I started my spark morning bleary eyed and with a cup of coffee. I saw this blog on addictive cues based on one of the best researchers in the field of addiction, Dr. Nora Volkow.
Working out three times a week, burning 1000 cals a week, has not budged the scale. I notice the changes in my body but not the scale. After three weeks, I began to review my daily trackers. I can see where my healthy exercise is NOT balancing my bad diet.
I've been focusing on this for the past few days and trying to understand it. This blog, "Beware the Addictive Cues: How to Fight Food Cravings" made tremendous sense to me. So much sense it was a duh! moment.
The trend is...on the days I work out, I go to the gym immediately after work. I plan breakfast, lunch, healthy protein snack with an apple before gym, then dinner around 7pm. BINGO! Hit the nutrition goals.
My days off at the gym I am less regulated. I tend to munch fruit/carrots at work then come home and chow, usually having strong cravings for dessert.
I've tried to break the dessert trend but could not figure it out for the life of me. This article made me realize dessert is a BIG deal around here.
It's a comfort for some family members, a treat for a day well done for others. For me, it is a cue that my family is happy when I drop a dessert on the table. Everyone's mood lightens. They are SO happy to have a treat because usually our pantry is filled only with staples for cooking/baking. Also, most night snacks are usually centered on relaxing with a book or movie or in the living room with my family. Gym night it is so late by the time we get home it's dinner, dishes, shower, and bedtime. It changes up the routine and my cues aren't activated.
My cue for craving in the evenings is rooted in family. No wonder it is so difficult to break the habit!
At least that is what I get from this reading...lol.
As a starting point for tweaking my new healthy lifestyle. My list:
I need to be diligent on meals and snacks 7 days of the week.
Focus on strength training and increasing cardio at the gym (it was already in my "goals" for this week).
Learn to enjoy family and family time WITHOUT it involving food.
What am I missing? Insight and input from others greatly appreciated.