Authors: Family Fresh Cooking With Marla
How is your 2013 going?
I hope it is off to a great start! I watch the end of a year from the sidelines as folks bring on the wild eating habits. That’s not my thing ~ the new year hits and it’s all about cleanses, guilty feelings and attempts at weight loss.
I prefer the sidelines and walking the same mindful path all year.
Have you considered never having that guilt? Enjoying the practice of eating healthful foods in proper portions all year long so you don’t have to ride the waves of frustration. Last year I posted 10 Secrets to Skinny & I figured now is the time to re-visit this subject.
For those of you who know me for reals, you know I am on my game no matter what time of year…Why? Because it works, my weight and energy levels never fluctuate.
1) Find YOUR plan.
Take a look at what you eat every day. What time do you eat it? Do cravings for sugary, fatty foods happen when you are in an afternoon slump? Do you have weekend binges to make up for a mindful week? Do your eating habits work for you or against you? Do you over exercise to make up for guilty habits? Do you not exercise because you are too busy? (By the way, none of us are too busy for 20 minutes of exercise)
What is your plan? Write down your good habits and bad ones. Make your own plan ~ not someone else’s. Your plan. I don’t make skinny new year’s resolutions because my plan never waivers.
I say “no” to foods that don’t suit me. That is my plan.
2) Be a clock watcher.
How many meals do you eat each day? What time do you eat them? Do you wait until 10am to eat breakfast? Do you go 6 hours between lunch and dinner? Hopefully you answered no to the last two questions. If you answered yes then you gotta change that. Eat every few hours (kinda like a newborn baby) Healthful snacking is great for kids and adults. It keeps your body energized and mind vibrant.
If you go too long in between meals chances are you are gonna overeat and feel yucky when you finally get food. Keep track of time and have smaller meals every few hours. You will notice how your body starts to rely on this new schedule and you will also notice how your overeating will become history.
3) Do what you KNOW is Right.
If something works for you, great then do it! Don’t let others talk you into diets, meal plans and trends that your instincts tell you aren’t cool. There is so much chatter out there, it can get really confusing…this confusion can easily cause one thing: binge eating out of guilt when you divert from that diet trend.
We are all built differently ~ for instance I would never do a juice cleanse. I need good amounts of food throughout the day to stay energized. I get sluggish and irritable with that kinda thing.
What works for me? Large volumes of real whole foods that make sense to my body.
4) Go outside.
There are plenty of studies that show how AMAZING the outdoors is for your overall health and happiness. Break away from that computer. Get some sunlight and fresh air. Take a walk around the block. Before you know it you might circle the block 5 times.
You will also notice that heading outside will encourage creativity and positive thinking. All of which make for a happier and maybe skinnier you.
5) See your plate as a work of art.
What is on your plate? Is it full of bland colors or is it a vibrant rainbow of veggies, proteins and healthy fats? When you plate your food make it as pretty as possible. The more colorful, fresh ingredients on it ~ chances are you have made some good choices.
6) Don’t use exercise to make up for bad habits.
Do you exercise because it makes you feel good or because you need to work off excess calories? Speaking from experience when you exercise with a guilty conscience it is not pleasurable. You tend to over train, a binge eat binge exercise cycle becomes a vicious cycle. This pattern often leads to injuries.
These days I don’t have time to waste on eating the wrong foods or too much food. Nor do I have time to do multiple painful workouts each day.
7) Treat yourself like an addict.
You are thinking to yourself “What did she just say?!” An addict??
When people have problems with addictions whether it be alcohol, drugs or some other thing they need to keep away from it entirely in order to break away from that addiction. They cannot have that substance around them at all.
Can food be as addictive as a drug? Sure. When your body relies on over processed foods, sugar, cola and such it is a tough habit to break. How do you do it? Get your addictions outta the house. If you a baker, give your yummies to someone else to enjoy. I guarantee you, keeping it in the house will only cause you to obsess over it and binge eat eventually. Out of sight out of mind.
When I gave up sugar it was cold turkey. Did it feel good? Nope not at all. Did I crave it? Yup. These days do I want it? Nope. And I feel much better for making that choice.
8) Let small things become BIG things.
What is my treat? I love a soy or almond milk cappuccino. My drink has a touch of sweetness and the milk froths up into a puffy cloud of bliss. It tastes like a marshmallow on top of espresso. I top it with a bunch of cinnamon and sometimes a packet of stevia. If you think a treat has to be grand scale think again.
You will amaze yourself that you don’t need that box of cookies to satiate cravings. Your tastebuds will adapt to small things….do you love fruit? Make that your big thing.
Same thing applies to exercise. When I used to train for marathons I was always hungry. I would reward myself with foods that satisfied over trained cravings (big sugary things.) The benefits of all that exercise were quickly obliterated with poor food choices. These days I opt for less intense exercise and waayyyyy more mindful eating habits.
9) Feel great about yourself.
Don’t worry about your friends weight. Don’t worry about their exercise plan. Don’t worry about your jeans size. Try to feel great about your attributes. Are you an early riser? Take advantage of that quiet time with a healthful breakfast and some light exercise. Are you a night owl? Take an evening walk and gaze up at the stars.
Look at your personal style and rock it. Smile at yourself in the mirror, wink at a stranger. The better you feel about yourself the more likely you are to stay on plan.
10) Embrace your inner child.
This is so basic, we believe we are awesome when we are kids. This magic disappear as we grow. Kids do what they want when they want. My daughter does cartwheels everywhere she goes. As adults we refrain from this kinda thing ~ but we shouldn’t lose sight of that freedom and JOY.
Just get out there and do something about it. Lift light weights while you walk. Get off the computer periodically and do some push ups sit ups and triceps dips. (I do this.)
Each little thing you do will end up making bigger, happy changes.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, meal planner, dietitian or MD. I serve up helpful solutions that work for me. Please consult with professionals if you have questions about your health and longevity.