Are you obsessed with food? Take the following quiz to find out....
Answer "True" or "False" to the following:
- You often eat when you're not hungry.
- You often rely on non-caloric foods, such as diet soft drinks, coffee, mustard or gum to satisfy your appetite.
- Your weight weems to go up and down, with dramatic fluctuations of 10 pounds or more.
- You divide foods or behaviors into clear-cut "good" or "bad" categories, and avoid certain foods like sugar or bread because they are "fattening."
- You make excuses for not eating while others are having a meal.
If you answered "True" to two or more of these questions, you may benefit from learning more about how to improve your relationship with food. There are many reasons we eat other than because food tastes good. Learning how to handle stress, emotions, and current eating habits can be the key to taking control again and to living a healthier lifestyle. Feel free to contact me to schedule a time to discuss how to get started!
Quiz adapted from Runaway Eating: The 8-Point Plan to Conquier Adult Food and Weight Obsessions by Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., and Nadine Taylor, M.S., R.D. (Rodale, 2005).
Time to Relax and Breath!Asthmatics who supplemented magnesium demonstrated significant improvements in their asthma symptoms and in their quality of life. Magnesium in this population exhibited anti-inflammatory properties as well.When supplementing with magnesium, it is important to use high-quality supplements that are superior for their absorption and delivery. You also want a supplement that is synergistic, which means it contains other nutrients that work together to ensure your body can utilize what you are taking. These nutrients will complement one another in order to enhance and extend the capabilities of those nutrients, but also provide phenomenal benefits of their own.
In order to get enough magnesium per day to help with your allergies, I suggest two products. One is called Calcium Plus, which, when taken twice per day, provides 200mg of Magnesium. This is a synergistic formula that will provide you with Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and the antioxidant Vitamin C.
The second product I recommend for allergies is a powerful antioxidant called OPC-3. This supplement contains grape seed extract, red wine extract, bilberry extract and pine bark extract. Pine bark extract contains Pycnogenol, which is a widely researched antioxidant which have shown positive health outcomes including asthma and allergies. This product demonstrates the following benefits:
* Combats free radicals (from environmental pollution, lack of sleep, from exercise, poor diet, and stress)
* Anti-Inflammatory activity - will help with inflammation caused by allergies
* Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
* Helps maintain healthy circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries and veins
* Helps maintain joint flexibility
* Helps promote cardiovascular health
* Helps reduce mild menstrual cramping and abdominal pain
* Promotes healthy blood vessel dilation
* Supports a healthy complexion
* Supports healthy blood glucose levelsFeel free to contact me with any questions.(802) firstname.lastname@example.orgHealthy wishes!Alissa
Source: Effect of Oral Magnesium Supplementation on Measures of Airway Resistance and Subjective Assessment of Asthma Control and Quality of Life in Men and Women with Mild to Moderate Asthma
Make it a Challenge to Overeat.
The more obstacles you can put in place in order for you to consume a food the better. What do I mean by this? This means having foods in the house that need to be prepared or thawed in order to slow down the rate of consumption. These steps will ultimately be a deterrent and will lead to you asking yourself, "Am I really hungry?"
So how can you snack in a healthy manner without overconsuming on your favorite foods? Repackage these foods into single-portion baggies. Healthier options could be unsalted nuts or seeds, Terra sweet potato and beet chips, or the obvious, fresh fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, and fresh vegetables such as sugar snap or snow peas, baby carrots, sliced cucumbers or cut-up peppers.
Have leftovers? Do yourself a favor and wrap leftovers in tin foil and freeze in individual portions. Studies show that when leftovers are served in bigger containers, people tend to eat more. No choice but to serve yourself from a large leftover portion? Dish your portion onto a small plate and put the rest away prior to sitting down to eat.
I hope these tips to "winning the food fight" have been helpful over the past week or so. By following tips like these, you'll be on your way to living a healthier lifestyle.
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
Nutrition Specialist & Owner
Lifestyle Management & Nutrition
Keep Any Tempting Foods Out of Sight.
According to research done at Cornell University Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York, office workers who were given candies in clear dishes to place on their desktops helped themselves to candy 71% more often than a similar group that was given the same candy in opaque dishes so that the candy wasn't visible.
So what's my point? Hiding tempting foods can truly make a huge difference in the choices we make, as well as how frequently we consume (or overconsume) the foods we find tempting. We have all heard of the statement, "out of sight, out of mind," so keep any foods you know are tempting to you OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!
If you're going to keep snacks at home, make sure to keep them inside the cupboard and NOT on your countertops. Keep foods on the counter that ARE a healthier snack option such as bananas or apples. When you open your fridge, make sure to have cut-up veggies and fruit in baggies, as well as yogurt and cheesesticks as options that are easily visible. Do the same in your cupboards - put your unsalted nuts, seeds, and Kashi Chewy granola bars in front of other tempting snack options.
