To carb, or not to carb, that is the question

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Photo by: Brodie Visser

Like me, I’m sure many of you have sought out the advice of Dr. Internet to lose weight in the past. Dr. Internet has ALL KINDS of solutions; from paleo regimes, to vegan lifestyles, to weight loss gummy bears and shake-weights.

Having a background in Exercise Science has definitely helped me navigate (read: effing avoid) the most fad-like and gimmicky recommendations out there – but I am by no means a certified nutritionist. I often find myself wondering things like: should I be reducing my carb consumption? How many eggs per day are good for you? Are the benefits of organic chicken titties really worth the 18$ needed to spend on 2 of those suckers?

So, I started thinking – when I need my car fixed, I see a mechanic; when I need my taxes done, I get an accountant (or Cath’s mom!) – why in the world am I trying to go at this weight-loss thing alone without professional input?

Therefore, in the spirit of decreasing the size of our barrels (aka tummies), and ensuring we live long and happy lives, Taylor and I decided to meet with a nutritionist. More like, I bullied Taylor into coming to an appointment with me…but I digress.

I found our nutritionist online at equipenutrition.ca. They have several convenient locations in Montreal and we chose to meet with one at l’UQAM (Université de Québec à Montréal). The cost was 115$ each, but luckily my benefits plan reimbursed me for a large chunk of that amount. If you are seeking the advice of a nutritionist and you’re on a tight budget, I implore you to check your benefits plan prior to booking in order to dodge any nasty surprises.

The appointment itself lasted 2 hours (1 hour each) and consisted of a myriad of questions about our backgrounds, habits, lifestyles, current eating patterns and our goals. We had to talk about the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing – that chocolate obsession I had? Yeah, Tay made sure to rat me out. I totally snitched about the copious amounts of butter he slathers on popcorn and his salty penchants. Post-interview, all of our cards were on the table and she knew our respective-kryptonites.

Next step in our meeting consisted of education and recommendations. Visual aids of bizzaro fake food were brought out to demonstrate appropriate portion sizes (to my hockey girls reading this – it reminded me of the mock-food in the Japan restaurant fronts). We discussed how many portions of starch, protein, milk products, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats were ideal for us each day. She made sure to let us know, in no uncertain terms, the pitfalls of drinking our calories. When we average 4-5 drinks per night out on the town, that’s an extra 600 calories to our day – never mind the nachos, nuggies and bar food we might consume alongside said-spirits. I obviously never thought my drinking habits were good for me; but eesh, it’s still a wake-up call.

Finally, we got to ask some questions – for instance, Taylor was reluctant to include carbs in his menu since he feels that he can slim down quicker without them. After ensuring that his aversion was not related to an intolerance, our nutritionist still insisted that healthy sources of starch be included in his regime – they represent a good source of fiber and help give that feeling of satiety – important for a big-cat like him.

I asked my all-important question – how much chocolate could I have? The answer was none for now, since I’m hoping to shed 1 to 2 lbs per week (a healthy rate to lose weight). In fact, refined sugars are not something I’m allowed to consume in my healthy eating pursuits at all. *Cue tantrum*

When we got home, we had already received an email outlining our personalized plans. We have appointments to check in soon – make sure we are on the straight and narrow waistline path and what not.

So that was our experience, in a nutshell. I really like the accountability and coaching aspects of this plan since it speaks to me and my days of Stingerhood-past – namely, how hard Liz would push us athletes to better ourselves. That magical woman, brought me from a 0 on the bench-press to a wonderful 14x95lbs  (if I could have had a negative starting score, I would have, she had to teach me what a bench-press was); 0 to 8 chin-ups and one of the fastest 40-yard dashes on my team. I always thank Liz when I see her for pushing me so hard and she humbly says it was ‘all you’ – but I know I could not have done it without her motivating guidance and high standards she set for me.

So here is to hoping that this new chapter, the nutritional challenge, proves just as fruitful (see what I did there…nutrition, FRUIT-ful… Haha); as my past athletic pursuits. Game on!

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