Changing the way we think about food (part 1)

“Healthy eating” isn’t about only eating “healthy” food. It’s about having a healthy relationship with ALL the food you eat. ~Angela Doll Carlson

For the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what a healthy relationship with food looks like and why it is so important. After doing some reading on it, I’m amazed at all the things I’ve never really considered and I’m seeing the connection between how we relate to food and many of our most common food struggles.nutrition

The thing is that food is not in and of itself a moral issue and yet, “we’ve convinced ourselves that the definition of healthy eating is black and white—and that we, by association, are either virtuous or sinful, depending on what we’ve eaten recently. Never mind the fact that this completely ignores what else we’ve eaten that day, what we will be eating, what our specific medical conditions are, and what our individual health goals are.” (Robin Hilmantel)

In all fairness, it’s hard not to think this way when every diet and magazine has a list of good and bad foods and every food zealot out there acts like you are an idiot or a terrible person if you do or don’t eat certain foods. I’ve definitely been guilty of this kind of black and white thinking. While this way of thinking might not seem like that big of a deal (in a lot of ways it feels easier), in the end it leads to a number of issues.

Here’s why I think we need to get rid of this way of thinking and why it’s actually NOT easier…

can you buy Dilantin over the counter in dubai 1) The all-or-nothing mindset

I think we can all agree that the all-or-nothing mindset does not serve us when it comes to building healthy and sustainable habits. Yet, so many of us struggle with it!!

This idea that you’re either on or you’re off based on whatever makes the good list in your mind makes each meal and everything you eat seem like a big deal. We start thinking that we are always just one meal away from failure. In other words, no matter how well you might have eaten the rest of the day or week or month, most of us can easily get completely thrown off by one bad meal or day.

No one is good at handling that much pressure and stress day in and day out, every time they sit down to eat, without eventually cracking. When the stress becomes too much, we go “off” our perfect plan until we get sick of how we feel and/or look, at which point we go back “on”, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle of binging and depriving.

follow url 2) Focusing only on what 

Here’s the thing: what you eat isn’t as important as we’ve all made it out to be and how you eat is more important than most of us tend to believe.

The human body is an awesome thing. It’s incredibly smart, adaptive, and resilient. It was built to survive. It only makes sense that it would already come with a built-in system that’s really good at letting us know how and what to eat. Unfortunately, instead of listening to our body, most of us eat based on what we’ve heard or think is “best” and have completely lost the ability to tap into the natural signals our body is sending us.

Because guess what….there is no one-size-fits-all! Our bodies are different and therefore, can handle different things. All we have to do is be willing to pay attention.

“In fact, experts agree that we were born with the ability to eat based on our body’s cues. But often, we train ourselves to ignore what our body is telling us because it doesn’t fall in line with what we feel like we “should” eat—or what others are telling us we should be eating.” ~Robin Hilmantel

This leads us right into number 3….

3) Food guilt

food guilt

“I believe that the guilt we associate with food is far more detrimental to us than the food itself.” ~Dr. Eric Cobb

For most of us there is a huge amount of guilt and shame that goes along with eating and food choices.

When I became a personal trainer, I noticed that people were all of the sudden starting to pay more attention to what I ate. Some were just curious, while others were definitely judging. But then I realized this wasn’t just a problem for trainers. Everybody was paying attention to what everyone else was eating and debating between what they wanted versus what they thought they should get, then feeling the need to explain their choices or comment on other people’s choices.

This is the good or bad list coming into play again. It creates this severe lack of self trust, so that we’re either choosing things based on what we think the people around us will approve of or we feel guilty about what we got. Since guilt and enjoyment can’t really co-exist, most of us have lost that true enjoyment that should come from eating.

This is not the way it should be, and yet, it’s the norm for most of us. Health is supposed to enhance our lives, not make it more burdensome. This is why we need to start changing the way we think about food.

I hope this stuff is as eye-opening and fascinating and helpful to you as it is to me. This stuff is so prevalent and there’s even more to it that I can’t wait to share with you guys, so check out part 2 (about one the biggest reasons we struggle with food) and part 3 (my experiences with a new way of thinking about food and my definition of normal eating)!

