5 of the most common follower questions from this past month—Answered.
As we continue to receive hundreds of questions weekly about the in’s and out’s of success on F-Factor, we’re giving the people what they want: answers! Every month, we’re rounding them up and answering them for you. Whether you’re getting started or a tried-and-true veteran, it’s likely a Q or two still pop into your head every once in a while. Here our Director of Nutrition, Amanda Karp, MS, RD, CDN answers the top 5 questions that have been on your mind from May 2020…
Q #1: With summer grilling season starting, what are your best tips for staying on track?
A: Though summer grilling sessions may seem intimidating, you can make sure that your plate is still F-Factor friendly. Lean proteins like chicken, lean beef, burgers, and fish could not be easier to prepare on a grill. Portions look larger than 4 oz? No problem! Cut it in half or share with someone. Make sure there’s at least one veggie option on the grill and fill the rest of your plate with it. Love summer corn? Just because it’s a starchy vegetable doesn’t mean its off-limits. Remember you can swap your fruit serving with a starchy vegetable if you prefer and as long as you’re still within your desired net carb range.
If you want to indulge in something, I recommend deciding beforehand and taking a small portion of it. Remind yourself that this is your portion to savor, which will eliminate the urge to go back for seconds and thirds. Mindful indulgences are just that, mindful. As long as you’re paying attention, eating slowly, and truly enjoying your food, you’ll find you need less to feel satisfied. For more on following F-Factor through summer BBQ season, click here.
Q #2) If I missed a few oz of protein earlier in the day, can I have it all at dinner?
A: The answer to this question is complicated. Technically, if we’re just talking about the science behind weight loss or management and calories in vs. calories out, yes you could make up for the protein later in the day and it would likely not have a negative impact on your goals. In practice, it’s not that simple.
Timing of intake and nutrient density of the food you eat matter more than you think. If you miss out on protein earlier in the day, likely it will cause a cascade of hunger later on. You know those hunger pangs you get when you skip a meal? Once you reach that point of intense hunger, it’s much easier to overeat. I do not recommend skipping meals or snacks for this reason. It’s easy to think that it won’t affect your overall intake, in fact most people assume that skipping a meal or a snack will result in them eating less overall, but that rarely happens.
Q #3) If a food or product is made with “Step 2” ingredients, but the carbs and fiber look like Step 1, what is it?
A: There are so many new products on the market these days that sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but we’ve got you covered. The best thing to do is be an educated consumer: if you’re following F-Factor, you know how to look at the carbs, fiber, fat, protein, and net carbs. If the food has some starchy vegetable or grain ingredients, but the net carbs and fiber look appropriate for Step 1, the starchy ingredients could be minimal. If that’s the case, that’s great!
A couple of things to look out for: products that have low net carbs but no fiber may appear Step 1 appropriate but aren’t likely to keep you full for very long. Additionally, it’s important to steer clear of keto products, which are often very low in net carbs, but incredibly high in fat. These foods may not be Step 1 appropriate.
Q #4) What’s the F-Factor stance on day drinking? I feel like it always is easier to drink more when it’s warm…
A: Alcohol consumed during the day is processed the same as alcohol consumed at night, so there’s no reason you can’t day drink as long as it’s within the limits you typically set for yourself (1-2 drinks on Step 1). Don’t forget, however, that the amount of food we have to digest does slow down alcohol absorption, so earlier in the day you may start to feel that buzz a little sooner. If you find this has an impact on your decision making when it comes to food, I’d recommend cutting back.
This doesn’t mean, however, you can’t partake in a little poolside drinking. My favorite trick is to make a white wine spritz, about 3 oz of white wine, ice, sparkling water, and lemon. You can have 2 of these for the price of 1 glass of wine, so you’ll feel like you’re drinking more than you are and you’ll be able to make them last longer.
Q #5) I find it difficult to even get 2 liters of water in, how on earth do I get to 3?
A: It’s even more important to stay hydrated when the weather starts to get warm and humid, and we lose a significant amount through perspiration. Likely, if you’re sweating more you will naturally feel more parched, but this isn’t the case for everyone. If regular old water doesn’t do it for you, you can experiment with flavored waters, seltzers, citrus or fruit infusions, or even temperature. Sometimes, you may not like room temperature water, but ice water hits the spot. Or vice versa, that’s great too! Whatever helps you stay hydrated is fine by us, just make sure that you’re not consuming sugar-sweetened beverages like juice or soda.
Lastly, if you feel great with 2 or 2.5 liters, don’t worry. Unless you’re spending hours in the heat or doing intense exercise, this should still be enough to stay hydrated, but if your mouth and skin feel dry, you likely need some more.