7 out of 10 Americans are overweight. 36% of Americans are considered to be obese. $60 billion annually is spent on wellness. So what is the missing link?
Before joining JAX Strength & Conditioning I was in a space of working a ton of hours and helping others, but not helping myself. I didn't have (wait), I didn't make time for what I needed. I was feeling lethargic throughout most days, irritable at the end of many, and unmotivated to get off of my slow moving train of perfectly crafted EXCUSES. But something happened... ACTUALLY a social media truth happened. I saw a picture of myself and I simply didn't like what I saw. In that moment it was as though the universe tilted jin my favor. The next morning I was in the gym! I began reprogramming my focus!
One of the largest factors in my journey to living well was in my diet. I became more informed on the toxins going into my body (sodas and sugary drinks, fast food, and snacks) and I literally trashed them all. During my consultation with Chrissy, the Owner of JAX Strength & Conditioning she said to me "Stephanie either the food you eat is poison or its fuel... Pick a side!" So I did... I released all of my QUICK FIX solutions! Yes I'm talking about Chik-fil-A, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and even Chipotle. These instant gratification items are some of the hardest items for our bodies to break down. And when the body can't break it down, it simply holds it in reserve.
So let's talk about why you're hungry or even starving in some cases. According to Health Magazine [September, 2016] it is important to know the chemicals that stimulate hunger signals in your noggin. Ghrelin is a hormone produced mainly in your stomach. This signal cues your brain to inform your body that it wants food. Neuropeptide Y is pumped out by the hypothalamus and acts as a neurotransmitter that stimulates you to seek food and eat. After you eat, Peptide YY hormones are pumped out of your small intestine that trigger a decrease in appetite. The Leptin hormone then signals your brain to say "I'm full." This is produced by your fat cells. Also active is Glucagon-like peptide 1 chemicals. This chemical playe several roles to help you feel full. It not only affects appetite centers in your brain, but also slows the passage of food through your stomach and prompts the release of insulin. Insulin is the chemical released by your pancreas and helps regulate your blood sugar when you nosh. I'll let you speculate what happens if you don't keep your cravings under control.
For me within days I felt better! I had more energy, I released some unwanted pounds, and was thinking more clearly than I had been. So what do you do with a formula for success that's working, DUUUUH you keep doing it! *high fives*
So I wanted to share my secrets to eating more healthy!!
Portion Control. Munching on small portions of snacks was reported as leaving people just as satisfied 15 minutes later as folks who ate 100 calories' worth more of the same food, per a 2013 study. You can be satisfied with less. It's mind over matter!
Sugar Rush. Unfortunately when your brain is in panic mode, it is more likely to crave fat or sugar-based foods. The pressures of today tend to suck your emotional just as much as your physical energy so don't polish off that box of donut holes. It simply turns into fat.
Snack Before you Shop. Going shopping on an empty stomach is a no no! You end up buying more items subconsciously because you're preoccupied with eating to curve that appetite. Jing Xu, Assistant Professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota explained "hunter makes us think about seeking, acquiring and consuming food-- and these type of thoughts may spill over and put us in the mode of getting nonfood stuff as well." Heading out to run some errands? Make sure you eat something first!
But where to start...
1. Tune in to Your Urges. Mindfulness training is a behavior based cessation program used to help people quit and is twice as effective. Plugging into your feelings associated with your cravings can help you become less controlled by them.
2. Change Your Environment. You are WHERE you eat. Your surroundings may be encouraging your bad habits. It's time to facilitate new and good ones. Don't makes snacks available to you. Swap your cookie jar for a fruit bowl.
3. Replace Your Habits. Bad habits tend to have a trigger. Being aware of what prompts you to engage in bad habits can help to be more mindful of them. So plan ahead. Meal planning may not be fun or may be labor intensive but it is a practical way to manage your diet and reduce your cost in eating out.
So whether you're a nail biter, a couch potato, a chip fiend, or donut hole collector the good news is that these habits can be broken! For me it was being unhappy with poor dieting choices and using discernment with each and every item I consumed to determine if I was helping or hurting my body. One specific lifesaver for me was tracking my food. I've included a meal plan sheet below to help you better see your commitment.
It's time to turn your worry into work!