Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Are you over scheduled? If you are one of the millions of people who use date books, organizers, personal assistants, calendars, smart phones, or even sticky notes to help organize their lives, are you letting them rule your life? Is there space in that schedule of yours for some ME time?

Often, people micro-manage their lives and schedule their time so much that it comes at the price of our own freedom. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to schedule a meeting with yourself. Take some time to relax and you'll find that everything else will fall into place. When you are less frazzled, your mind will be clearer and you will be more capable to tackling that to do list.

Check in and let me know if you are able to find some time for you. I just looked over my schedule for this week and Saturday morning will be MY time. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

When you're at your weakest point emotionally, that is when some of the strongest cravings can strike. You may turn to food for comfort (consciously or unconsciously) when you're stressed, facing something difficult, or even bored and looking to fill some time. For example, I started noticing that on the days of the week when I was watching my friend's baby, I would often overeat. The stress of a crying baby was leading to emotional eating for me.

Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It very often leads to eating too much, especially too much of the yucky sugary, high fat and high calorie  foods. But the good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals. Here are some ideas:

  1. Keep a food journal. I've said it before and I will again... If you SEE what you are eating, it will help you stay accountable. If emotional eating is an issue, track how much and when you eat, how hungry you felt, and if anything stressful was going on. Over time, you will see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between your emotions and your food consumption.
  2. Take away the temptation. If you eat M&M's when you are stressed, get them out of the house. There is no need to have things like that laying around, waiting for your weaker moments.
  3. Do a hunger reality check. Seriously, are you really hungry? If you just ate a couple of hours ago, chances are you aren't. Many times, you might just be thirsty so try a glass of water first. A true sign of hunger is a rumbling belly. 
  4. Stop depriving yourself. When you've got a weight loss goal, you might consume too few calories in an attempt to lose quicker. This will only serve to increase your cravings and in turn, increase the chance that you will binge.
  5. Calm down. There are many stress relief techniques out there to try such as Yoga, Meditation, and Running, just to name a few. See what works for you.
  6. Seek out professional help. If you have tried to do the self-help options and you are still having problems getting control of your emotional eating, it may be time to try some therapy. Understanding the motivations behind your binges can help you learn some new coping skills.

If you do overeat, don't beat yourself up. Move on and try harder next time. Focusing on the positive changes you're making in your eating habits will lead to better health.Good luck, friends.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Be mindful when eating out. 

It's easier than you think to make good choices when you are dining out. Most restaurants offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. It's still important to watch your portion sizes and try to avoid those tempting add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese because those will quickly add loads of fat (and calories) to your meal.

Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:
  • Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (baked, broiled, or grilled greatly trumps fried), fruits/vegetables (nope, French fries DO NOT count...) , and whole-grains (brown rice or pasta is a great choice). A turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a much better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
  •  Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades. For example, the average size of a hamburger in the 1950's was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more. Isn't that crazy?!?! Most of the time, I ask for a to go box when my meal arrives, take half of it and put it out of sight so I don't feel tempted to be in the Clean Plate Club or just mindlessly eat as I am chatting.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk. Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.
It is typically easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. A splurge won't kill you - just be sure that the next meal is all good choices.