Here’s a million dollar question for you: Why is it SO hard to diet? Well, the answer is easy. We have issues! HaHa! Seriously, we have 6 common issues, or situations we find our self in on a regular basis, that we need to learn to face WITHOUT food.
Problem: One of the most common reasons people eat is out of pure boredom. This is most common in the evenings. It’s not like the world will come crashing down around us if we watch TV without a bowl of snacks, but for some reason we feel the need to feed as soon as our fat butts hit the couch. Think about this: 300 extra calories of junk a night is enough to ruin a 3-mile run – and if you aren’t working out, 300 extra calories a day for 365 days a year adds up to a whopping 30lbs of fat!
Solution: Snacking is just a bad habit. You have a learned behavior to entertain your tongue while you entertain your brain, and it probably started as a child. Fixing this bad habit is easy as saying your ABCs! A.) Go cold turkey, and teach yourself not to eat when you are bored. B.) Trade a bad habit with a good one, by learning how to eat lower calorie items instead. C.) Find something better to occupy your time, like going for a walk or going to bed early. People who stay up late watching TV have more time to be tempted. You may just be better off going to bed and getting your beauty rest.
Problem: In my opinion, laziness is one of the primary reasons we have a restaurant on every corner. Often times we don’t feel like cooking after a hard day’s work. So, we eat out because it’s easy. We like to be served – who doesn’t?! We don’t have to cook and we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Another reason people are tempted to eat out, or eat poorly, is because we make it too difficult to eat healthy. Our meals may be too complicated and time-consuming, and our snacks may not be realistic for our needs. So, we a grab quick fix or head to our favorite restaurant.
Solution: If you simplify your recipes, cooking won’t seem so overwhelming. But, if you know cooking a meal means spending 45 minutes in the kitchen, slaving over the stove, you will probably do anything to avoid it. Always keep some foods that are quick to cook, like frozen vegetable Steamers and defrosted meats. This will require changing your shopping habits. You can have the best intentions at the grocery store, but you also have to make realistic choices you can actually use in the kitchen.
Problem: We live in a world filled with instant gratification. We don’t like to wait for ANYthing, and this includes food. Being hungry makes us impatient. The hungrier we get, the more impatient we get – but patience wouldn’t be needed if we weren’t so hungry to begin with.
Solution: Hunger makes us stupid. Seriously, we do some of the dumbest things when we are hungry, so the solution to the problem is to avoid being that hungry to begin with. Keep healthy snacks, like a bag of almonds or a protein bar, nearby. So, when you get hungry, you can have a couple of bites of the bar to hold you off until you can eat something healthy. Better yet, snack periodically BEFORE you even start to get hungry to begin with. By the time lunch or dinner rolls around, you can make healthier choices – and think with your brain, instead of think with your stomach.
Problem: This is probably one of my own biggest personal stumbling blocks. I do GREAT – as long as I’m prepared. But, as soon as I eat up all my healthy groceries, and no longer have healthy choices on hand, my diet goes out the window.
Solution: Make grocery shopping and cooking a priority. Don’t let your kitchen run low on the things you need to eat healthy. It is impossible to eat healthy if you don’t shop healthy. Set 2 days a week you can cook in bulk so you always have prepared food in the refrigerator. Keep a good supply of Tupperware to make it easier to bring leftovers to work.
5. Emotional Satisfaction
Problem: We turn to food to satisfy our emotions. We eat when we have something to celebrate, and we eat when we have something to cry about. I don’t know why we turn to food to feed our emotions, but almost everyone does it.
Solution: We have to reprogram our brain. Some people have trained their body to want to go for a run when they are mad, or lift weights when they are stressed, but that didn’t just happen on its own. Those are trained behaviors, which you can also implement. At first, you’ll have to purposefully think of what the best response would be but, eventually, your body will catch on.
Problem: When you have money in your pocket, it’s hard not to spend it – and, if you have food in front of you, it’s hard not to eat it. Allowing yourself to be in a position where you are constantly exposed to food, is a great way to set yourself up for failure.
Solution: First, tell friends about your goals and request fewer outings centered on food. Second, Avoid going to events hungry so you aren’t as tempted to eat poorly. Third, drink a LOT of water. Keeping a glass in your hand, and your belly full of agua, can help you resist nibbling. Lastly, learn to say no. The key to saying no is to not even think about it first. As soon as you entertain the thought of tasting something you have said “maybe” – and maybe is the beginning to saying “yes”.
If you want to succeed this year, you have to figure out which of these above problems could be holding you back. As soon as you diagnosis your problems, you can begin to tackle them and develop the right solutions for you. With a little trial and error, you CAN learn to face your issues withOUT the need to feed!
Today’s Motivation: You have the power to change your future by what you do today. Food no longer has to boss you around. YOU are the boss! YOU are in control! And, YOU CAN SUCCEED – and that success can start today!