Earlier this week we chatted briefly about whether we should indulge in cheat meal or cheat day for weight loss. Now Let us review some tips to succeed in building new healthy habits and reducing the regular overindulgence in sugary and processed treats.
- Plan for success
Do you want to know how to succeed? Let us go over some tips now to help you stay on track when you are trying to lose weight, get fit, get the abs but do not want to sacrifice all of your favorite foods forever.
Deprivation is not the way to long term success. Creating a strong mindset behind why you are swapping to a healthy lifestyle is important, as well as reminding yourself of it daily until you reach your goal. With the change in lifestyle compared to 30 – 40 years ago when eating out was a very special occasion to the on the go lifestyle we live today picking up convenience foods occurs weekly for many if not daily. Take out and eating out is becoming the new norm, meaning we have to pick and choose when we indulge. If we leave it to every time we don’t cook that we indulge; we will see changes quickly on our waistlines. One day a week, a treat meal could be bought, if even that often. The best way to filter out, especially if you are a socialite is to really pick and choose the specific event you will allow for a little treat and keep the other events clean. If you have an event coming up decide if it will be a treat or a simple normal eating out occasion where your portions are in line, you find healthy food and get on with your life.
- Focus on one thing at a time. “You can have it all, just not all at once.” – Oprah
You may be used to going to the movies and eating mnms, fried chicken and chips, soft drink and possibly some popcorn also. Choose to share a popcorn, grab a coconut water and share a sweet treat if that is what you are after. Alternatively, you get your fried chicken and chips and coconut water. You could also be accustomed to brunching with fried chicken and waffles, Chinese food for later lunch and some pizza slices with dessert for dinner on a weekend, holiday or travel. Does this sound familiar ???
Maybe the case for you is that you get invited to a dinner party, followed by brunch the next day and then a kids birthday party. Initially you think yes I get to treat myself all weekend, but that’s the catch because your waistline is not going to be thinking that at all. This is where overkill exists and there is a limit that we have to set to have a healthy balance.
The solution here is to choose one treat food during one week or even every other week to eat with your healthy meal or after a healthy meal. When we choose to have this meal, we can choose to eat well during the rest of the day instead of bypassing our healthy efforts completely. Our waistlines like this strategy a lot better!
Choose one meal, one event and call it your lifestyle. Choose a cocktail or appetizer, a entire carbs dinner or a dessert because if you think you are going to continue having it all every time, you are setting yourself into a trap that isn’t leading towards your leanest self bathed in self love and self care practices.
- Practice Mindfulness
“We are what we eat” is something that we have heard countless times and it is true as it becomes the essence of what our cells and gut friends thrive on. Food has the ability to energise us, lift our mood and improve our performance in work and sport but it also has the power to depress us, drain our energy, cause crazy mood swings and cause illness.
Choosing to notice that the choice we make with food is larger than just us, since it affects the planet is already a step towards mindfulness. While going vegan can be an extreme thought for many, the vegans make sense by their choice as less people eating lots of meat is great for our CO2 emissions. This lifestyle is not suitable for everyone, but the message is clear that we should cut down our meat consumption. Luckily for all the omnivores, cutting meat consumption by even half has positive benefits for climate change. This may look like eating 4-6 vegetarian meals per week, shrinking our meat and seafood portions so that they resemble a topping or side portion. This strategy is not only great for the environment but also for our waistlines as it would leave more room to increase our vegetable intake.
Mindful eating encourages us to stop when full/ satisfied whether eating healthy or a treat. While we may think that we have to finish all the food on the plate otherwise that is bad for the environment because it will waste, remember that you can eat the rest later as a snack or pack it to take home and everyone is winning. Let one meal split into two meals or share with someone to split the portions, your waistline wins and so does your effort to improve climate change.
If you know you have a snacking habit whether, at work, after work or late night, finding practical solutions to help make breakthroughs and deal with stress healthily would be a great focus. Keeping a mindful journal helps to reduce snacking and shines light on the emotions and situations at hand, therefore allowing you to understand where the cravings are coming from and giving you space to decide how you can find a healthy habit to replace the toxic ones. Journalling is such a powerful tool and healthy habit, even keeping a food diary increases our mindfulness behind our food and beverage consumption.
A study of 1685 adults aged 25 and older showed that keeping a food journal was linked faster weight loss than those who did not keep a journal or who journaled less published in the August edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Those who kept food records six days a week, jotting down everything they ate and drank on those days — lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less, Stevens tells WebMD.
Mindfulness reminds us to stop eating when we have eaten enough, and to not eat because we are bored and to eat only when we are hungry and foods that our bodies can actually recognise as nourishment. It allows us to see when we have overeaten, and when we have skimmed past a whole week and forgotten that we have eaten far less eaten good or poorly.
A healthy mindset is included wanting to eat mostly fruit and vegetables daily alongside other whole foods (grows from the earth, swims, flys, run in it’s natural state) and happily having a treat or indulgence once in a while or a very special occasion.
Remember to plan for success, focus on one thing at a time and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps to solidify healthy thought communications. A thought process that thinks okay well had a doubles or bake for breakfast bring on the day of junk food binges is something to look into improving. A great start towards this improvement would be mindful eating using a food journal. These mindsets are very strongly linked to the reasons that you are not achieving your weight loss and body fat percent goals. There has to be a practice of balance in consuming a diet of at least 80 percent healthy foods and recommended portions for you to see the results you crave. Starting with cleaning up your weeks and choosing one treat meal that is well portioned to enjoy with a group of friends or family per week is a recommended place to start. I encourage you to find friends who love smoothies, working out and enjoying a healthy balance and to open up the perspective that you can have it all, but not all at once.
Rock on with your healthiest and leanest self. Start today!
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