It can be tough when you find yourself making food choices that are in conflict with your health and fat loss goals.
You stay perfect all day but at night after a long day at work and hitting the gym you slip up and eat cookies, have wine or eat a bowl of ice cream.
This isn’t something that just happens once a week either, it happens three to four times a week, usually followed by shame, guilt and frustration.
We have covered in previous posts why diets can be so difficult to stick to based on the extreme restrictive nature of them. They can work in the short and get short term results, but what about one year from now. In today’s blog we are going to covering the top three problems that can destroy your food choices.
I'll stop talking about sleep when people actually start to value and understand how vitally important it is to your longevity, mental, physical and emotional well being. Until that day comes I will continue to beat this drum!
You don’t have to search long in the internet to find lots of studies explaining how sleep deprivation will negatively impact your ability exhibit self control around foods.
When you don’t sleep your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar is impaired, and you are more likely to deal with bouts of low blood sugar, and sudden hunger spells.
Managing blood sugar is a top priority for the body, which is why we have multiple hormones designed to raise our blood sugar and only one to lower it.
When you are having a hard time regulating blood sugar due to a lack of sleep the brain responds by increasing cravings for dense sources of energy in the form of processed carbohydrates and sugars.
Our willpower is a limited resource like a piggy bank that you make withdrawls from all day long. This is the reason that people are more likely to make poor food choices at night when their willpower is completely drained.
When you lose sleep on a consistent basis, you start each day will less willpower in your piggybank and are more likely to run out before the end of the day.
When you combine drained willpower with a propensity to make worse food choices due to a lack of sleep it is only a matter of time before poor food choices are made.
Your Fix: Guard your sleep like your life depends on it! shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep in a pitch black room. Remove as many electronics as you can from the bedroom.
Avoid screen time from TVs and laptops an hour away from the time you want to head to bed. While the total number of hours you sleep is important getting to bed earlier is better, try to get to bed as close to 10PM as you can.
This isn’t always easy, in fact for some people this is going to be the toughest part of this blog to read because it is where they need to check their behavior and self talk.
Sometimes the most negative person that tears you down is living between your ears and is with you twenty fours hours a day.
For a lot of people if you spoke to others how you speak to yourself you would get punched in the face. Your thoughts control your actions and your actions determine your behavior.
Your view of your body and self worth is going to directly impact how you treat your body. If you think of your body like a broken beat up vehicle would you spend the money to put premium in the tank ?
On the other side of the coin what if you view your body like a lamborghini, you would absolutely put premium in it.
If you have a poor body image chances are you think about your body a lot. Food is view as a temporary relief from concentrating on what you dislike about your body, and improves your mood.
Those high reward hyper palatable junk foods that people crave hit on the reward center in your brain make you feel better for a short period of time but, is accompanied by a sugar crash and worsening of mood along with it.
Also the shame and guilt cycle of these poor food choices makes those who already feel poorly about their body feel even worse and increases the negative self talk.
Your Fix: Write down one thing each day that you like about yourself. Start recognizing a lot of your negative self image is due to your perception not facts.
Shift your focus from perfection to progress and realize that constantly comparing yourself to others is only tearing you down, and most likely belittling your efforts or accomplishments.
Avoid eating at times when you feel badly about yourself and are emotional. Make a rule that you can have that food you are craving tomorrow as your reward. Chances are when you wake up the next day the food will seem less appealing when emotions are removed from the equation.
Protein and Fat
Protein and fat are the two highest satiety macronutrients, they help you to feel fuller for longer and achieve the feeling of being satisfied.
Fat helps to slow the contents of your stomach from emptying so you can avoid the typical blood sugar peaks and valleys that cause cravings and emotional mood swings.
When you make sure to consume an adequate amount of protein and fat from the right sources it helps to curb food cravings. This is an especially helpful strategy for someone who never feels full or never feels full for very long.
Your Fix: Start with at least one palm sized portion of protein and two thumb sized portions of oil or fats at every meal. If you find yourself needing to snack, have a glass of water first and if you are still hungry after 15 minutes focus on snack that is protein and fat based like a handful of nuts, leftover meat, or hard boiled eggs with guacamole.
Food choices can be hard to change, but they are even more difficult if you have multiples factors working against you. The best part is you can control these factors and make a decision to change and start implementing these strategies today.
Don’t focus on doing things perfectly, work on making daily progress and doing at least one thing better today than yesterday.
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These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained, while keeping you accountable along the way.