Good morning and happy Friday my friends!
And not just any old Friday, but another Did You Know Friday!
Not sure what I’m talking about? Start here!
Ah, the summer months. These hot and sunny days leave me craving nothing but ice cream, icy cold beverages, and salads.
I think I could seriously eat a salad for every meal during the summer and be completely content. Just as long as there’s still ice cream for dessert. 😉
But what if I told you a salad could actually be leading to weight loss troubles, or even weight gain?
It happens every year. A few too many cookies during the holidays, a lackluster workout schedule, and the threat of revealing a “bikini body” looming overhead for the summer. This leads to detoxes, diets, and every other cliche “summer slim-down secret” in the books.
So you ditch your usual dinner for the epitome of health foods, a salad. And loathe each and every kale-filled bite.
Could this actually be causing you more harm than good? I’ve talked about the effect stress plays on the body in this post, and am here to spread the word again. This time about the stress and weight gain connection.
Here’s some of the ways that eating and hating a salad could be worse than eating a well-balanced meal you enjoy.
Oh hormones. Probably one of the most overlooked and misunderstood parts of the body. Serving as the key to unlocking most functions, hormones influence everything from mood, sleep, energy levels, and you guessed it weight.
When most people think of stress, they think of things such as work, family issues, or finances. Did you ever think of overexercising, restricting calories, or worrying about losing weight as stress? Your body can’t tell the difference between being chased by a bear or being stuck in traffic when it comes to stress, and carries out the same chain of events to compensate.
This means that constantly stressing out about fitting in a bathing suit, trying the newest diet craze, and poor self-image all effect your health negatively.
The hormone cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone”, signals the body to store fat and eat more to prepare energy stores for after a stressful event. Like I said, your body can’t tell the difference between stress, and will react the same way if it is a bear attack or trying on a bathing suit in the fitting room.
Bottom Line: Increased stress from any source can increase cortisol, and lead to more fat storage.
Not only can the stress of losing weight affect hormones, but also your overall mood towards your diet. You eat a salad every day because you know it’s healthy. What you’re really craving is a big plate of chicken fajitas (or at least now I am)
Not listening to what your body craves adds more stress to it, and can lead to an overall feeling of deprivation. Saying you “need” to eat a salad to lose weight is not only wrong, but sets you up to crave everything else you “can’t have”.
You know how it goes, what you can’t have you want more. Give me a rule and I’ll break it. Labeling foods as “good” and “bad” can create this kind of an environment for many, which can lead to food binges, regret, and low self esteem. While I’m not advocating to eat cookies, candy, and processed junk every day, allowing yourself the freedom to choose what to fuel your body with is a much better tactic than making foods off limits.
Bottom Line: Fuel your body with the good foods that it craves, rather than labeling what you “need to” or “can’t” eat to be healthy.
“It’s okay I had a salad for lunch.”
One phrase I’ve heard and uttered myself one (thousand) too many times before bellying up to some outrageous serving of ice cream, plate of fries, or sleeve (yes, sleeve) of Girl Scout Cookies.
That feeling of deprivation can also leave you feeling like you “earned” a particular meal or food, and can lead to consuming more calories than if you had a more substantial meal than just a salad.
Bottom Line: Eating “just a salad” can lead to eating more calories later on.
So should I eat a salad or what?!
Yes and no. Of course there’s no right answer! 😉
Here’s how to decide what is best when it comes to eating for health:
-Eat the food your body craves. If that’s a salad, eat a salad. If that’s chicken and asparagus, eat chicken and asparagus.
-Enjoy what you’re eating. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want, without labeling foods as “bad” or “good”. Eat what makes YOU feel good.
-Stress less. Stop trying to follow strict rules or reaching a certain number on the scale. Eat and do what is good for health rather than weight loss to avoid the harmful effects of stress.
Ready for more? Link-up & check out the other great articles below!
Make it a great day!
What foods do you crave in the summer?
Salad fan or no?