So often we're told to make "small changes," but when would there ever be the need to really go cold turkey? Some people do (they toss out all the junk food or quit smoking) and have success. Think someone could talk about when exactly this can be a good thing?
For many people, their mindset when consuming certain foods can be addictive in nature. They try and try again to lose “those stubborn 30 pounds,” however they don’t change their trigger foods. Then in times of stress, they return to enjoy the sweet and gooey brownies, but without their normal mental armor reminding them to enjoy brownies “in moderation.”
How does one cope: should they throw out the idea of ever eating a brownie again, or know it’s a lifetime battle?
Currently, 70 percent of the population is overweight and/or obese. When going cold turkey with trigger foods, we need to have back-up plans in place. We need to understand the reasons behind nutrition and learn the addictive powers of junk food. According to the Food and Drug Administration, junk food actually leads to neuro-chemical addiction. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. It’s science! In order to help overcome food addictions we need to further educate ourselves on the importance of eating a balanced, high fiber diet that helps shift cravings.
Learn how your own body responds to trigger foods to change your mindset and response. If stressed, have a back up plan.
1. Immediately lace up and go for a run/walk. Make a healthy swap and shift your attention—activity instead of stress eating through a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
2. Throw away the leftover bites and know tomorrow is a new day. Pat your back that you didn’t call Betty Crocker over.
3. Call, not text, but call a friend to talk. Set up exercise dates for the week ahead. Mapping out fitness dates in advance helps after any stressful eating period.
4. Make sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep. Eat a protein-rich breakfast, and eliminate added sugars to help your mind be sharp to make healthy choices too.
5. Take five big breaths, remind yourself each day is new, and you are a good person. A bit cliché, but food doesn’t own who you are and how you live. You do! Buckle up buttercup and believe you can live healthy, active and happy.
More often than not, the all or nothing mentality sets people up for failure. It is due to the feeling of guilt and shame when the trigger food is consumed. People need to live, learn how to work with food in all settings, and retrain their mindset with trigger foods. To help ease food guilt, partake in conscious eating or mindful eating. Slowing down to listen to one’s body signals for fullness, fatigue and energy.
According to Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., cofounder of The Center for Mindful Eating, we need to learn along with our body about “taste satiety.” It varies with different foods, but some people lose their awareness of how foods even taste to please their taste buds, and that triggers overconsumption. Slow down to taste each bite, taking five big breaths between.
Remember, when the back up plan is set, mantras are in place, that gooey brownie has nothing on you!
By Erin Kreitz-Shirey, certified personal trainer for DietsInReview.com