Did you answer ‘Yes’ to any of those questions? Is your secret life sabotaging your health and fitness? Don’t worry – if you can treat yourself with love, you’ll realize that you’re only human and your fridge doesn’t have to be the friend that you hide anymore. There are things you can do to help change these habits.
Here are five simple steps to help you get started:
Learn Your Triggers
What is happening when you indulge? Are you alone? Maybe your spouse or roommate is away, or you’re alone after spending time with friends. Are you watching TV or doing another task that you may not realize you associate with eating or snacking? Is it a particular time of day?
How are you feeling when you indulge? Are you angry, lonely, tired, stressed, sad, bored…? Something else?
Which foods are involved when you indulge? Do you often find yourself eating the same foods, or are they different? Do you find that a certain food kicks off the consumption of the others?
Track What You Eat
Be more aware of what you’re eating and when by tracking the food you eat and when you eat it. By including the time of day, you’ll be able to more easily recognize patters and triggers (such as certain times of day and/or certain activities or stressors) that may be contributing to the problem.
How you feel is important, so make sure you also make note of how and what you’re feeling when you’re eating. If you can note how you felt before you started eating and after, that will also be helpful.
Keep a Stash of Healthy Snacks
Have a selection of healthy snacks available so that when you do decide to eat, you’ll be getting an intake of nutrients that will keep you satiated so you won’t be binging because you feel hungry.
Control the portions by packaging the snacks in advance so you can easily grab them when needed and carry them with you wherever you go. This will also help make sure you don’t over-eat, but only intake what your body can use.
Eat every couple of hours to keep your blood sugar from dropping. When levels of blood sugar drop, your body needs sugar and sends cues in the form of cravings. You’ll be tempted to grab a high-calorie, low-nutrient option just to get the fast jolt of energy. Being conscious of maintaining your blood sugar levels will help you avoid these cravings, and therefore avoid the intake of empty calories.
Don’t Have Trigger Foods Close At Hand
Avoid having sugary foods or other trigger foods within easy reach. If you have to leave the comforts of your home or office to grab that chocolate bar or bag of chips, you’re less likely to bother to go get it (especially during inclement weather!). Don’t keep these foods in your home, vehicle or office to reduce the temptation.
Don’t buy it for the kids. Whether it’s your own kids or other kids you know, don’t fall into the trap of buying them treats, as it’s more likely you’ll be tempted to grab something for yourself as well. (This will also help teach the youngsters about healthy eating and snacking!)
Actively work toward a fitness goal. This will make you less likely to toss out all that hard work by indulging. Exercise is also a great way to help yourself cope with stress that may be causing you to binge in the first place. It’s also known to improve your mood and increase positivity!
I offer fitness and nutrition plans that are designed to prevent hunger and keep you focused on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t. I keep you accountable by encouraging you to consistently take steps forward that keep you on the right track.
You really can change your habits and improve your overall fitness. All you have to do is ask.