Our Diet Has a Major Impact on How Toned our Body Looks—It is not just about working out!
I spent years lifting weights, running, and doing the elliptical machine at the gym to tone my body. Today I do none of those things- and I’m much more toned that I was back then. Okay, I’m not super duper toned like that popular trainer Jillian or Serena Williams- but I don’t want to be. Everyone has different goals, and I personally prefer to have longer, feminine tone and not be SO buff. I feel healthy and strong and I’m happy with where I’m at. If you do want to be super duper buff, then you’d probably want to keep lifting weights for sure. Yes I do practice a lot of yoga, which builds strength by holding your body weight up, but we must realize that our diet makes a HUGE difference. When I work with a client, I look at their overall diet, body, goals and individualize a diet for them. Many people eat foods they think are helping but are really not! But here are some general tips that have helped me personally and many of my clients, which I’m excited to share with you!
1. Ditch the soy milk immediately. Some girls I’ve met that practice Kundalini yoga have very soft, untoned bodies. I think it is largely because they are encouraged to eat a lot of soy milk and tofu, and it contributes to general flabbiness in the body. There is so much I could say about soy like soy milk estrogen, but I’ll stick to the topic. Soy is loaded with trypsin inhibitors that interfere with protein. Soy phytoestrogens disrupt thyroid function and mess with our metabolism. It is also a huge mucus-former. Lots of soy milk = softer and squishier upper arms, bellies and thighs. Yes that’s right- Soft and squishee!!!
Fermented soy products such as miso, natto, and tempeh are okay and don’t have these properties.
2. In a similar vein, stop eating soy protein powder and commercial protein bars like Luna, Cliff, Zone, etc. bars which contain soy protein isolates. This ingredient is highly refined, processed, and largely GMO. So it has all the negative qualities of #1, plus is highly allergenic and not easily digested (ie bloating). Still lots of people eat them after they work out. Sometimes I have the urge to (nicely!) rip a Zone bar out of someone’s hand when I see them eating it and put an avocado or an apple in there instead. :) (These are the strange food fantasies that cross my mind sometimes!!).
3. Take steps to reduce bloating and puffiness. Check out my blog Battle the Bloat for tips on how to do this.
4. Cut back on oil. This does not apply to those of you that are trying to gain weight- and I know there are quite a few of you that right to me on this! Even healthy olive oil and coconut oil should not be consumed indiscriminately like water. Oil is still a dense fat, and can leave a coating over the belly. You can still use it of course, but just be conscious of not over doing it. A very common issue I see with raw foodists that I work with that are not reaching their goals, is that they are using waaaaaaay too much oil!
5. Cranberry. Cranberry is a natural diuretic, and makes you pee a lot. ☺ Well in that pee is the flushing out of excess sodium that can puff us out so we don’t look toned anymore. If you went out for Chinese food or ate salty French fries (I’m not judging! I know they sneak in there sometimes ☺ ), it would be a good idea to mix some concentrated cranberry juice in water and drink that before you go got bed. If you can make it yourself so it is unpasteurized that would be even better- but that one might be a stretch for most people. You can get the concentrated kind from Trader Joe’s etc.
Okay hope these tips help. Let me know how your body has changed with eating- or not eating- certain foods!
Love to you, Kimberly