by Kathy Smith
1. Consider Your Past Habits
You’re sitting on the couch with your friends and family watching television when a bag of salted chips comes your way. You ask yourself, “Should I have one?” You know that each chip is only about 10 calories, and that isn’t much. This is when you need to recall previous times you were in the same situation. Did you eat just one? If you didn’t — and you ate half a bag, which is 600 calories, then the best decision today is to pass the bag to someone else.
2. Detach Mood From Food
Sometimes when you’ve had a really bad/stressful/exhausting/boring day, you arrive home and all you want is to eat a pint of ice cream and a bag of barbecue potato chips. Sound familiar? Sometimes eating is not about hunger. Mood eating is one of the most overwhelming issues for any weight-conscious person. We often turn to comfort foods for reasons other than fuel, and distinguishing the physical need from the emotional need — especially in the heat of the moment — can be one of the hardest things to do. Boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness, anxiety, frustration, and fatigue are all controlling emotions. The key is to strike a balance between knowing what you eat and understanding how you feel.
3. Make Your Home A Healthy Environment
Your environment should support your healthy eating habits. Create a positive energy in your kitchen with how you stock and organize it, just as you create a certain energy in your home with your choice and placement of furniture. Start by doing an inventory of your kitchen, then discard items that don’t fit your healthy lifestyle and may sabotage your weight loss goals.
4. Go for the gold (and red and green)
I always tell people that the key to grocery shopping in a way that maximizes micronutrients is to stick to the perimeter. A typical supermarket layout has central aisles filled with packaged foods– the cookies, the crackers, the sodas and chips. These are, of course, the foods highest in sugar, trans fats and preservatives – and largely void of any of the micronutrients our bodies are really cravings.
Look to the perimeter, however, and the scene completely changes. Suddenly you’re faced with a rainbow of colors: The stunning scarlet of fresh tomatoes and strawberries. The gorgeous green of kale, spinach, cucumbers and celery. The deep purple hue of eggplants and grapes. The summery orange of tangerines and bell peppers.
When you’re eating vegetables and fruits that are packed with color, you’re filling your body up with disease-fighting plant compounds. If you need a fun way to amp up your veggie intake, turn your eating habits into a little game, and designate each day of the week to a color. Mondays are red, Tuesdays are yellow, Wednesdays are green, and so on. So on Monday, pack a sliced red pepper or grapefruit in your bag to snack on throughout the day.
What little game changers are on your New Year’s Resolution list? Tell me in the comments below.
Here’s to your health!