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by Louise Skeen
Mind, Body, Health Coach | Fitness Trainer | Founder of Slender Boss Program
Food can have such a powerful pull, especially if you are feeling emotional, stressed, angry, tired, or even feeling board, and at these weak points in your day, when blood sugars have dropped or when actioning repetitive tasks, you may be totally unconscious of your actions to put food in your mouth.
It seems to be that the foods you crave during these weak times, are comfort foods, often sugary, fatty, salty foods. Foods that make you feel happy. Foods that are not part of your regular diet, or if they are, the quantity you consume may be exaggerated. At the time, these foods seem to suppress the emotion you may be experiencing but if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, these emotional eating episodes can truly sabotage much of your efforts to date.
Food should taste good, nourish your cells and organs, and give you energy. With poor food choices when emotional, the “high” that you experience from eating comfort foods, will only last a brief time before it throws you down hard as your blood sugars adjust.
The good news is, that steps can be taken to make better choices in your weakest times.
When you choose nutrient-dense whole foods, you not only have more energy and a clearermind, but your body will also be able to maintain a healthy weight.
Sabotaging habits need to be broken so I suggest you start implementing these tools now to set yourself up for having a healthy relationship with food.
1. Emotional hunger may hit fast
For many women, when experiencing deep emotion, they need food .....now. Isn’t that the truth!, If this happens to you, stop to question when you last had a meal.
If it was within a 3 hour timeframe, then you probably are not hungry at all. At this time, go and drink one or two glasses of fresh water. Wait 10 minutes, then ask yourself if you are hungry. If you answer yes, and feel empty in the tummy, then have something light and healthy eg: a piece of fruit, Greek Yoghurt, a handful of raw nuts. If the answer is “No”, change your focus, and move on. Try going outdoors for 10 long, slow breaths, or take a walk around the block to clear your mind – it works!
2. You may be eating too fast.
Your body needs time, approximately twenty minutes, to digest food properly and if you’re rushing to eat and not chewing all of your food, your brain fails to register that your tummy has had enough to satisfy. This of course leads to overeating but as outlined above, if your food choices are high in sugar and are highly processed, or salty, you will consume umpteen more calories than you ever hoped to in one day, and you know you do not want this for yourself.
3. Understand the reason why you eat
If you are constantly reaching for cakes, baked items, and potato chips after a stressful day, then there’s a very good chance you haven’t consumed enough nutrient rich foods throughout your day. The more calorie dense, high fat, high sugar foods you consume, the more you actually crave those foods.
Food should taste good, but it should be good for you too, and the very reason you eat in the first place is to feed your body, your cells and your organs the nutrients it needs to give you energy, strength, mental alertness and overall health and wellness.
When you see food as nutrients to feed your body and to fuel your cells, you won’t be reaching for the poor food choices that sabotage your health.
4. How much food do you really need?
In today’s world, food is presented to you everywhere you turn. Supermarkets are up to 50 times larger than they were 50 years ago. Your fuel stations sell hot food, snack foods, and sugary drinks to temp you while you’re driving in your car, movie theaters have an abundance of super-sized calorie rich foods to temp you, even though you will be sitting and immobile for hours.
Too often, the food you may buy at venue’s and events, are done so because of habit, not because you are actually hungry. You may find you refill your plate at meal time because you enjoyed the flavor of what was served, or you always finish a meal with dessert and have done so for years but the question is: How much food do you really need?
The answer is.... enough to be satisfied but not to feel full or bloated. Your body works hard to digest and draw the nutrients out of your food. Excess doesn’t always get excreted. Some excess will be turned into fat, dangerous fat, which too often is stored visually on your tummy and torso, and internally around your heart and in your blood.
Be kind to your health with sensible food choices at least 80% of the time.
5. Identify your trigger foods and habits
In this article we have identified that the more processed foods containing sugar, bad fats, and salts you consume, the more your body craves them. The same is said with cigarettes which is another habitual crux that you may find you reach for without thought.
Join the Slender Boss Transformation Program. One of the main course contains 14 topics including how you enjoy the foods you love, how to read nutrition labels, understanding food fats, the principles needed to stay slender & healthy, 4 week detox and many more. Plus, 45 healthy detox recipes.