Are you having a hard time distancing yourself from the kitchen?
COVID19 has presented us all with new challenges to overcome. Being home more hours than we like, with our refrigerators humming away in close proximity, many of us are being overwhelmed with food thoughts and cravings. Snacking, grazing, nibbling, rummaging the pantry and refrigerator have become a new social activity to counter our frustrations and boredom. But unfortunately, these new behaviors are backfiring on us. My clients are conveying the same message over and over again: “I’m up 10 pounds and I’m hungry all the time! What can I do to stop craving food all the time? Help!”
Short of chaining and locking up your refrigerator, let’s explore some things you can do to minimize uncontrolled and mindless eating.
1. Don’t Buy Junk Food.
This is obvious, but don’t bring junk food home! This is the only way to keep temptations to a minimum. If ice cream talks to you: “eat me, eat me now,” don’t have any in the freezer. Stock up on lots of healthy food choices and if the other family members really want their junk, let them go and get it themselves (and ask them to eat it outside the house, in the car, in the park).
2. Don’t bake.
Even if it’s healthy - like a zucchini bread or keto cookies - they all stick to your waistline. I learned this lesson a long time ago. I loved to bake and made these incredibly healthy treats that no one liked, so I ate them all! Instead of spending your time researching desserts and snacks, look for a new breakfast egg recipe or surprise your family with a creative dinner. Skip the baking altogether and replace desserts with some beautiful fresh berries and a little real whipping cream.
3. Have a set food schedule.
For my family, breakfast is at 9am, lunch is at 1pm and dinner is at 6pm. The kitchen is closed at all other times, except for water and herbal teas. That means no gum, no mints, no nothing! Having a set eating rhythm also benefits our circadian rhythms, helps our metabolism, digestion and even our wake/sleep cycles. Grazing all day can lead to a slow down of our migrating motor complex that can lead to constipation and other digestive disorders including reflux and IBS like symptoms. This happens because you are not allowing your body to fully complete its digestive cycle. Do invest in a variety of herbal teas to keep things interesting. There are fabulous choices out there!
4. Make well balanced and satisfying meals.
The key is to balance your food. Make sure each meal contains a good quality protein, a healthy fat, and REAL carbohydrates, preferably high fiber vegetables and fruits. Think “PFC” with each meal. Having well balanced meals will not only help you keep your cravings at bay, but also balance your body and brain chemistry. So you feel good!
5. Take good care of your gut bacteria.
They not only help to keep you healthy, they are also key in determining your weight. The two ways to increase healthy bacteria in your gut is by eating them and feeding them. Indulge in some sauerkraut, fermented pickles, check out Kimchi, and, if tolerated, fermented dairy products. Then feed your good guys with a variety of vegetables.
6. Choose foods you really enjoy eating.
Don’t waste your calories on mediocre food. Make each of your meals special. If you resort to “diet foods,” and foods you don’t really like, it will make it hard for you to stick to your food plan. Now is a great time to learn some new recipes and to experiment with new foods. Please check out my favourite Broccoli Salad I obtained from Avoca, Ireland. The key to enjoying vegetables and salads is to make them taste amazing!
7. Learn new nutrition habits.
This is a great time to learn new nutrition habits, and no better way than scheduling a nutrition appointment at Total Health. We tailor your food plan to your needs, your health concerns, and make it fun and easy to incorporate into your life. As I love to say, change your nutrition to change your life!
I invite you to please give the clinic a call for a free 15-minute phone consultation with myself to go over any health concerns, and to help keep you as healthy as possible. The clinic is offering both virtual and in-person appointments. The number you can reach us at is 262-251-2929.
Wishing you the best health,
Naturopathic Practitioner, Nutritional