave out key points in their sales pitches (because lack of nutrition knowledge translates to more money in their pocket). Marketing for these trendy, fad diets twist information, quote things out of context, and lack truthfulness.

I have counted calories. I have done the “clean-food-only” diet. I have counted macronutrients. I have done intuitive eating. I have read the articles about the newest fad diets. The low-carb, the high-fat, the juice cleanses, the no-sugar, etc… and there’s things that these diets fail to address… and that’s the basic understanding of how a diet truly works.

 

healthy eating

 

First, let me start off by saying — you don’t ever need to diet. You are a human being + food is fuel. You are allowed to simply eat because you want to eat. You are allowed to consume the foods that taste good + make you feel good. There is no shame in eating! Ever, ever, ever.

If, for whatever reason, you are making the autonomous choice to diet, know that no diet is supreme or superior. If a way of eating works for YOU, makes you happy, fits conveniently into your life, and you can maintain it… that is what truly matters. THAT is the diet for you. If you’re vegan, keto, or a macro-counter, it doesn’t matter to me. My only care is that you are in alignment with your Highest self and doing what works best for YOU + your body.

Now let’s dig into the diet basics here, shall we?

A diet only works if it puts you into a caloric deficit.

Eating under your caloric maintenance level (in a caloric deficit) is the only way to lose weight. You can eat only cookies + pop-tarts (not that I’d condone it) for 28 days and if the calories you are consuming are below your maintenance level, you will lose weight. Thus, any diet you try will work, if you’re in a caloric deficit. If you are not in a deficit, you won’t lose weight. Dieting is merely the management of your caloric intake. It’s all about portion control and being conscious of how much you’re consuming.

Eating times really don’t matter if you are consuming your allotted  daily calories.

It doesn’t matter if you are eating 1800 calories in 3 big meals or 6 small meals. What matter is that the meals you consume leave you satiated and your meal timing fits into your schedule with ease. If your work schedule isn’t conducive to 6 small meals and you find yourself eating 2 big meals and a snack when you can… that’s okay! If you are getting your calories in for the day, that is the success. Do what works best for you. This same premise goes for Intermittent Fasting. Some are under the impression that you don’t have to adjust your total caloric intake for the day to lose weight with IF, and that shortening the eating window alone will help you lose weight. Wrong. Even with intermittent fasting, you need to be in a caloric deficit to see results. If you’re miserable and irritable in the morning if you don’t eat breakfast, don’t do IF. It’s that simple. If you are never really hungry in the morning and you don’t typically feel hungry until lunchtime give IF a try and see how you like it. 

Deprivation is not the way to go. Moderation is key.

Deprivation can result in a poor relationship with food, feelings of shame or guilt, and can also lead to rebounds. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods for weeks at a time typically increases your cravings for those foods, which can set you up for failure when you’re presented with those foods during your dieting window. Instead of deprivation, we should focus on moderation in a diet. As previously mentioned, diets only work in a caloric deficit, so it the portion size of what your are eating matters more significantly than the food itself. Give yourself the grace to have a piece of chocolate daily, if that’s what you typically crave, instead of banning it all together.

Be aware, junk foods are typically higher calories and won’t necessarily leave you feeling full or satisfied. They will probably leave you feeling unfulfilled most days and won’t allow for your other meals to be calorie-dense enough to satiate your hunger. I like to follow an 80/20 rule. Most of my meals come from nutrient-dense, whole foods. A small portion of my foods come from the foods I’m craving on a day-to-day basis. 

If you LOVE carbs and you go on a low-carb diet for 6 weeks, do you know what will probably happen after those 6 weeks? You’ll get your first taste of carbs and you’ll be unable to resist the temptation of anything carb-filled. There’s a chance you’ll lose control and put the weight back on. If you love carbs, are happier + more personable consuming carbs (hey, hello, it me!), and have more energy consuming carbohydrates — don’t cut them out of your diet — just pay attention to your portion sizes. Moderation is key — always!

You can have alcohol, sugar, and your favorite foods and still lose weight.

