What’s Messing up Your Summer Diet?
I bet you already know what foods are good for you. But do you always eat them?
Despite a solid understanding of good nutrition you may be struggling with your weight.
Sometimes the place to start is not from WHAT “to do” but from WHAT “NOT TO DO.”
Here are 3 pitfalls that are really common:
- Feeding the bully inside. (I know it sounds weird but keep reading because we all do it!)
- Feeding emotions. (Is that possible? Yes!)
- Bad time management (How is that even related? Well, it’s all about priorities. I promise to explain!)
Knowing what to avoid
makes it EASIER for your mind to select.
Make the HEALTHY CHOICE the ONLY CHOICE!
When it comes to FOOD, making HEALTHY CHOICES matters because what we eat is locked in our system for ever and it transforms into energy or fat.
What we eat affects our mood, our energy level, and our health. And that’s a toll order.
So it is worth doing a little thinking here. Remember to keep away from judgement. Stay compassionate and try to understand your own mind. You have probably heard me say: “Help Your Mind Help You!”
Eating smart doesn’t have to be complicated.
It can be reduced to a simple process:
Chose well – Eat well – Repeat
Repetition creates habits. Good eating habits make for looking and feeling good!
Habits are automatic behaviors . They make our life easy.
Now the key is in making sure we develop a PREFERENCE for “GOOD and HEALTHY” eating habits.
We have to be cautious and know what to avoid because we can just as easily develop unhealthy ones.
To make sure you aim for healthy habits there are 3 MISTAKES that can sabotage your efforts.
Mistake #1: Feeding the “bully” inside.
Let’s say that your friend has made your favorite desert. Mine is heavenly lemon bars. But let”s say you have decided to stay away from sugar. You are torn. What to do? Anytime you are in doubt an inner discussion starts in you head like a podcast.
If you listen, you can hear your inner voice. Maybe a little bargaining is going on. “What if I only have half of that piece? It is smaller than a crumb. I will have no more sugar all week.”
If you don’t give in, it will become louder: “Who are you kidding? You don’t have any self-discipline anyway. You might as well give up. You are hurting your friend’s feelings.”’
If you are still standing strong, the inner bully will employ higher tactics.
Your decision agency will be disconnected.
The fork will enter your mouth and the lemon bar will disappear into you tummy.
This is particularly hard for those of us who are not good at saying “NO!”
Learn to say NO and stick to it. Here is what is REALLY going to happen if you say NO to that heavenly lemon bar:
Your blood stream will NOT flood with unwanted sugars and stress hormones. Your arterial walls will NOT stretch to accommodate more fat. Your intestines will NOT work overtime for weeks trying to get rid of waste. Your body will NOT get acidic, bloated and tired.
Practice saying NO.
Say NO to INSTANT GRATIFICATION AND YOU’VE SAID YES TO YOUR HEALTH.
Here is a simple EXERCISE to give you the power to say NO to cravings for unhealthy food:
PREPARE your breakfast and lunch every day.
Notice IF and HOW MUCH energy you feel AFTER you eat.
The next morning prepare your meals based on how you want to feel AFTER eating.
Mistake #2: Feeding Emotions
Do you know that your HUNGER SIGNALS are different that YOUR CRAVINGS?
It sounds weird but feeding our emotions instead of our hunger can be the source of most eating problems. Actually it happens automatically without realizing it. In psychology we call it “detachment.”
Hunger is very subtle. It fades away as quietly as it came. If we don’t eat the body stimulates the liver and it produces the glucose needed to keep moving. After a while we are not hungry any more. By the end of the day we feel depleted.
Cravings are loud, even painful. Cravings feel urgent. You suddenly realize how hungry you are. It is as if you haven’t eaten for days. You start eating and lose control. You binge.
Feeding cravings is feeding emotional hunger.
The most common emotions we feed are:
Turn it around: Feed Hunger not Emotions.
The solution is really simple. Reconnect with your body and you will be amazed what it can do for you and your weight!
Here is an exercise to help you reconnect.
What you need to bring: Your attention only
Time needed: 5 minutes
Outcome: Body awareness
Goal: Eating ONLY when hungry!
Set your timer for 5 minutes.
Sink your attention inwards.
Observe inner sensations.
Notice “where” in your body you hear your heart.
Notice your breath as it moves inside your body.
Notice sensations from head to toe.
Repeat EVERY DAY
As you become comfortable you can add more:
Cross your arms.
With crossed arms reach your feet and give them a gentle rub.
With crossed hands rub your knees.
With crossed arms give yourself a gentle hug.
Stay aware of any sensations on your skin.
Mistake # 3: Bad time management skills.
This is a no- brainer and it is probably the easiest place start making changes about your diet.
Have you noticed that when we haven’t made plans for a healthy lunch or dinner we end up doing something out of urgency? It is usually not the best choice. The fast food industry is thriving! Also, when we skip meals because you don’t have time to eat we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Easy fix. Be proactive. We need to eat every day, and every few hours.
Time-Management is Self-Management
Here is a suggestion that sounds too simple to have any affect. But you will be amazed how much time and frustration it will save you. Chose 3 helpful tasks and make them a priority:
1. Have your grocery shopping done over the weekend. (Do it at the same day and time every week so it is scheduled in.)
2. Prepare a nutritious breakfast and lunch daily. (Include lots of protein and slow burning carbs for steady energy release. Drink a lot of water. Add lemon.)
3. Make sure your morning is productive and nutritious (Take short breaks every hour.)
If you start the day well you will and you will have enough positive energy all day long!
Don’t underestimate small changes.
Don’t hesitate to make a small improvement.
Make ONE slight IMPROVEMENT and you have
changed your future towards the best!
This article it is about the emotional dynamics of eating. Therefore it is not intended as a substitute to medical advice. Make sure you consult your doctor.