(The clean version, but you get the point.)
Muffin Top: a generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging flesh (fat) when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing. (Thank you for horrifying every last one of us Wikipedia).
Before my bout with walking pneumonia I was in very good shape - eating right, daily 2 mile walks, Pilates, Jillian Michaels - it was the best I've ever felt in my life. Then I got sick and couldn't do anything at all for at least 2 months...which led to falling out of the groove. Oh the ding-dang groove. Lately I've noticed my pants aren't fitting so well, my posture is off (poor stomach and lower back muscles = slouch), and I find myself craving a lot of junk food. One evening last week I found myself in front of a Nordstrom fitting room mirror aka home of the reality check - ever looked at yourself closely in one of those things? Suffice it to say I came out of there with renewed vigor to deal with, how shall we say, "un-toned areas". Only to be met less than an hour later by a wall of Thrifty Ice Cream on sale 2 for $4 . Halp!
Fall/Winter is a time when I get so tempted to slack off. It's a combo of shorter days (less daylight to work out in), the Holidays (pardon me while I indulge in cookies and chocolate), and cooler weather. Once I get unmotivated, I have a plethora of excuses that help me stay there. But once I get a fire lit to change it's full steam ahead. This week I've started with brisk 2 mile walks and today was my first day back at Pilates (where I took an absolute beating in the first 15 minutes and kept 911 on speed dial for the whole hour. I was mortified). Eating habits are changing around here, too.
When I incorporate the following Fat Burning Foods into my diet, along with regular exercise, the results are excellent.
- Oatmeal - not the sugary kind. If you are gluten-free, there are varieties out there for us, too. Mix it with berries and you're good to go. Keeps you full, is rich in fiber and wards off carb cravings...like muffins or bagels for breakfast.
- Nuts - stay away from the salted varieties, though. I replace chocolate bar cravings with a handful of almonds, walnuts or pecans. They're a tasty, crunchy snack and great with some veggies for an afternoon snack.
- Berries - it's not the best season right now, but if you can find some blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries they are an excellent source of fiber and provide just that little bit of sweet.
- Eggs - I'm careful not to overload because of the cholesterol factor, but will eat them boiled for lunch a couple/few times per week. Eggs help your body to metabolize fat - if you're worried about the yolks eat the whites.
- Turkey, well really all Lean Meats and Fish - I was surprised to find out that my body burned more calories digesting protein than carbs or fat. I thought it would be the other way around. Once I was armed with that info it was lean cuts of turkey on gluten-free bread with lettuce and bit of mayo for lunch a few times/week. A half or whole sandwich with a side of apples is a beautiful thing. Salmon or tuna are also high in protein and great for your immune system.
- Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts - Think green. They're very low in calories, but high in fiber. For dinner I'll eat a salad and a lean piece of fish or chicken, and the desire for potatoes (my weakness) is much less.
- On the green note - Green Tea - not only is it good for your skin and overall health, green tea is filled with antioxidants that speed metabolism. I've upped my intake from one to two cups per day. Saddle bags be gone!!
- Avocados - mmmmkay? LOVE This one is such a relief - high in fats that are good for your health, they're also rich in fiber. Great on that turkey sandwich, or in the salad!
- Beans/Legumes - but not refried. Sorry! Think black or pinto beans. They're high in protein and fiber while being low in calories. This means they help you tone up and lose weight. Music to my ears!
Onward and upward....anyone who wants to throw in with me, let me know. It's great to be able to share snack and meal ideas, as well as encourage one another to stay in the game - even if it's over the internet.