 

10 Tips to Better Easier Eating

Often times, in this age of information overload, it’s very easy to get swept away. This blog says paleo, that trainer says carb cycling, Dr. Oz says buy this pill. The biggest problem often becomes that we make it out to be much harder than it actually needs to be!

Not to say that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t require some hard work and discipline, because it most certainly does. But so often, all that information becomes so jumbled and confusing that we start to believe that it’s really complicated and hard.  We start to believe that the simple things, like eating slower or getting a little more sleep, are too easy to really make a difference. This is simply not true!

So I decided to put together 10 easy ways to eat better:

1. Use smaller plate and bowls

It’s been shown that we naturally eat less when using smaller plates and bowls, even if people have practice with portion control! For more on this, check out this interesting TED talk called mindless ways to eat more mindfully, which is what inspired this blog in the first place. 🙂

2. Use your “built in portion control”

If you don’t already have smaller plates, that can be quite an investment. However, you do have your hands! When filling up your plate, use your hand as an easy way to start building your awareness of portion sizes. (And this works for everybody because it is in proportion to your hand!)

1 Portion:
Protein – Palm of your hand
Carbohydrates – Fist
Fat – thumb

3. Put healthy foods in front and in view.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping some treats in the house, but I’m sure we’re all aware of the dangers of the cookie jar. 😀 If sweets are sitting out or the first thing you see when you look in your pantry, it makes sense that you will naturally reach for them more often. Arrange your pantry and fridge so that your healthier food is in the front and easier to get to. If you have food sitting out, make it a pretty fruit bowl instead of a cookie jar. 😉

Isn't it pretty???

Isn’t it pretty???

4. Slow down

Sometimes we get so amped up about food that we scarf it down in 30 seconds and then wonder why we want more.

In the video I linked to in #1, the speaker talks about how they asked Europeans and Americans how they know when to stop eating. Europeans said when they are not hungry anymore. Americans said when the food is gone. :-/ This is a problem.

It takes time for your body to actually “process” the food coming in and send the signal that it has enough for now. Slow down and try to make each meal last at least 15-20 minutes. Set your fork down in between bites. Chew a little extra. Savor the moment. 😉  This might sound too easy, but it can be a powerful practice! All we’re really doing is tapping back into our natural hunger and appetite regulation system, but when you think about it, what an easy way to lose weight while also enhancing your eating experience!

5. Prepare veggies ahead of time

I could eat fruit all day long, but veggies are one of the hardest things for me to consistently get enough of in my diet.  The hardest part about veggies and salads is the just the prep, if ya ask me! Either buy them pre-cut or set aside 30 minutes to cut up your favorite veggies or throw together a big salad that you can eat off of for the next few days.

6. Always keep some frozen meat and produce on hand

It can be hard to figure out the right amount of fresh produce so that you use everything up before it goes bad, so I always like to have a stash of frozen varieties as a back up. Frozen fruits are great for shakes, frozen veggies are an easy side dish, and frozen meat can be thrown in the crockpot for an easy dinner! Which leads me to my next point….

7. Use your crockpot!!

Crockpots make it super easy to throw together a healthy dinner (plus leftovers!) for those who lack cooking experience or time….or energy…or money! Ha! 🙂 They are also a great willpower hack for those who struggle with preparing healthy dinners, whether it’s because you’re just too tired at the end of the day or by the time dinner rolls around you crave something a little less ideal. The crockpot takes care of that.

8. Keep a running grocery list on your phone

I love doing this because this allows me to keep up with my list and put things in order as I add them. This saves me extra trips to the store and time at the store because I already have my list organized according to how I go through the store.

9. Protein powder

Protein is another component that is sorely lacking from the typical American diet. While it’s good to aim to get the majority of what you eat from whole food sources, protein powder is a safe and very convenient way to get more protein into your diet. If you’re not a meat-lover, it also offers the added bonus of a lot more variety – everything from shakes, pancakes, breads, and desserts. There is protein version of just about everything nowadays! For those interested, Protein Pow is a great resource.

10. Find a community of support

The ideal situation would be to get the people you live with on board! It’s amazing how often it works out that when one is feeling weak, the other is feeling strong and is able to encourage their partner. It’s just so much easier and more enjoyable when everybody is going through it together and working toward the same goal.

