1. Do not eat out of emotion. Emotional eating is what causes you to choose the sugary treat over the salad or eat when you’re really not hungry. Ask yourself “If this was a salad/apple/something healthy, would I still want to eat it?” If the answer is yes, then go eat one of those things. If it’s not, then you are emotionally eating it and you aren’t hungry and no, your body doesn’t need it. If you have a moment of weakness, use tip #3.
2. Eat more protein. The best advice is to make it a point to eat at least 3-4 oz of protein with every meal. This is MAGICAL! You won’t be nearly as hungry throughout the day and won’t have blood sugar crashes or moments of “I NEED A NAP RIGHT NOW”. You’ll have way more energy and not have nearly as much craving for high fat or high sugar foods. It’s really all about balance.
3. The “Three bites” Technique. When you really want to eat something that you know is just an emotional desire, take three bites of it, and then put it away and eat something healthier. I know what you are thinking, you can take some pretty big bites, but these three bites need to be honest!
4. Drink more water. Often times dehydration will trigger the “hungry” response when you are really just thirsty. Drink plenty of water (about half your bodyweight in ounces each day) and keep an eye on making sure your urine is a pale yellow. One thing that helps is to find a water bottle that helps you keep track throughout the day. You can choose one that is insulated if you like colder water and also add in flavoring to the water. Flavored vitamin C packets and products like Nuun are a of couple good options for you to try out. I like them both.
5. Choose higher quality foods over processed/packaged foods. You’ve heard people say “shop the perimeter of the grocery store”. While this is great advice, sometimes other foods call out to a person. Here are some healthier go-to foods:
- Oatmeal- A cheap, delicious, and protein packed alternative to processed cereals and breakfast bars.
- Eggs-The incredible edible egg is one of the greatest foods on the planet! Breakfast, lunch or dinner. I even snack on hard boiled eggs if I happen to have any around. They don’t last long…
- Greek Yogurt- Make sure you check the label, as not all greek yogurts are created equally. Chose one that has the highest amount of protein, has the best texture, and tastes great with honey on it, or as a sour cream substitute.
- Bulk nuts, seeds and dried fruit in a bowl is a great snack that will satisfy your craving for sweet salty foods with out overdoing it. Leave the M&Ms out.
- Almond milk over regular milk is a good option if you are looking to limit the amount of fat in your diet or just slightly reduce the number of calories you take in.
6. Replace simple carbs with complex carbs. Keep your blood sugar stable! Plan ahead so you have healthy options on hand for snacks and meals instead of digging into the candy bowl at work or defaulting to bagels, bread or crackers as a big part of a meal. Better alternatives would be complex carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, berries, yams and small amounts of brown rice.
7. Keep a food journal. There are many benefits to keeping a food journal! You can figure out what exactly you are eating, how much and how often. If you are getting stomach issues or indigestion, it is much easier to figure out what might be causing it. Also, you can look to see what foods are working better at keeping you sustained and which ones cause blood sugar spikes or drops. You can have a small journal with you, you can use a google document, or you can take pictures of what you eat with your camera. This journal can also help you to make sure you are eating enough. Not eating enough can stifle your metabolism just as much as eating too much. Don’t let that happen either.
8. Stay active. The winter is no excuse to stay inside. Humans are not meant to hibernate. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear! We can help you figure out what is keeping you inside and get you out there exercising so you don’t hate yourself when you make a poor eating decision. If you really hate being outside, there are PLENTY of inside activities to keep you moving. There are rock climbing gyms, lots of different workout studios, regular gyms, community fitness classes, etc.
If you came off of the holiday feeling a little chubbier than before, you aren’t the only one! But you don’t have to get out of your good habits! Follow these tips and you will be happy you did because you won’t have that “starting over” feeling that everyone dreads!