Tips like this just may be the key to you conquering a food challenge and to your overall success!?!?!
Find Healthy and Fun Outlets for Emotions.
Do you tend to turn to food in an effort to numb your emotions? This may work temporarily, but as soon as the food is gone the problem or stimulus to your emotion still remains. You most likely also feel a tremendous amount of guilt after your binging episode.
How can you prevent this from happening? Find ways to respond positively to your emotions rather than turning to food. Examples could be calling a friend to go for a walk or going on your own, using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, journaling, or reading a book. The more you continue to practice these "healthy" behaviors, the more they will become your outlet of choice.
Eventually you'll find that this will happen automatically without even having to think about it. No longer will you turn to the bag of chips or tub of icecream when a stressful event comes your way. You're in control, you're healthy, and you deserve to be happy!
Expect the Unexpected.
Foods that are most tempting to us are more likely to trigger overeating when we come across them unexpectedly. Since these surprise confrontations are no doubt a given this day in age, it's extremely helpful to arm yourself with a script and/or a plan when you're confronted by tasty, tempting food.
- If you're handed a slice of cake at a birthday party, the line might be, "No thank you. I brought my own 'treat' for dessert," or "No thank you. I'm stuffed from the rest of the food."
- If you're handed a sample of cookies at the supermarket, the line might be, "No thanks. I've just eaten."
- If you're stressed and wanting to turn to food, the action and thoughts might be, "I'll go for a walk to keep my mind off food...I CAN do this! ... food doesn't control me!"
Learning to handle unexpected food triggers takes practice, but the key is to start practicing now. The more you do it, the more these behaviors will simply become who you are and what you do!!
Eat with Intention.
Eat all your meals in a designated place and without distractions. Examples of good places are at your kitchen table, cafeteria at work, or outside at a picnic table. This also means NOT eating in front of the TV. Practicing the habit of designating a place to eat will ensure that your eating episode will have a beginning and an end.
Make sure to eat slowly. Stopping to put your fork down between bites will help with this. By doing so, you will find you will begin feeling full sooner and therefore you will not overeat at meals. It will also help you to truly enjoy your meal. So many of us eat so quickly that we can't even remember what we ate later in the day.
Nutrition and health experts say that making an effort to be mindful, no matter what you're eating, can help break the tendancy to binge. You should also experience a renewed appreciation for the foods you are eating, and truly enjoy them in the process!
Begin implementing this strategy this week and let me know how it goes!
AVOID LONG PERIODS OF TIME WITHOUT EATING.
Eating regularly helps prevent feeling deprived and hungry. Plan to eat three main meals and at least 2 snacks per day, which are spaced out at regular intervals to avoid going long stretches without eating.
The best and easiest way to plan when and how often you should be eating is to determine your waking hours per day. If you are up 15 hours on average per day, this means you should be eating every 3 hours or so. At each meal/snack make sure to include a serving of protein for additional staying power, as well as a fruit and vegetable.
Schedule an appointment to learn more about the best foods to eat on a regular basis that will prevent cravings, hunger, and promote weight loss.
PLAN FOR THE OCCASIONAL PIECE OF CAKE.
Studies suggest that feeling deprived - even if you're consuming plenty of calories - can actually trigger overeating. Making any food off-limits will simply increase your want and the allure of that particular food. If icecream or peanut butter is your downfall, it may be too tempting to keep in your house. That's not to say you can't go out to enjoy it, but the key is to make sure you eat the food while out - not in your house. For example, if pizza is your downfall, make a trip to the pizza place, order a slice, and enjoy it out in the open. The more you practice this, the more it becomes an ingrained behavior. The fact of the matter is that you CANNOT avoid a trigger food for the rest of your life, but you can learn how to eat the foods you binge on in moderation. Practice and time is the only way you can successfully establish a healthy relationship with food.
So....get out there and practice!! :)
Staying in control of what we eat can be challenging in our world, where tempting foods seem to loom at every turn. In order to conquer this overwhelming challenge, we need a bigger set of skills at our finger tips that will help us to beat the tendency to bing and improve our relationship with food.
Over the next few days, I will share 8 tips to win the fight with food that we all have struggled with from one time or another....
KEEP A FOOD DIARY.
Recording everything - from the ice cream binge as well as the celery or carrots. This is because everything we eat needs to be part of the plan. No food is "good" or "bad", it's just a matter of how much and how often. A daily food diary, can in fact, be a wonderful, ongoing tool we can use for the rest of our lives. When we find ourselves slipping back into old habits, turning to our daily food diary can help us to literally see what we are eating, and whip us back into shape! Visit my "nutrition tools" page to access and download various types of daily food journals, or you can simply grab a bound notebook and start writing!!