Health | Part 1

Santé | Partie 1

 

 

Salut!

I hope y’all had a lovely week! School is back in session and my life is about to be very busy again. So, since I know that most of my readers are students, I wanted to share a few of my fave workouts & the small change I made a little over a year ago that made a big difference in my efforts. I believe that staying healthy plays a huge role in my personal style. When I started to take better care of my body, I gained much more confidence. It wasn’t all about losing weight, but it was more about how much better I felt.

I would like to start this post with basic biochemistry definitions. I’ve had a few people ask me how I lost 50 pounds in less than a year and I really never know how to answer that question. Of course I had to change my overall lifestyle, but the main reason I believe my weight-loss was effective is because I finally understood exactly what I was eating. I will be doing a series of these posts because I am a biochemist & as I stated previously, being healthy is the most important aspect of my style.

 

Carbohydrates & Sugar | Glucides & Sucre

What we commonly call “sugar” is comprised of two simple sugars known as “monosaccharides.” I don’t want to get too technical, but table sugar, sucrose, is made from glucose and fructose. Glucose is used by every cell in our body. So if you think of every cell as a car, glucose = gasoline. When you’re pumping gas and the tank is completely full, the gas stops flowing. When we eat and several biochemical processes occur, glucose is broken down to be utilized for energy. So when we eat something nutritious, like an apple, our body uses the glucose (gas) to give us energy. Well unlike the gasoline pump, when we eat, we have to decide when to stop. I could go further into this and discuss a hormone known as “leptin,” that is in charge of regulating hunger, but for the sake of not boring y’all, I won’t. Anyway, when we eat too much glucose without using up the energy, the excess is turned into fat and then stored.

Carbs = sugars (monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, & polysaccharides). So when you hear people saying that they want to cut carbs for a diet, it’s because they have a misconception that carbs are always turned into fat. But the reality is that we need carbs in order to keep our cells running. Of course there are other molecules that can be broken down for energy, but they require a little energy to make more energy. 

 

 

Anyway, back to the main reason I’m explaining all this. Once I was almost finished with biochemistry 2 & I understood how food was metabolized in our bodies, I started to analyze at my diet. My big discovery? I have a sugar addiction (as do most Americans). So when I would workout in the past and I wouldn’t lose weight, I would get frustrated, but I never fully changed my diet. I know y’all are probs thinking, “duh, eating too much sugar won’t help you lose weight,” but it was the hidden sugar that I didn’t pay attention to. For instance, I would think that eating Chobani’s blueberry Greek yogurt was better than Yoplait’s fruity yogurts, but when I compared the sugar amounts, they were basically the same! So I stopped eating any flavored yogurts and just purchased plain Greek and added vanilla extract and the smallest amount of honey (like a literal drop). I really love yogurt & granola because it was like my ice cream replacement (I LOVE ice cream). BUT when I discovered Halo Top, my life was forever changed. Halo Top uses a combo of sucrose and a erythritol  (a sugar alcohol that is not metabolized like glucose or other carbs), so it is sweet without the excess sugar. I don’t want to make this post any longer than it already is, but I basically analyzed everything I was eating with hidden sugar, yes that includes high fructose corn syrup (which I will discuss in a later post about fats). Even though I love(d) ice cream and sweets (eating too much sugar gives me headaches nowadays), I knew that the implications of continuing to eat how I was eating was putting me at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, ruining my skin, and so many other things. So cutting my processed sugar intake was a no-brainer for me. The one thing that I allowed myself to have weekly though was pizza. I really love pizza and even though bread = carbs, I was not addicted to bread, so I knew that I could control my intake. Now, I am not a doctor nor am I telling y’all to do what I did, but if you just start by taking a look at what is in your food, you will start seeing changes. That was the biggest change I made in my life other than working out on a regular basis. 

 

 

I LOVE exercising! I know some of y’all might think I am crazy for saying that, but exercising can be very fun if you can find something that is challenging yet enjoyable. I personally prefer to workout alone and that is mainly because I push myself more when I don’t have other distractions. When it comes to my workout regimen, I like to mix it up. I get A LOT of my workouts from different IG accounts  (I will list my faves below). My absolute favorite equipment to use at the TRX bands. They are great for helping you develop strength without the use of free weights. So I try to use TRX bands during every workout. I also love using weights though. Many girls have this fear that using weights will make them bulky, but that is not true. Unless you’re using very heavy weights, you’ll be fine. With that said, here are a few of my fave workouts. I didn’t want to make a full video, because I am not a trainer or a fitness YouTuber, so I used a nifty little app to make all these GIFs. These are not in any particular order, but they’re categorized by arms, legs, and then core.

 

TRX Bicep Curls

 

Dumbbell Press

 

Tricep Kickback

 

Donkey Kick with Weight

 

Alternating Jump Squats (Plié to Narrow)

 

Bulgarian Split Squats

 

TRX Ab Tucks

 

Russian Twists

*I just grabbed a 25 lbs. med ball to record this (I normally use 15 lbs.), so it was difficult to keep my legs still*

 

Plank

 

Thank you for reading,

Bisous bisous ♥

 

 

 

 

 

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