So I have been slowly retraining myself to make better choices in my day to day life. Cupcakes for dessert?
Better make it a salad
for lunch. Those handfuls of mixed nuts I was eating thinking it was super healthy? Better bring a measuring cup to work so I stick to my ¼ cup serving (and then be shocked
at how much I was eating before that). The chicken marsala in the cafeteria is 500 calories and the grilled lemon chicken is 250 calories? Looks like I know which one I am eating!
However my loss has been……well, slow to say the best. I know that I still have a tendency to indulge, especially in the evenings, and I find myself mindlessly snacking at work out of habit and boredom more than legitimate hunger. At least I am finally at the point where my scale is always lower than it was when I started in February even when I bounce around in my little 5 lb range, so that’s a step in the right direction. But I want to do more…I want to start taking bigger steps forward and see that scale drop below the 300 lb mark sooner rather than later.
So on that note, I am rereading my copy of “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler. This is by far one of my favorite books and always a good motivator. It really helps you to see in detail how our brains are being truly reprogrammed by the modern food industry and also how we can work to change our internal programming and food driven cues. Honestly, just being aware of how insidious these companies are in building foods that are specifically designed to trigger our biological urges to crave and need and desire more and more without ever being satiated is a very powerful tool. It really isn’t about willpower – the entire system is stacked up against you, pushing you, tempting you, enticing you, seducing you to keep consuming (and keep increasing your stomach along with the corporate bottom line!!) You can then make the choice to opt out of this system and take control of your own eating again and to hell with our Evil Food Overlords
Basically what this means (for me anyway) is that anything that is artificially or chemically enhanced is designed to manipulate your brain, so you have to get back to basics.
- Buy single ingredients and make your own food whenever possible.
- Read labels CAREFULLY and don’t buy anything with an ingredient that you couldn’t buy at the store and make the item yourself (I know most people say don’t buy anything with an ingredient list longer than 5 ingredients, but if I am buying a really good curry sauce or something I guarantee it will have more than 5 spices alone. But “cinnamon, cumin, fennel” etc. is a LOT different than 10 syllable long chemical flavorings and I am ok with that)
- Experiment with new flavors, but don’t feel the need to make everything as sweet/salty/intense as we have become accustomed in the U.S. Over salted food causes you to crave more salt, making things sweet causes you to crave more sugar…start to retrain your tastebuds to appreciate the subtlety that you find in more traditional cuisines
- Don’t be afraid of fat! Fat only caused more cravings when it was layered with salt and/or sugar. It also helps create a more satisfying mouthfeel with your food so you are satisfied and full when you are done, and not out scrounging around for junk food to fill the gaps you missed.
- When going to restaurants, pick quality places where they are more likely to cook from scratch and use good ingredients rather than reheating some precooked, pumped up, chemical laden food (like TGIFridays or Chillis or Applebees for example!) And then enjoy, savor, and revel in this treat…and spend 85% of the rest of the time cooking for yourself.
So that’s my current focus. Get back to basics…strip the crap out of my diet…hopefully heal my poor stomach in addition to making my whole body healthier and happier (and maybe a little lighter?)
And on that note – I’m going to hit up the Wine Bar for happy hour!! Woohoo!!!