My husband's support is such a big deal for me

I’m not sure I would eat as healthy without the support of my guy 😀

Bonus. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night

I’m always amazed when people roll their eyes at me when I mention getting enough sleep. I mean, what kind of culture do we live in where people get upset at being told to rest and sleep more?! Ha ha! Honestly, I think it’s more because we don’t believe that it could be that easy. But let’s just say, your body needs sleep and getting enough of it can make all the difference in getting and staying lean.

**Sometimes you can do all the harder things right, but if you’re not doing these simpler things, you won’t see results. They may seem inconsequential, but the small things when done consistently really do start to add up.  You are not the sum of your intentions, but your actions. What you do most consistently is what will show. 

 

For the Love of Food

One thing I hear all too often is, “I want to eat better but I just love food too much” or the other version, “I really love food so I feel like I’m just doomed to be overweight”. I get it. I used to say that one of my main reasons for working out so much was because I loved food.

However, over the last few years, this idea really started to gnaw on me. Why does it have to be an either-or situation?? Either you love food or you eat healthy? About a month ago, I came across a quote that really nailed it on the head for me:

You’d think we love it, but we don’t. The exact opposite is true. Imagine the difference between a healthy person who savors a slice of cake after a good meal, and a morbidly obese over-eater who scarfs down three Cinabons while sitting in the food court at the mall. You might have the impression that the latter “loves food” more, but this is not the case. To them, food is a compulsion. A drug. A prison. They don’t love it. They just consume it. It is the healthy person, the one who exercises and eats vegetables with most meals, who can really find joy in a good dessert. They can love it because they are not a slave to it.

                                                                                                                                       ~Matt Walsh

This quote really spoke to me because I think a lot of us could really benefit from changing the way we think about food. You can still love food….after all, it is what sustains your body and life. God could have done it very differently, but He gave each food a different taste and texture and then he gave us the tastebuds to enjoy those different tastes. The breaking of bread and the mutual enjoyment of food is a big part of community and connection. It should be loved.

nutrition

BUT, with food being such an integral part of life, how much more enjoyable would life be if we didn’t feel so controlled by it??

So I started thinking about the instances where we think we’re loving and enjoying food when we’re really only serving to worsen our relationship with it. Three things came to mind and it’s no surprise that they all have to do with our mentality towards food. Check them out….

1) Emotional Eating

One of the first things that came to mind is “eating our feelings”. This always seems like a good idea in the moment, but afterwards only leaves us feeling worse than before. So for starters, it’s helpful if we have a way to decipher if what we’re feeling is physical or emotional hunger.

  • Physical hunger builds gradually; emotional hunger strikes suddenly
  • Physical hunger is felt below the neck (i.e. growling stomach); emotional hunger is felt above the neck (craving a specific taste in your mouth)
  • Physical hunger feels mildly uncomfortable and will usually subside for a little while with a glass of water; emotional hunger feels urgent and uncontrollable
  • Physical hunger goes away when full; emotional hunger persists despite fullness
  • After eating, physical hunger leads to feelings of satisfaction; emotional hunger leads to feelings of guilt and shame

If it is emotional hunger, then experiment with new ways to cope that can actually help you. Are you stressed out? Take 30 minutes to get outside and walk or take a nap! Are you depressed? Call a friend or spend some time in meditation/prayer. Is it late at night and you just like to relax and indulge a little? Treat yourself to a good book, a bubble bath, maybe some time with your spouse 😉 or an extra hour of sleep!

These are just some suggestions of course. Perhaps the best thing to do is take a few minutes to sit down and make your own list that you can refer to in those times. (Maybe even copy this list of physical vs. emotional hunger to the top of the page.) Just like in relationships, when you look to them to fulfill something it has no capacity to fill, you only end up feeling more empty. Whatever you’re dealing with, food doesn’t have the answer.

2) Too Much Restriction

The reason you can’t control your eating when you are around sweets and treats is because you have put them up on a pedestal, and then deprived yourself to the point that THEY control YOU. ~ Jill Coleman

When you think about it, the ice cream in your freezer, the dessert or bread at a restaurant, holiday candy, these things will always be readily available! (Seriously, when could you not hop in your car and be enjoying any of these within the hour??) When we restrict ourselves and spend a crap-ton of energy just trying to avoid certain foods, we end up mentally putting these foods up on a pedestal. It’s no wonder then that when our next “cheat meal” comes around it looks like a feeding scene from shark week. 😀

The other possibility is the abundance mindset: I can have this whenever. Do I really have to have some right now or will I feel better (or be happier with my progress) if I skip it this time?

