So far, in Steps 1 to 4 of Losing Weight Permanently we determined how many calories you should be eating to lose weight permanently; why you need to eat frequently and what is going on inside your body when you don't; how to get the most bang for your buck from the foods you eat; and how to lose weight by drinking water. But, knowing all of these things will not help you if you don't begin to change your relationship with food. Adopting a healthier lifestyle by changing your eating perspective means looking at food from a long-term, means to and end, “functional" perspective, as opposed to a purely emotional “I deserve this food as my reward" perspective.
With the demands of today's hectic, fast paced, two income family lives it is very easy to see food as an emotional reward for your sacrifices. And, with food being central to every social occasion it is even easier to begin to see food as an end unto itself all of the time. While it is fine to reward yourself with a celebratory meal it becomes dangerous to carry this perspective around each time you occasion to eat. With such high fat, high calorie fare it is just too easy to eat more calories than your body requires.
But, I do realize that changing your perspective of food is not an easy thing to do. I do understand that all of us look to certain foods, especially from our childhood, to comfort us in times of stress and worry. It feels good pouring sugar over a break up or eating to drown out the pain of anxiety or a loss. But, you and I both know this only serves as a short-term emotional bandage. The pain will return after the effects of the food wear off; and to make matters worse you probably feel guilty or ashamed for having eaten so much again. If you know of certain foods that you always rely on for comfort my suggestion is to write yourself a note of how eating this in times of stress or sadness is a short-term answer that only makes you feel worse and then tape or place them on the packaging of these food items. In the future when you first feel a “comfort food moment" coming on go take a brisk walk and let your nerves calm down; or go see a friend and cry on their shoulder; or, workout and get those good-feeling endorphins pumping through your body. If you still find yourself reaching for your comfort foods at least you will have a reminder taped to the item to help keep you from taking comfort with food. Another suggestion that is highly effective is to stop buying those comforting foods. A lot of times half of the battle is not having certain foods easily accessible in your home.
So, now you know that rewarding yourself at each meal won't help you in the long run. What will help immensely with your endeavors is if you begin to think about (and thus eat) food from a more functional, “means to an end" perspective. Start looking at sources of protein for your next meal as a way to build muscle and satiate your hunger for a longer period of time. Start eating complex carbohydrates (true whole wheat bread, like Ezekiel bread, or the whole grains in Kashi, Go Lean cereal) as a way to get extended-release energy for the next three hours. Start looking for fibrous sources of food as a way to level out blood sugar levels (to help avoid sugar spikes), lower cholesterol levels, and also satiate hunger. And, then occasionally look to your next meal as a celebratory event - it's okay to have a cheat meal once in a while - it's human nature. You'll probably appreciate your food a little more, too.
But, allow me to warn you that the after-effect of this meal may not be what you expect. It's been my experience that when you begin to look at food differently and eat healthier fare more often, the period after the occasional cheat meal becomes an experience you would rather forget. As you eat healthier foods and more frequently throughout the day your stomach becomes accustomed to a smaller capacity, and proper digestion. As such, the occasional splurge on a fat-laden, carb-overloaded meal causes bloating, gas, indigestion, diarrhea and overall discomfort. Over time, the occasional splurge to feel like a beached whale becomes a negative association that will help you disassociate with those foods you used to take pleasure in. This can only make it easier for you to embrace a lifestyle of health and fitness.
All in all, the most important thing I want you to take from this article is to know why you are making healthier changes to your life. Knowing why will only help you adopt these changes and make them habitually a part of your ongoing lifestyle. That's the way to create permanent change to your body.
Good luck! And thanks for reading this. Develop your Power2B whatever you choose to be.
Please visit http://www.Power2BFitness.com and develop your Power2B whatever you choose to be. Power2B is Orange County's premier lifestyle management - personal training specialist that creates permanent change to your body.