Last week we talked about WHY WE OVEREAT! I threw some science at you and walked you through WHY you CRAVE certain foods. If you missed the article, check it out here. This week, we get to talk about what you need to do in order to quiet your cravings and feel good in your body.
Read through the following strategies and choose one or two at a time to practice at home. When you have mastered those, add another one until you have a full arsenal of awesomeness.
Here we go!
NOURISH YOUR BODY
Add nutrient rich foods to your diet in order to alleviate some of your cravings. Remember, cravings happen when your body NEEDS something. Use the “traffic light system” we have adopted from Precision Nutrition. Start by making a list of red, yellow and green light foods.
Red Light Foods: These are the foods you tend to crave and overeat. They DO NOT help you reach your goals.
Yellow Light Foods: These are not terrible choices but not the best either. You should consume these in moderation and less often.
Green Light Foods: These are nutrient dense foods that make you feel fab! Eat them often!
Remember, these are all about you! So make the list unique to you. Put it on your fridge so you have that reminder when you are battling some cravings.
GIVE YOURSELF A KITCHEN MAKEOVER
This is one of my favorite things to do with my clients. I go to their home and explore the kitchen with them. We open up the pantry, fridge and freezer and talk about what choices are the green light foods, yellow light foods and red light foods. We read the labels, the ingredients and nutritional facts of several foods in order to learn exactly what we are looking for. We then get rid of the red light foods! Why? Because if they aren’t in the house, you’ll have to make the decision to leave the house and go get them when you are battling some cravings. It’s far less convenient to get in your car and drive to the store than it is to simply open your pantry.
If you don’t have the strength or knowledge to do this on your own, let me know. I’ll come to you 😉
SIT DOWN AND OBSERVE
When cravings strike, I encourage all of my clients to sit down and become self-aware. Think about identifying your triggers by asking yourself a few questions and maybe even writing down the answers.
Am I really hungry?
How are you feeling? Bored, sad, tired, stressed etc.
Why am I feeling this way?
What can I do instead of eating that will help me cope with these feelings?
Here’s an example…
Am I really hungry? Hmmmm…Probably not but I think I deserve a treat.
How am I feeling? I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Why am I feeling this way? Today was a super busy day at work! My boss was a jerk and traffic was horrible. I feel so much anxiety right now.
What can I do instead of eating that will help me cope with these feelings? It’s a beautiful day outside; I could go for a walk. I bet the Vitamin D would help reverse my mood. Or maybe I’ll snuggle up on the couch with my book and a cozy blanket.
Ultimately, the goal is to identify your cravings, decide why it’s happening and do something different. If you find you are ACTUALLY hungry, eat something good for you and move on with your day.
FIND HEALTHY HABITS
Once you have discovered what triggers your cravings, find healthy habits that will support your changing lifestyle. Make a conscious effort to choose these healthy habits over surrendering to your cravings.
Here are a few ideas…
Go for a walk
Listening/dancing to music
Yoga or meditation
Spending time with loved ones
Get a massage or facial
Practice your hobby
All of these habits boost neurotransmitters that make you happy! Such as serotonin, oxytocin and GABA. These all calm you down and keep you relaxed and happy. When you are relaxed and happy, you make better decisions for your health.
We understand that making big changes to your foods can be difficult. If you can make small changes, great! Make small changes one at a time. If you aren’t quite willing to make changes to WHAT you eat yet, that’s okay! Slow down instead. Slowing down when eating your food forces you to be mindful about what you are actually eating. Shoot for taking at least 20 minutes to complete your meal.
Here are a few tips to help…
Sitting at the table to enjoy your meal
Eating without distractions like the television, phone or computer
Put your utensils down between bites
Eat until you are 80% full
All right friends, I know this was a lot of information and your mind might be ready to explode. Or maybe, you don’t know where to start your journey. We get that! It can be very overwhelming. If you need a little more love and attention, check out The Bella Life online or even One on One Coaching with Amy or me. Stop waiting for your life to start. It’s time to grab the opportunity and run with it! We are here to help, so just ask!
Now go get after it!