I’m not saying that there’s no place for restriction or discipline, but be careful how much you restrict. Food will always be there and the pleasure of eating is fleeting. Take care to not let your mind put it up on a pedestal and give it power it doesn’t have.

3) Mindset

One huge shift for me was experiencing how much better I felt when I fed my body well. That’s when I really started to look at healthy eating as rewarding.

If you think of healthy eating as a horrible and painful process that you don’t really want to do or if you elevate the unhealthy stuff as more enjoyable and better tasting, then the process is going to be hard and painful.

Guess what. There really is such a thing as really tasty healthy food!  Healthy habits are totally worth it when you begin to experience the difference it makes in both your physical and emotional health. Shifting your mindset and reminding yourself daily that healthy eating is rewarding and worth the effort, even if you’re not quite convinced yet, can really help your process.

I still get super excited about eating good food :)

I still get super excited about eating good food 🙂

I’ve been both examples in Matt’s quote (minus the morbidly-obese part). It feels awful to feel so controlled by food. It’s also true that dessert really does taste better when you don’t have it all the time. 😉 If I’m being honest, I don’t completely have this mastered yet. I still have times where I emotionally eat or just over eat, but I’ve come a looong way. These are some of the practices that I know can help because I’ve used them myself!

You just have to be willing to put in the work, get back up (again and again and again 😉 ), and keep forging ahead.

What about you??? What helps nurture your relationship with food? Share your experiences over here on my facebook page!

4 Lies That Keep Us Unhealthy

I hate that the health and fitness industry seems to have only made getting healthy more burdensome and stressful for most. I don’t think most of us are trying to make it that way, but either way it certainly defeats the purpose right?! We live in the age of information overload. While that might sound like a good problem to have, it also makes it so so SO hard to pick out the most useful information from the newest fads or marketing gimmicks.

Health is not about looking like some photo-shopped actress or about who can be the most hard-core or dedicated. It should enhance your life, not burden it. So I’d like to set the record straight by laying out some of the biggest lies that we tend to believe that are only making it harder to become healthy and happy.

Lie #1. The nutrition part is too hard, so I will just exercise extra hard to lose weight. 

No matter how crazy intense your workouts might be, you simply can’t out train a bad diet. In fact, training too hard or too often will actually increase hunger and cravings making it harder to eat better. Exercise can make you feel better in a myriad of ways like better sleep, more energy, more discipline, better mood, better metabolism, which is why it is part of the equation. It’s just not the entire equation.

beth burns fitness

Truth: If you want to lose fat, you need to improve the way you eat. If you’re looking to get healthy and fit and you want to start with the exercise just to get yourself going, then go for it! Just don’t expect to lose a lot of fat without changing your eating habits.

Lie #2. If I want to lose the fat around my (insert body part), then I must do extra work on said body part.

This goes right along with #1. Exercising a specific body part in order to lose fat in that specific area is futile. All the crunches in the world will not burn away the fat on your stomach. They will strengthen your abs. Strengthening all of your muscles, whether they have a layer of fat over them or not, is great for better movement and overall health. Unfortunately though you have very little say over where your body loses fat first.

Truth: Your genetics determine the rate at which and the order in which you lose fat. Of course, there are things you can do to encourage fat loss, but spot training is not one of them.

Lie #3. If I want to look like her, I need to eat like her.

I used to constantly be checking out what this trainer or that celebrity was doing. I was always looking for that thing that would be the life-changer for me and my clients. The only problem with all the information out there is that all it really does is keep you distracted from finding what works for you.

Come on now. For the most part, you know what you need to eat. But what’s challenging is breaking the old habits and creating the new ones.

Truth: You don’t need a new diet. You need to find tools that help you put into place a way of eating that not only gets you results, but is sustainable FOR YOU so that you keep your results! Sustainability is key. If you feel deprived and like you’re missing out, it’s only a matter of time before you go off the deep end. So while you may not get everything you want, you want to be getting enough to feel satisfied.

Lie #4. If it doesn’t happen in a month, it’s never gonna happen.

