We all know we can work out 7 days a week, burn a ton of calories and still manage to gain weight. Lots of it as a matter of fact. I’ve done it. No, I’m not talking about muscle mass, I’m all about that. I’m talking about the fact we made bad food choices and put on fat.
Changing my eating habits is by far the most difficult thing. Ooey, gooey, sugary and salty foods are so addicting. Literally, they are addicting, my body craves them once I’ve fallen off the food wagon. My personal training clients always had the same issue. We’ve grown up as a society that rewards and celebrates with food. We’ve trained our brain that food makes us feel good emotionally and now they are linking it to making chemical changes as well.
Creating healthy eating habits means changing our perception of the purpose for food. The biggest thing is to stop the emotional eating. The first step to that is acknowledging you do it. Keep a detailed food journal for one week. I know it’s difficult but seriously, your life DOES depend on it. When you are doing this experiment, don’t change your eating habits. Just eat as you have been during that week. No, this isn’t a license to go eat crap, this is a self-awareness exercise. Don’t go overeating because you think you have permission.
Write down everything you are eating and drinking and the times. When you find yourself eating or even craving a food that isn’t the healthiest idea, write down what is going on at that very moment. What were you thinking about? What did someone just say? Are you about to go do a big talk or take a test? Did you just hit an amazing goal? Write it down next to what you ate or what you wanted to eat.
It may not take you a full week to become aware of the pattern. Even with all my years of watching my mom yo-yo diet it still took this writing exercise to smack it into my head that I was just like so many and used food to self medicate. Happy, angry, lonely, it doesn’t matter. I find myself battling not to turn to food for something other than refueling. Check out the CDC’s page for even more tips on doing your journal.
When I say healthy eating habits I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy your food. But be aware of what you are eating and when.
Changing Your Eating Habits
One big way is to change some of our favorite “bad” food recipes. Adapt your favorites like french fries and cashew chicken. You can create them at home and know exactly what ingredients are in there. You then have control of how they are prepared and can save you a ton of calories and fat. Stopping at your favorite take out place will only lead to ordering even more food. Yes, I’m talking from experience. Once I stop I’m more apt to order a side of egg rolls, a giant pop and anything else that smells good at the time. But making them at home gives me full control of how they are prepared and also what foods you eat with them. Plus I can’t order the extras because I don’t have the ingredients to make them. lol Big win.
We know that eating less calories means weight loss. But what those calories are made of also matters. It’s about your nutrition and not just about calorie intake.
Low carb and low GI diets are all the rage and there’s a reason for that. They are how we should eat and how we used to eat. There are a lot of adaptations of this idea and many diets have been created around it. I lean towards using a combination of both. Keeping your carb intake lower and making those carbs count. Get rid of the white and stick to low GI foods. Yes, in my opinion, low carb diets are a good idea. But I’m firm believer in going low carb, not no carb. Our body need carbs for the energy and that energy is the only thing that fuels our brains. Don’t take away your brain power.
How about those midday snacks?
Snacks play a key role in whether you can stick to your healthy eating habits. If you go 3 or more hours without eating your blood sugar drops. Now you are craving that quick fix to get your levels up again. Vending machines, the closest coffee shop or that drive-thru with the food you don’t even like start looking all the more enticing. It’s amazing how just a 200 calorie snack between meals can change what you eat through out the day.
Kids emulate exactly what you do. It’s not a guilt trip, it’s fact. If you think snacks should be a slushie and a $1 burger then so will they. If you think snack should be broccoli and carrots dipped in hummus then so do they! FYI, the latter is cheaper if you make it yourself 😉
Duh, get nutrients
Nutrients, vitamins, minerals and a balance of proteins, carbs and fats. Oh, there’s a big word…balance. Best word ever for anything in life. But least factored in for a busy Momma. Balance is so important. Sure you need carbs to keep your energy level but what carbs are you eating and how often? Are you eating protein with every meal and snack? That one will get a woman every time. Yes, I cringed while typing it because I know the answer is NO and there are a ton of excuses you’ve fed yourself as to why.
Healthy eating habits mean a better way of life.
It means you have the energy to exercise and do activities with the family daily like you want. It means you aren’t putting on more fat than you want. One biggest thing it means is you are showing your kids how to eat better so they are less likely to pick up bad habits.
When you eat healthier you have more energy. Your body gets the fuel it needs to work correctly. No more sugar spikes that you are trying to overcome with caffeine and naps. Not that I’m against a good nap, but it’s a waste of my day if I constantly feel like I need one.
Then of course there are around 600 articles in the Health Tips category if you blow through the above.
We all need help keeping on track with our health and fitness. Sometimes it’s ideas, sometimes it’s a kick in the butt to get back on track. Each month I send out a newsletter with ideas to help you with a total wellness approach. I’m not about just weight loss. I approve of getting healthy and that includes your mind as well. Take a pro-active approach to your health and think of the things you can do today, to make your future better.
You will also receive weekly tips to keep you motivated through out the year. Just little things you can add to your day to improve your quality of life and remind you that you are a priority.
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