Prohibition starts on MONDAY!!! You in?

So I’m not a fan of anything that is elimination centered… EXCEPT UNDER ONE CIRCUMSTANCE…ENDING A HABIT LOOP that is hurting rather than helping your goals.

Yesterday I had two closely related conversations post class w/ two different friends… (I love our conversations post class!!!!)

  •  The first, in the morning, from someone asking for help to stop a habit that was causing weight gain.  She knew what she had to do but, we know, goals are met with action.  She was looking for something in particular to catapult her into #GSD mode.
  • The second, in the evening, with someone simply mentioning how much less she had been eating since she got their dog two weeks ago.  She acknowledged she were busier but she was perplexed by her sudden reduction in hunger.  She was eating less without trying and without deprivation.

Had she found The Holy Grail of Fat Loss?

Must we all purchase a puppy in order to get our hands on it?

Of course not!  What we have here is a real life classic case of BROKEN HABIT loops!!

The dog had literally JOLTED her out of cues and routines which revolved around food rewards.  Her daily routines have been completely turned around.  She’s waking up earlier, she’s coming home for lunch, she’s taking a walk before dinner.  Her focus when she arrives and leaves is no longer the “perceived” hunger/cravings of habit loops.  Her dog is now what CUES her behavior patterns!

Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, is THE RESOURCE for this btw.  His book is not food centered but very applicable here none the less.  Awesome read!!

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So…what is one to do if we are caught up in habit loops and buying a puppy is not in our future?

We band together and bring back our Prohibition Challenge!

Here’s how it works:

  1.  Pick one habit that seems to have you “in chains.”  You do it almost mindlessly.  You know it’s not great for you.  You know it goes contrary to what you should be doing?  You know you would be better off either without it or greatly reduced.  This habit may have started out with great intentions…

Like that small glass of wine you used to have that now has turned into 2 giant glasses before bed 

or

Like that tablespoon of peanut butter you ate to hit the spot that has somehow turned to 4 because cue, routine, reward to the max ???

or 

Like that Thursday night pizza slice that has turned into an evening of binge eating and drinking?  (Not naming any names here, totally random example, promise.)

2.  Commit to eliminating it from Feb. 22nd- Thursday March 18th.

3. If you are a member of Sweat, you are required to put yourself on the line and:

  1.  Put your name on the board
  2. Write down what you are giving up

4.  On Sundays blog, I’ll talk to you guys about REPLACING your “drug” your habit to keep you consistent and successful and so you are using will power in good ways vs. bad.  For now, all you need to do is dig deep, commit, and get your friends and family on board so you can all break out of those habit loops that are holding your progress back.

YOU IN????12714163_10156505012195324_2115552190_n

The Cookie Monster Within Us!

First and foremost, if you want to get a grip on cravings you HAVE TO eat properly.  There is no way around that and for our “Braking Bad” group this has been one of the most positive changes they have experienced.  Nothing beats the impact of balanced nutrition throughout your day.  However, we aren’t robots and life can be unpredictable so accept that no matter how “perfect” a day, week, or month you have eating wise, cravings will eventually surface.  This weekend I touched upon the topic of temptations vs. trigger foods with the “Braking Bad” group.

Trigger foods are any foods you enjoy that will create a cycle of intense cravings for several days after indulging in them.  They are not only hard to resist at the moment but under most circumstances as well.  Will power is under constant use.  To contrast, temptations are simply foods that you like and enjoy but do not cost you any or much will power to turn down.  Under normal circumstances where you are fed and fueled you don’t feel much need to partake in these items when they are near.  You can enjoy them and move on.

I have chips, M&M’s, Twizzlers, and loads of other pre-packaged snacks front and center in my pantry and most of the time even when I come home hungry, I don’t want a bite of them.  If I choose to have some, I do.  No guilt.  No binge.  No worries.

However, you will no longer find brownies, cookies, or peanut butter in my house.  These are treats that I do allow myself when I’m out to eat but do not have easy access to reach on a normal basis.  If will power is like a muscle, it will reach failure and I need my kitchen to be a mentally peaceful place, not a constant battle of wills.  Brownies, cookies, and peanut butter trigger true BINGES for me.  Remember The Cookie Monster?  That’s me!

To make matters worse, I enter what feels like a sugar detox for several days later where I crave the same binge again.  When I decided to treat my trigger foods differently from other temptations I was finally able to create a balance and make peace with these foods.

1.   Never buy them to bring home from the store.

2.   Never order these items in bulk no matter the discount.

3.  When out, choose to eat the very best of the trigger food.  It has to be WORTH IT.

No food is to be truly forbidden from your life.  If you completely restrict yourself from eating something you love, the mind games and misery begin. However, if you recognize certain foods that make you lose control and make your kitchen into a war zone where you are constantly exercising your will power, then step back, acknowledge the situation, and create a realistic boundary.  There is a healthy middle ground.  You just have to find it!

 

Good, Great, and Guilt

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, on Oct. 13th Sweat kicked off Braking Bad, Sweat’s first ever online nutritional coaching workshop led by the uber talented and experienced RD, Tammy Beasley.  We are two weeks into the program and our group of 15 can boast about big time breakthroughs regarding appetite, energy, and mindset.  Hot topic today…good, great, and guilt!!

95% of diets fail.  66% of those who have fallen off their “diet wagon” will actually gain back MORE weight than before.  Why?  The sexy diets out there kill your metabolism.  They teach you nothing but to acknowledge and love short term weight loss wins because those translate to multi-million dollar book sales.  $$$ is sexy.

Braking Bad is definitely about what and when to eat but has just as much to do with your mindset towards food.  Are you sad about good because great wasn’t achieved?  Do you feel guilty about each and every “bad” food you eat?

1.  Follow plan but there is to be no food guilt associated w/ a spoonful of ice cream or stealing a couple of fries off your child’s plate.  While you can view them as cheats, the reality is that it’s those small “permissions to let live” that create lasting fat loss change in the long run.  These small imperfections reduce food anxiety while satisfying a craving and will keep those big binges at bay.  Unless your goal is to be on stage in 12 weeks in a bikini competition, you do not need to sweat over every little bite of food.

2.  There is to be no food guilt associated w/ good in comparison to great!  Do you ONLY praise your child for making A+ marks?  If your child struggles in math and makes a hard fought B- are you disappointed?  Can I get a Facebook brag for a “grind it out C!!!”  If you spent most of this year over exercising and under eating and now find yourself making decisions, as Tammy says, “MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,” that leave your appetite down, your energy stable, and your binges at bay then you are on the right track.  You can turn that C into a B next time, as your skill power improves.  The C is a win and will create change!!

In short, a lifestyle change must match your unique metabolism, goals, and life’s schedule.  Once you have attained that, acknowledge that perfection is neither required nor to be admired.  Give yourself permission to live!