Most of us have completely unrealistic timelines for fat loss, so we quit before our bodies can ever catch up. Our bodies are designed to resist change. It takes time for them to adjust, especially if you’re making reasonable (i.e. sustainable!!) changes! There will come a time when the changes start to compound and the scales will start to tip, but how much time? Everybody’s a little different.

Truth: Accept that fat loss is going to be a process that takes time, patience, and persistence. The absolute best thing you can do is let go of the unrealistic timeline! It took you a while to get where you are and it will take you a while to get back to where you want to be.

faddiets

*For lasting change, stop looking for the quick fix and go back to the basics. Health is not about how perfect you can eat or exercise or look. It’s about choosing the things that are better for you, the majority of the time. It’s about making lasting changes that create a more full and enjoyable lifestyle FOR YOU.

Healthier Ways To Enjoy Pasta + Recipe

Most people are super afraid of pasta because of it’s carb-heavy nature. However, there are a number of easy ways to make pasta a healthier option…

Smaller portion size
The portion sizes at restaurants are out of control, especially at Italian places! Keep in mind, that 1 portion is a cupped handful. When possible, try to substitute white pasta for 100% whole wheat, multigrain, or brown rice pasta.

Pair it with a protein
Protein helps you feel full sooner and for longer and revs up your metabolism. In fact, a recent study found that when intaking higher amounts of protein participants saw improvement, no matter what the ratios of carbs and fats were! So I am always encouraging my clients to get a good amount of protein in at every meal.

Skip the cream sauce
The cream sauces tend to be full of unhealthy fats and really high in calories. Pesto, tomato, or oil are all healthier options.

Increase veggies
Veggies are rich in fiber and cancer- and free-radical-fighting nutrients. They also balance out the acidity in our bodies. Prepare them any way you like. They go great with pasta!

Exercise
As if there weren’t enough good reasons already, exercise also increases your body’s ability to utilize carbs. In fact, if you regularly do high-intensity sports or exercise or lift weights, your body can handle more carbs and needs them for proper functioning!

This is not to say that you should start carb-loading. Carbohydrate intake depends on a number of factors: your goals, genetics, carb source, and activity level. However, they are not the enemy we have been led to believe they are. Focus on eating reasonable amounts of macronutrients from quality sources. Focus on doing it consistently. Your body will take care of the rest.

Below is a recipe that I got from a friend. I modified it by increasing the protein and veggies and decreasing the pasta. It’s a super easy and super yummy dinner, but this way it’s gonna give you more bang for your fat-loss-lovin’ buck. 🙂 I’ve gotten requests for the recipe a few times in the last month, so I thought I’d share.

tomatoes

a couple of my favorite brands

Chicken & Veggies Pasta (with a kick 😉 )

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds of chicken (cut into cubes)
1/2 box of penne noodles
1 28 oz. can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 bag of frozen green beans
3/4 C. frozen mixed bell peppers (or however much you’d prefer)

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakesphoto.PNG-4
1/4 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
2 T. coconut or avocado oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Directions:
– Cook pasta as directed
– Saute chicken with garlic, S&P, and oil until done
– Add in frozen veggies a few minutes into sautéing, and add tomatoes at the end to warm them up
– Combine pasta and chicken and veggies and season to taste

healthier pasta option

SO GOOD

 

 

3 crockpot recipes and 2 BIG reasons why you need one

I think I had my crock pot for about 3 years before I ever used it for the first time. Once I finally did, it was like the movie where the girl realizes that the person she’s in love with is the guy who’s been there all along. I couldn’t believe that I had this hidden treasure sitting right under my nose for all those years.

Here’s the thing about the crock pot: it’s kind of a game-changer when it comes to making a healthy diet easier.

How so? Sure, we all know that  cooking takes time, energy, and a whole bunch of dishes. 🙂 The crock pot pretty much does away with all of that. It’s less time-consuming, budget-friendly, and usually provides some leftovers as well. But that’s not even what I’m talking about! There are 2 reasons why I especially love the crock pot.

#1. It takes willpower out of the equation. Willpower is like a battery….a cell phone battery unfortunately. You start out fully charged in the morning, but you use it up throughout the day. By dinner time, most of us are running pretty low. This is the reason most people cite breakfast as their healthiest meal of the day and dinner as the hardest.

The crock pot allows you to take your end-of-day willpower out of the equation.

