Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the amazing feedback regarding Part: 1 of our Q & A. You all know how much I love sharing everything with you and the fact that you’ve all taken this knowledge and have shared it with your friends and family as well just makes me so happy!
So, I’m back today with Part 2! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @janine.whiteson for fun content like this all the time. I’m really trying to share recipes, cooking tips and a glimpse behind the scenes at my life as a nutritionist, mom and wife!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: PART TWO
Q: I’ve been reading a lot lately about the importance of fiber in your diet? I know that fiber does, but why is it so important when it comes to weight loss?
A: Ahh, yes! One of my favorite things to talk about is the importance of fiber! I’ve been preaching about the “power of pooping” for years! First things first….fiber does help keep you “regular” and when you are regular, you are healthier! Because fiber is indigestible, it binds with fat, calories, toxins and cholesterol and excretes them all out of your body! Basically, you can naturally cleanse your body daily by coupling fiber with carbohydrates and protein!
Additionally, recent studies are finding that eating more soluble fiber can also help you to lose belly fat (the most dangerous fat to carry). One study recently linked a 10 gram increase in daily soluble fiber intake to a 3.7% lower risk of gaining belly fat. That’s because soluble fiber such as beta-glucan mixes with water to form a viscous, gel-like substance that slows down how fast the stomach releases digested food into the gut!
When my clients are trying to really lose weight and decrease their bloat I tell them that fiber is their friend! It reduces your appetite while keeping you fuller longer! I always recommend that my clients eat a fiber rich snack sometime in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. This way, they don’t go into suppertime starving! It saves so many calories.
A good rule of thumb is to try and incorporate 25-35 grams of fiber a day into your snacks and meals. You’ll flush your system, reduce your appetite, stay fuller longer and decrease your belly fat! Need I say more!!
Q: What exactly is intermittent fasting and are you a proponent of it?
A: It seems that intermittent fasting is all the rage right now. Generally it means that you consume all of your daily calories within a certain window of time and choose to fast and eat/drink nothing during a larger window of time. More specially, people who are practicing intermittent fasting eat within an 8 hour window of time and fast for 16 hours out of the day. For example, all your meals would be consumed between 12pm and 8pm or 11am and 7pm, etc.
Intermittent fasting isn’t really considered a diet because you eat your normal amount of food, you’re just switching up your pattern of eating. Recent evidence suggest that this circadian rhythm fasting approach is effective when it comes to weight loss because most likely you will end up consuming less calories a day than normal because of your eating cut-off time!
When my clients ask me if I support intermittent fasting, I usually tell them that’s it complicated! Lots of studies support its effectiveness in terms of weight-loss but I really stress the importance of making extremely healthy food choices if they choose to partake.
I like suggesting to my clients that they do a “version” of intermittent fasting. I think a healthy well-balanced breakfast is necessary so I encourage them to eat all of their meals between the windows of 8am and 4pm or 10am and 6pm…. an earlier start to their intermittent fasting. This seems to work out great because I always encourage them to stop eating daily by around 7pm anyway; much before they go to bed!
In a nutshell, I can green light a “version” of intermittent fasting with a huge emphasis on making quality food choices during the process.
Q: I have a major sweet tooth and there is no way around it! Plus, the more I think about not eating sweets, the more I want them! Do you have any healthy ideas for giving into my cravings in a better/healthy way?
A: Ahh! I feel your pain! Jonathan and both of my sons all have SUCH a sweet tooth. That’s OK! There are lots of ways to eat “for” your cravings without eating “around” your cravings. More on that in a minute… The first thing I would do is to make sure that your blood sugar is not too low. Not a lot of people know this but lots of times when you are craving something sweet, it’s your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Make sure that you’re meals throughout the day consist of a good combination of healthy protein, fat and fiber! In fact, replacing sugary foods with protein is an excellent way to stabilize your blood sugar level. Depending on the food, a protein rich meal can actually slow down the absorption of sugar in the body and prevent glucose spikes, which in turn, can reduce sugar cravings dramatically.
Ok, back to eating FOR your cravings instead of around them… What I tell my clients is that when you are craving chocolate, instead of eating an entire molten lava cake, eat a small piece of DARK chocolate (70% cacao) with a cup of tea or a piece of fruit with Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of cacao nibs mixed in. This way, you’re curbing that sweet tooth with added health benefits! Cacao nibs are high in magnesium and small amounts of dark chocolate have lots of other health benefits too! Just because you’re craving sweets, doesn’t mean you have to derail your whole day and all the healthy choices you’ve made. Be present and mindful of your decisions. Some other healthy ideas to satisfy your sweet tooth and eat for your cravings are:
• Try frozen whole fruit smoothies with Greek yogurt, frozen berries and cinnamon or cacao. This is a high fiber, high protein sweet treat that will kick your craving and fill you up!
• How about frozen grapes? Simple yet effective!
• Try dates! For thousands of years people have been eating dates. Try them with a piece of cheese for a well-balanced sweet treat.
• A sweet snack I like to suggest to my clients is frozen banana bites dipped in a tiny bit of peanut butter. YUM!
Q: I’ve read mixed reports on coffee and how it effects your health. Currently, I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day. Is that too many? Is coffee good for you?
A: I always tell my clients, if you’re going to have a vice, this is a good one to choose! Coffee actually contains hundreds of bioactive compounds and is the single largest source of antioxidants for many people. Coffee consumption has been linked to increased longevity, and its consumers are showing lower risks of conditions like type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and liver disease!
In terms of how many cups a day are within the “healthy” limit, I tell my client’s that many sources agree that 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe which generally speaking is about 3 cups of coffee per day is. Any more than 400 mg a day can be linked to fast heartbeat, insomnia, anxiety, dizziness and irritability. Of course every people is different so if you’re currently drinking three cups per day and you’re already experiencing some of these symptoms I would cut your servings back.
Lastly, I also like to remind my clients to be mindful of how they are preparing/ordering their cup of Joe! More sugar, more syrup, more calories. I’m sure you get what I mean! Not every cup of coffee is created equal.
Q: What is the one major thing that sabotages people’s weight loss goals?
A: This is a great question. I think people make the mistake of jumping into diets very hardcore. They restrict complete food groups, they deprive themselves of everything they like and enjoy and should they fall off the wagon for a minute, they get discouraged and give up!
I tell my clients to try and not have an all or nothing mentality. If they happen to make some poor food choices at lunch, their day isn’t over…make better choices at dinner! There is no such thing as a perfect day or a perfect diet. I encourage baby steps to making healthier food choices every single day.
As a nutritionist I also see people sabotaging their weight-loss goals without even knowing it. They take in too many calories from sugary juices and alcohol, they don’t get enough sleep and definitely don’t drink enough water. And lots of times, they aren’t eating enough during the day which in turn causes them to binge eat at night.
I encourage my clients to find a partner to make healthy food choices with. I encourage them to get moving every single day and I encourage them to give themselves some time and a little grace!
You know where to find me should you have any follow-up questions. As always, thanks for following! Xx Janine