Believe it or not, alcohol and sugar are not the enemy. This is where most diets lose us — they take us to the extremes. They mark certain foods as “bad” and we begin to feel this crazy guilt surrounding our eating choices. This goes back to my moderation point, if you stay in your caloric deficit, you’ll still lose weight — even if you have a cookie or a big ass glass of wine after a hard day at work (please have that glass of wine if you need it, girlfriend). 

If it makes you miserable, it’s not maintainable, and it’s not worth your time.

If you are one week into a 28-day diet and you are already hating it, your food is too bland, you are choking down your meals, and you’re drooling over anything that looks like it has SOME flavor… you’re setting yourself up for failure. That diet is making you miserable. It is unsustainable + there’s a great chance you’ll fall off the wagon before the 28 days is over. What are the chances that you keep up these new eating habits when your 28 days is complete? My guess is zero percent, because you’re not enjoying it. If you can’t envision yourself carrying on with this new way of eating past the completion date — kick it to the curb immediately. It’s not worth your time if it’s not maintainable. Find a diet that allows you the flexibility to eat in a way that you can maintain, even as you decide to no longer diet (or increase your calories to maintenance or a surplus). Sustainable dieting + consistency > hardcore restriction for short periods of time.

Consistency is more important that perfectionism.

I find that many of us have an “all-or-nothing” mindset when it comes to dieting. We have no idea how to balance it all. If we mess up and over-eat on one occasion, or consume one “restricted” food, we feel defeated and are ready to throw in the towel. Dieting and your metabolism is a continuum. It balances out over time. If you’re off on one meal (or even one day) it will even out in time if you get right back on track. BUT, if you throw yourself a pity and let one meal trigger you into days or weeks of overeating, you’ll have a lot of ground to make up for. 

If you’re consuming 1800 calories per day, and one day you eat 3000 calories. Why do we find eating 3K calories a day for a week a more reasonable response instead of just saying “Oops!” and getting back on the 1800 calorie train? 

So, babe, let’s allow the truth to drive our decisions when it comes to dieting. You don’t need to cut carbs, ban sugar, or stop drinking wine. If you are in a place where you are autonomously choosing to diet — to feel better, healthier — whatever the reason, choose the diet that will work best for you. Choose the diet that will be maintainable in the long-run, because we know that consistency + moderation is the foundation to success when it comes to finding a nutrition plan that works. Don’t worry about meal times, labelling foods “good” or “bad,” or cutting out your favorite foods to lose weight. That’s unnecessary stress that you do not need to add to your plate (pun not intended, but I’m actually quite proud of it 😉 ).

frauen flirten haare More hints additional resources free dating sites in new york mujer busca hombre partido san martin single frauen mallorca contactos mujeres en eibar http://www.tbsblaw.com/altaver/3733 catholic dating rules site de rencontre avec photo gratuit Please know babes, you are worthy + more than enough in any shape, size, form. Always.

Xx,

Leta

Lasik: The Down Low on My Surgery + Recovery

Last week I had Lasik surgery! I am so happy that I did — seeing with my own eyes is an amazing thing! I received a lot of questions regarding the surgery itself and the recovery process. Here’s the down low on my Lasik surgery and the first seven days of recovery.

First, let me say that Lasik is easily one of the best decisions I have ever made! (I feel like I say that a lot, but Lasik was definitely worth the investment and it’s just been over a week.) My post-op consultation was 15 hours after my Lasik surgery, and at that time my eyes were already seeing at 20/20 vision.

The Surgery

Where did you get it done?

I went to LasikPlus in Lincoln Park and Dr. Aymond performed my surgery.

How much did Lasik surgery cost?

There are varying levels of cost. It depends on your eyes + your prescription. You receive a cost estimate at your consultation (which is free of charge). There are three tiers of lasers used for Lasik. With my vision prescription and astigmatism, I needed the third-tier laser (AKA the strongest + most expensive one, of course). In total, my Lasik was $4,500. But, with the third-tier laser, there is also a lifetime warranty. So, in the case that my eyes ever regress (which is rare) I can go back to LasikPlus and have Lasik again for free — which I think is a stellar deal. I also have United Healthcare Vision Insurance. UHC Vision partners with LasikPlus, so I received an $800 discount on the surgery, bringing my discounted total to $3,700.