Just throw everything in first thing in the morning when you’re still fresh and energetic and it’s done. Come home to a delicious & healthy meal ready and waiting. No extra energy required and no fighting the mental war of pizza delivery versus making a meal at home. Not sure if it gets much better than that. 😉

#2. PROTEIN. Protein is so important to a healthy diet. It helps you avoid overeating by filling you up quicker and keeping you full for longer. Plus, it’s a lot less likely to be stored as fat because the body burns extra calories just working to digest it. The crock pot allows for a super easy way to cook meat until it’s tender and juicy.

*I strongly suggest you get a crock pot with a timer, so that it will automatically switch over to warm after the allotted time.

To get you started, here are 3 delicious crock pot recipes to try. (Disclaimer, I did not come up with any of these! Two are from friends and one’s from a magazine. 🙂 )

Mexican Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1-2 cans rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
1 T adobo seasoning
~1/2 C water (just enough so chicken won’t burn)

– Everything in crock pot for 2 hours on high
– Pull meat apart
– Cook on low for additional 2 hours
– Serve w/rice and a sprinkle of cheese & sour cream

Pulled Chicken (I got this recipe from Shira Nelson over at Mom Beyond Baby)

6-8 chicken breasts
1 large jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds removed
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
+ 1-2 cloves, smashed (and just thrown in the crock pot)
1 T sea salt
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 T lime juice
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil

– Throw everything but chicken into the crock pot and stir it all together.
– Add chicken & coat with mixture
– Cook on high ~2.5-3 hours if thawed or 4 hours if frozen (depending on your crock pot)- When chicken starts to pull apart take it off the heat so it won’t dry out
– Love this with a big salad and some avocado!

BBQ Pulled Pork

2-lb boneless pork roast
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2/3 C chili sauce
1/2 C cola
1/4 C ketchup
1 T. yellow mustard
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. salt & pepper
1/8 t. ground red pepper

– Trim fat from meat
– Meat and onion in crock pot
– Combine everything else in small bowl and  pour over meat
– Cook on low for 12 hours or high for 6 hours
– Slice thinly or shred
I love this as an open faced sandwich with cucumbers and a little bit of bbq sauce and a salad on the side. So Good!

Hey, let’s help each other out! I would LOVE for you guys to share your favorite crock pot recipes with me and everyone else who might be reading over on my facebook page or in the comment section below!!

Help! I can’t stop eating!

Recently I received an email from a reader that I wanted to share with you guys….

Hey Beth~ Right now I am really struggling with moderation. I eat well and exercise regularly during the week but, for example, on the weekends or Fridays I will hang out with friends (which I don’t want to stop doing) and we eat relatively healthy things (our tradition is the in-house made guac from whole foods) but I have no control on moderation. I just can’t stop eating. I feel full and “gross” until the next day, but for the most part, I will repeat every weekend. It is an internal battle in my head that I mostly lose. I feel like every weekend derails my nutrition goals. I’ve tried writing things down that I don’t want to eat any more. For example, I have been fantastic about not eating any type of chip or fries. But horrible about not eating sugars or peanut butter. Help!

Ugh, we’ve all been there my friend. For some, it’s a weekend thing and for others it’s a nightly ritual….we usually don’t sit down with the intention of eating until we’re sick. But you get home from a long day of work and it feels like all you have the energy to do is sit in front of the tv and eat. So we do. We eat dinner and then dessert and then we’re craving something salty and before we know it, we find ourselves waddling to bed full of food and regret. We scold ourselves for being so weak. We promise ourselves that we’ll remember this feeling and never eat like that again…

Yet, we find ourselves back there more often than we care to admit. Why?

I thought about it and came up with what I believe are the 3 main reasons for why we tend to do this and offer you a tool to help deal with each:

1) Food FOMO

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I first heard this used in terms of food by my coach, Jill Coleman. Sometimes it’s being afraid of missing out on the actual food itself and other times I think I’m more worried about missing out on the experience. When you’re at a social event and everyone’s gathered around the buffet table, munching and chatting and laughing, I don’t want to miss out on that so I stay with the group and I munch and chat and munch some more.

