Check out the winter wonderland outside! I’m not sure we got 20 inches of snow, but it’s plenty enough for me!
So, today’s the day that I plan to make some dietary changes to get me back in the groove of healthful eating. I actually started over the weekend with being more mindful of the desserts and treats that I consumed. I even had a couple of small victories yesterday!
Did you keep a sugar cravings journal over the weekend? Well, now is the time to review your notes to figure out what’s going on. I looked at mine this morning, and, basically, it came down to physical and emotional cravings.
I felt a physical craving when I was hungry or thirsty. This usually happened mid-morning after breakfast before lunch. So, I plan to add a healthy snack to my morning routine to avoid this craving for sweets. Keeping myself hydrated will also probably help, especially since I drink iced coffee every morning.
The emotional cravings typically hit me in the afternoon. After publishing my lunch post, I’m mostly done with my work for the day. I guess I’m sort of bored (and maybe a bit lonely), so I tend to eat to fill my time. This craving is going to be much more difficult to tackle. Perhaps I need to replace eating sugary foods with an activity or project? Taking Murphy for a walk usually helps, so maybe making a list of non-food activities will too? I’m not sure, but I’ll give it a try.
To help me revamp my diet, I reached out to my Registered Dietitian friend, Rachel, for some advice. She basically says it’s all about getting back to the basics.
- Concentrate on eating whole grains. Make these a quarter of your meal.
Try to minimize or avoid refined carbohydrates such as candies, cookies, white bread, sugary cereals, high sugar yogurts, juice (choose the whole fruit instead!), chocolate.
- Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Make these half of your meal.
- Always include a lean protein with your meal. Adding protein to each meal and snack helps you to not only meet your protein needs through the day, but also to slow down how fast your blood sugar rises and to help keep you feeling fuller for longer. The average women needs about 50 to 60g of protein per day.
- Don’t deny yourself! If you’re really craving a bit of something sweet, don’t deny yourself! Instead, have a little something to quench that craving: a small cookie, a small square of dark chocolate. Just make sure you don’t keep too much in the house or it could trigger wanting more.
- When in doubt: eat a crunchy fruit or fresh veggies when the cravings strike. Taking your ‘eating energy’ out on something that needs a lot of chewing (and that has a bit of sweetness already!) can help you get over the craving.
And here are a few more things that I plan to do/keep in mind:
- Nothing is off-limits. I don’t do diets. They’re miserable and don’t work for me in the long run. Plus, once I say something is off-limits, I only crave it more, which, for me, means small indulgences everyday and a bigger one on Cookie Friday!
- Bake less. Currently, I bake goodies 2-3 times a week. Having all of those treats around the house is bad news for me because I just can’t turn them down. I’m not going to stop baking because I love it so much, but I will definitely cut back.
- Drink more water. I already mentioned this above, but I’ve let this healthy habit go by the wayside. Now, I only drink water when I am really thirsty, so I want to change this. As you probably know, dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger.
- Try new foods. I’m definitely stuck in a food rut. Trying new foods is fun and exciting for me. I want to venture out with my food choices to eat more nutritiously once again.
- Blog all of my meals and snacks. This will keep me accountable. Plus, I want to share my challenges on CNC for those of you who are struggling to break your sugar habit too. I know this isn’t going to be easy, so any and all support is welcomed!
Let the adventure begin!
Be back soon with breakfast!