Roadblocks to Lifestyle Change
by Amy Parker, RD
Emotional Eating - What are you really hungry for?
Assess the reasons you are eating, most people are feeding more than hunger. If you find yourself at the fridge when you are mad, glad, stressed or sad, you are not eating for energy. At these times take a deep breath, have a glass of water and think about what you really need. If you are stressed, physical activity may take the edge off. If you are sad, call a friend and talk about it. So many times we turn to food when the answer is elsewhere.
Join the Breakfast Club
Breakfast will always be the most important meal of the day. After depriving your body all night of food, the morning meal kicks off the day the right way. Your body needs food to get your metabolism running. Make sure to include whole grain carbohydrates, protein and a piece of fruit.
A Clean Plate is not Necessary to Leave the Table
As a child many people are raised to clean their plate. As the size of plates at restaurants and at home increase to sometimes massive proportions this old adage becomes dangerous. By no means should you be wasteful with food but realize that you can leave the table without a clean plate. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day or share a large portion. At home one easy way to downsize is by using smaller plates. Appropriate sized portions may get lost on a dinner plate but they will look heaping on a smaller sized plate.
No Snacking Before Bed
As you rest overnight all your bodies functions slow down. This means you do not digest as quickly as during the day and you do not need food to give you energy. It is recommended to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed time. If you tend to have a late dinner and go to bed early, this means no snacking after dinner. Of course it is not realistic to refrain from eating late at night every night. If you must eat choose something healthy, a piece of fruit or a glass of milk.
Don’t Let the Little Habits Become Big
Stop doing the things that have got you this far. For instance, having one little donut won’t make much difference, but allowing it to become two, three or back to having one everyday will set you back. Remember the 80/20 rule; what you do 80% of the time is most important. Allow yourself some flexibility 20% of the time but save that “cheating” for special occasions.
Successful lifestyle change is like climbing stairs. Success is much more likely when we take it one step at a time!
About the Author:
Amy Parker is a Registered Dietitian who regularly writes food and nutrition articles. She graduated from the University of Alberta and completed a one year internship in the Calgary Health Region. She currently specializes in prenatal nutrition and is passionate about helping her clients have the healthiest babies possible. Her other areas of interest include weight loss, childhood obesity and healthy food that tastes good too!
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