This is something I, as well as many others, personally struggle with, especially when I am stressed out. I tend to ‘eat my feelings’, sound familiar? This is common among men and women alike. Despite not being the best role model, I know what I should be doing and that is what I am here to teach you.
First, drink water when you feel hungry. You may be dehydrated.
Most people walk around dehydrated, not dangerously dehydrated to the point they get red flag symptoms of dehydration, but enough to confuse that feeling with hunger. So, next time you think you need to open your pantry or fridge to find something to calm your feeling of an empty stomach, have a glass of water. No need for it to be large, a regular size glass that you feel comfy with will do.
Second, plan your meals.
Knowing ahead of time when and what you are going to eat saves you time and unnecessary stress over what you are going to eat. Having to try to come up with healthy solutions several times a day may increase your anxiety, stress, and/or become overwhelming depending on your personality. To eliminate this obstacle, plan ahead. It takes 21 days to build a habit, but once you do, it will be much easier to enjoy life while eating and staying healthy.
Third, be honest with yourself and make a list of everything you eat and drink.
When was the last time your doctor asked you how many alcoholic beverages you drink per week, and your answer was 1 or 2? But in reality you had 4 beers, 3 glasses of whisky, and maybe a shot over the weekend. And that was only one week, and it changed the week after. In order to eat healthy, you can’t fool yourself like you do with your doctor. You have to be brutally honest and hold yourself accountable. Do this with everything else: soda, candy, bread, pasta, chocolate, fruits, veggies, beef, pork, etc. Once you have this list, cross out the things you know are harmful for you (YOU KNOW THEM). Then, use them to plan your meals (previous point). If you can’t hold yourself accountable, find a partner to help you.
Fourth, stick to your plan
Don’t overthink it or try to make changes in the middle based on your mood. You planned it out for a reason, now stick to it.
Final note from our guest blogger : Dr. Bre Butler
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I am commonly asked, “What can I & cannot eat?”. The truth is, you can fit nearly everything into a balanced meal plan to accomplish whatever goals you have. Whether it be weight change, preparing for an athletic event, ensuring proper macro & micro nutrient intake, or just to be healthier overall, there’s no one stop shop in diet plans for you, so that’s why we’re here! RDNs can tailor a nutrition program to assist you in accomplishing and maintaining your goals.
In today’s health-driven society, there are a lot of diet regimens out there for you to try and a lot of them will assist you in meeting very aggressive, short-term goals, however, many are not maintainable or healthy. As a general rule of thumb, it is important that your dietary macro-nutrients fall into the following ranges: 45-65% calories from carbohydrates, 10-35% calories from protein, and 20-35% from fat, with adjustments made based on health and lifestyle goals. Your body’s main fuel source is carbohydrates, and while carbs typically have a bad reputation in terms of weight loss, they are actually your best bet for keeping the weight off. People will see fast results with carbohydrate-restricted diets such as keto, but this diet is tough to enjoy and maintain; plus it puts you at risk for many micro nutrient deficiencies. What many people don’t know is that the keto diet was created to help prevent epileptic seizures in children, not for weight loss. The glucose molecule, which is what carbs are stored in your body as, contains water, so when you initially restrict your carb intake, you lose mostly water weight. When you reintroduce more carbs back into your body after restricting, you will probably gain weight due to your body being able to store water again. This pattern of restricting and relapsing are what many people fall into for years, mostly because they want fast results. However, looking at the big picture, if people skipped “dieting” and implemented real wholesome lifestyle changes in the first place, they’d be able to achieve realistic goals in a much happier, healthier style.