*LasikPlus also partners with Care Credit, a company with which you can receive financing for your surgery. 12 month financing is 0% interest, however, there are also longer term payment plans if that works better for you.*

How long did the surgery take?

I was at LasikPlus for about an hour and twenty minutes in total for my procedure, but most of that time was spent signing consent + liability forms, or waiting for the anti-anxiety medication + numbing eye drops to kick in. In total, the laser itself takes about 20 seconds per eye. I was in the procedure room for maybe two minutes in total.

Do they put you under?

No, they do not put you under. You are awake for the surgery, but they do offer anti-anxiety medication if you are freaked out (I opted for the meds). The pressure that is put on your eyes is enough to make you lose vision, so while you are awake, you don’t see much except for the lights on the machine. (I didn’t see anything when they did my right eye, it wasn’t until they did my left eye that I was able to vaguely see the lights).

Did it hurt?

The Lasik surgery itself did not hurt. I was uncomfortable, mainly due to my anxiety. The 6 hours after surgery were where I felt the most discomfort. I wouldn’t categorize it as pain, my eyes were just severely dry and it was uncomfortable to be awake (yes, it was uncomfortable to even have my eyes shut).

Now that I have answered the questions that I received, I want to dive into the recovery aspect of Lasik. I was unaware of how long the recovery process actually is and I want to make sure you are aware in case you are considering Lasik for yourself.

Recovery: The Night of the Surgery

After the surgery, you must spend the following 4-6 hours with your eyes closed. It is preferred that you sleep during this time, but if you are unable to sleep, you are asked to simply sit and keep your eyes closed. This is when I felt the most discomfort. At the surgery, you are provided with three varying eye drops. An antibiotic to take every 2 hours while awake on the day of surgery and artificial tear drops to take hourly while awake on the day of surgery. (The third drops start on the day after surgery along with Hydroeye capsules).

Recovery: The Days Following Surgery

The day after surgery, you start taking 4 Hydroeye capsules per day (for 30 days). You also use gel tear drops at wake and bedtime (for 30 days). Four times a day for 10 days you take the antibiotic eye drops and you use the artificial tear drops four to six times a day (for 30 days).

For seven days after treatment, you are not allowed to touch your eye socket. You also cannot get water in your eyes for 7 days — no swimming, saunas, or hot tubs either. You must wear goggles (provided) to sleep and in the shower for 7 days. Want to workout? You can, just be careful not to get sweat in your eyes. If you do, use artificial tear drops to flush out any sweat from the eye. They advise wearing a sweatband during activity (I didn’t even know sweatbands were still a thing?). Makeup lovers like me, be warned — you cannot wear eye makeup for 7 days (unless you purchase new makeup, in which you can use new makeup after 3 days).

You will have red spots on the white part of the eye (a lady at work told me I looked like I got in a fight). I am a week and a half post-Lasik and I still have red spots, but the redness has dramatically lessened. The doctors advise that the red spots can take 3-6 weeks to completely go away.

For me, the extreme dryness was really only on the day after surgery. I felt significant improvement on day 2 and on day 3. Now, I’m only using the eye drops as directed (whereas on day 2-3 I was overusing the artificial tears, which my doctor said was perfectly fine if I needed them).

I’ll do a follow up post once I hit 30 days post-Lasik, but this is a high level recap of how the the first seven days of recovery went.

Xx,

Leta

P.s. If you have more questions about Lasik that I didn’t answer in my post, comment your question below + I will be sure to answer it on my next follow up post.

Yoga: More Than Just an Asana Practice

When most people think of yoga, they think of the asana practice of yoga. The physical practice of stepping on your mat and moving from posture to posture to strengthen, lengthen, and create space in your body. But… Yoga is more than just an asana practice.

The asana practice is only 1/8th (or 12.5%) of what a yoga practice truly entails. In yogic philosophy, there are eight limbs (or parts) of yoga and the physical practice of asana is not even #1 (in fact, it’s number three!).

