Call this section the cheat-sheet for the website … I will pull all the big points I share in my posts and bullet them here.
- Identify your normal hunger signals including: full, hungry, thirsty
- How to know if you’re truly hungry: your stomach is growling, you have severely decreased energy, healthy foods sound appealing, it has been 4-5 hours since your last (real) meal
- Pay attention to other body sensations including thoughts and emotions: these can often mask themselves as hunger
- Possible emotions that could lead you to eat: stress, boredom, sadness, anxiety, insecurity, anger, frustration
- What to do if you’re bored: Make a list of boredom busters and keep near you (I have one in my planner and in my cell phone). Some ideas include reading lists, house projects, art/craft projects, etc
- What to do if you’re angry or frustrated: VENT- call a good friend or write about what is upsetting you. When possible unwind with a movie or a shower/bath, find some quiet time
- What to do if you’re craving comfort (anxiety, insecurity, sadness): get plenty of rest, power walk, exercise, call a friend for a good laugh
- What to do if you’re stressed: go for a power walk, meditate, breathing techniques, switch activities to get a clearer perspective
- “Front-Row Fridge Foods”: single serve snacks (applesauce, sugar-free gelatin, low-fat dairy, sugar-free pudding), quick-cooking lean protein (fish, cutlets), low-fat dairy (sour cream, shredded cheese, milk), flavored seltzer, precut fruits and vegetables (keep them in clear containers or bags so they catch your eye), low-calorie/point
- “Friendly Freezer”: fat-free or light ice cream and sorbet, unsweetened frozen fruits (use in smoothies, desserts, thaw and have as a snack or with cereal), frozen precut vegetables (use in soups, stews, omelets, dinners)
- “Healthy Pantry”: dry beans (by soaking these the night before using you will save yourself the excess sodium found in canned beans), healthy oils (extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil), quick-cooking whole grains (pasta, couscous, brown rice, quinoa), plain microwave popcorn (low points, and you have control of the flavor), treats (be sure to choose lower-points value indulgences and keep them all together in containers you cannot see through)
- Proceed with caution: Stash foods and beverages with higher points values (beer, soda, full-fat dairy, processed lunch meats) that need to be refrigerator in the back, so they are harder to spot. Limit full-fat ice cream, high sodium/points value frozen meals, hot dogs, non-lean/high fat proteins. Avoid stocking high-fat cookies, cakes, crackers, high-sodium/fat sauces, fruit packed in syrup, packaged soup and noodle mixes, granola, high-sugar cereals and other trigger foods.
- Eating foods high in sugar, fat, and salt makes us eat more foods high in sugar, fat, and salt.
- Responding to trigger foods by eating it is only one possible option. You have the power to change the relationship.
- Along with the taste and other sensory characteristics, the place where a specific food has previously been available and the events associated with our past consumption can also become enforcers.
- By encouraging us to consider any occasion to eat as an opportunity for pleasure and reward, the industry food invites us to indulge a lot more often.
- The belief that food will make us feel better contributes unnecessarily to our desire for food.
- Once you decide to seek reward from avenues other than endless quantities of hyper-palatable foods, you can begin to structure your environment and strengthen your behavior to support new learning and the pursuit of new awards.
- The contemporary context of our lives makes it possible to eat just about all the time. And many people do.
- Consumers are misled by the layering and loading of foods. Sometimes sugar, fat, and salt are so masked by other flavors that we don’t realize these ingredients are there.
- Pack your own snacks – whole fruit, raw nuts, cheese sticks, hard candy, mini chocolates, etc
- Bring a meal for a long trip – think brown bag lunch complete with deli sandwich loaded with veggies and a slice of light cheese
- Stay ACTIVE! Walk as much as you can, take the stairs, plan periods each day of moderate-vigorous activity
- Don’t treat each meal as a celebration – keep your routine as normal as possible
- Keep a sleep routine – going to bed and waking up at relatively the same time each day
- Limit caffeine consumption throughout the day, especially a few hours before bed time
- Maximize your sleep potential by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly
How to WIN at Breakfast
- Plan ahead – write yourself a note of what you’ll have, set it out on the counter/table, or make it ahead and either blend or reheat it in the morning
- Get a balance of good stuff: protein, fiber, vitamins, etc
- Mix it up – vary the fruits and grains you use, even the menu
- Don’t stuff yourself
- Whenever possible, make it yourself
How to be a smart consumer
- Buy organic. This can be expensive, I know. The best things to buy organic are items with an edible skin (apples yes, bananas no)
- Buy locally grown produce – either at a farmers market or join a CSA. Check out Local Harvest for all the details.
- Buy in-season produce
- Avoid highly processed foods (the foods you should choose at the grocery store are temperature dependant- typically the outer sides of the store)
- Plant your own garden
- Eat at restaurants that carry/serve locally produced foods