Triangle Pose

 

I think a lot of people miss out on the greatness of yoga because they assume that to be a yogi, you have to be a really flexible contortionist. That really breaks my heart, because I know the healing and the self-actualization that occurs with a complete yoga practice, one that encompasses all eight limbs.

What are the eight limbs of yoga?

  1. Yama (Universal Moral Codes)
  2. Niyama (Personal Observances)
  3. Asana (Physical Postures)
  4. Pranayama (Breath Control)
  5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the Senses)
  6. Dharana (Concentration)
  7. Dhyana (Meditative Absorption)
  8. Samadhi (Englightenment)

It is with these eight limbs of yoga that we can learn to live a more mindful, conscious, enlightened, and blissful life. These limbs were outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras more than 1,700 years ago. Today, they still hold so much weight and value in how we live our lives.

What do they all mean?

Here’s a high level download of the 8 limbs of yoga:

Yamas

The first limb of yoga is the yamas or the moral code by which all beings should live their lives. They deal with our integrity and our moral (+ ethical) compass. The yamas are often described as our external observances, in other words, how we interact in the world. There are five yamas.

1. Ahimsa: nonviolence

2. Satya: truthfulness

3. Asteya: non-stealing

4. Brahmacharya: moderation

5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness

Niyamas

The second limb of yoga is the Niyamas. Like the yamas, the niyamas are observances, but the niyamas are internal or personal observances. The niyamas are disciplines that we place into our own lives. There are five niyamas.

1. Saucha: cleanliness

2. Santosha: contentment

3. Tapas: self-disciplines

4. Svadhyaya: self-study

5. Isbara pranidhana: surrender to God/the divine

Asana

The third limb of yoga is Asana. Yogis believe that your body is simply the vessel that contains your soul/spirit, so it is imperative to care for your vessel. With the discipline of a physical practice, yogis are able to create not only a stronger body, but also a stronger mind + spirit.

Vinyasa - One-legged Dog

 

Pranayama

The fourth limb of yoga is Pranayama. This is breath control or breath work. In Sanskrit, Prana means “life force” or “life energy.” Yogis have long believed that your breath is your life force, and the ability to control it and master it can rejuvenate + elongate your life.

Pratyahara

The fifth limb of yoga is Pratyahara. This limb is based around the withdrawal of the senses. It is taking a step back and withdrawing our awareness from the outside world. When we take the focus off of external stimuli, we are able to look inward and objectively understand our reactions to the world. I like to think of Pratyahara as the ability to control your reactions and not let external disturbances (sounds, events, circumstances) get underneath your skin. You withdraw and do not let external stimuli have power over your inner peace.

Dharana

The sixth limb of yoga is Dharana or concentration. Dharana is the concentration of the mind on one focal point. It is a practice of intense focus. When we are able to concentrate fully on one thing, we are able to quiet the mind. This is an integral limb of yoga, because without the ability to find intense focus, we will be unable to move forward to the next limb of yoga, meditation. Dharana is like the prerequisite to meditation. Once you are able to control your focus, you will be able to meditate.

Dhyana

The seventh limb of yoga is Dhyana or meditation. Dhyana is the meditative state in which you still the mind + body. This may sound similar to Dharana, but the difference is that with Dharana, you are intensely focusing, and with Dhyana, you release the control and focus. In Dhyana, you are reach a state of awareness without focus. You are fully in the present moment. Your mind is quiet and you have reached a spiritual and mindful stillness.

You simply “are.”

Samadhi

The eighth and final limb of yoga is Samadhi. Samadhi is enlightenment. It is reaching the highest level of consciousness. Samadhi is often explained as a state of pure bliss or ecstasy. In Samadhi, you transcend the Self and you realize that interconnectedness of all things. Oneness. Peace. It is this peace that is truly what most of us are looking for in life — in a deeper fulfillment and meaning of life. It is the culmination of all eight limbs to reach the final point of bliss.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a complete yoga practice entails, I hope you re-think being (or becoming) a yogi.

Xx,

Leta

P.s. Still not sure on stepping on your mat and calling yourself a yogi? Read about the life lessons I’ve learned from yoga and maybe you’ll reconsider.