The solution to this? Honestly I think it might be the opposite of putting all those foods that tempt you off limits. It’s actually been proven that your desire for something grows when you know you can’t have it. Perhaps, that’s the reason for the weekend binge. You’ve resisted it all week. You know it’s the only time you’re able to have it. So that desire for guacamole goodness that been building all week in anticipation of Friday of course wins out over any kind of reasonable thought process.

Idn't that serving just adorable...ha ha! yeah right..

*The fix: Allow yourself to have those foods during the week….in specified portions.

DO NOT just grab the bag and sit down on the couch. We all know that never works!

Give yourself a predetermined amount. That means decide now what a reasonable amount is and stick to that. Allowing yourself to have some each day should cure your food FOMO. After all, why would you have it if you know you can have some chips and guac every day?! 🙂

2) Mouth boredom

When there’s tons of amazing food every where you look, it’s hard not to think about it. The more you think about it, you start convincing yourself that you’re still hungry or that you just absolutely MUST have this particular food right now!

*The fix: Sometimes you just need a diversion to get your mind and your mouth off of food!! My two favorite tools for this are mint gum and water/tea. Both of which are natural appetite suppressants. Although usually we don’t need an appetite suppressant as much as just a distraction for our mouth.

3) Habit

I think this is probably the most common reason.

At the end of the day or week, we’re feeling drained and looking to kick back. We don’t want to have to think about food. Our willpower is exhausted and all we have left to fall back on is HABIT. And changing a habit, well, that takes mindfulness and deliberate practice. Moderation is not a switch you can simply flip on and off. It’s a PRACTICE. So here’s my favorite and most helpful way to practice and get better at this (I also learned from this from Jill 🙂 ).

*The practice: Take a third of a protein bar and put the rest back. Savor and enjoy that one third, then go DO SOMETHING for at least 10 minutes. If you’re still thinking about the protein bar after that, go have another third. Then go do something for at least 20 minutes. If you still really want more, then you can go finish the bar. However, you’d be surprised at how many times you’ll forget about it after the first or second helping.

Protein bars can be really addicting which is why I used that example, but in all honesty, I do this practice with cookie dough ice cream. I give myself 2 spoonfuls. 😉 You can do this anywhere with anything, but it’s usually easier to start off practicing it at home!

my favorite treats!

my favorite treats!

I know this might sound kinda silly, but if you’re serious about wanting to get to a place where you can enjoy food and parties without the uncomfortable stomach feeling or the regret, then you have to find a way to build up your willpower and reset your habits. Imagine being able to have the foods you want and NOT completely derail your goals! THIS is a worthwhile practice!

But it is still a practice. Be ready to mess up. Be willing to look back and figure out how you need to do differently next time. Be patient with yourself. Be persistent and unwilling to give up.

Is this helpful? What tools do you use to prevent yourself from going all in on the weekends?

*Interested in Colorado Springs kettlebell classes? Check out my in-home training studio, Springs Kettlebells!*

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

These days, there’s a lot of debate in the health and fitness world as to whether or not breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. For many people, it’s a great way to get the metabolism going and can help keep hunger and energy levels more stable throughout the day. However, it has clearly been proven that it’s not as necessary for fat loss as we used to think. Others have had great success with the popular 16/8 intermittent fasting system, in which they have an 8 hour window to eat each day. This usually means skipping out on breakfast in favor of a larger lunch and dinner.

Many people are having great results with IF and skipping breakfast while some report not noticing much of a difference one way or another. Then there are the others who have reported negative side effects such as hormonal issues, sleep disruption, or low energy. Overall, men seem to do better with IF then women.

The point is that I’ve seen both ways work which leads me to conclude that breakfast is actually not the most important meal of the day. If you’re eating it and you feel like it’s working for you, absolutely keep it up! If you don’t care for it and it feels like a chore to choke down something first thing in the morning, then skip it. Just be sure to keep an eye on your hunger, energy, and cravings. Keep your HEC in check, as Metabolic Effect would say. 🙂 As long as those 3 things are in check and you’re achieving the results you want, there’s no need to change it.

What’s more important is what we’re eating and how. So for variety’s sake, I’m always on the hunt for more breakfast recipes….well, and because in our house “breakfast” is free game for any meal of the day.  As you all know, my criteria for recipes is pretty simple: it’s gotta be easy. 🙂 The less ingredients the better. So to add to my usual standby’s of omelets, oatmeal, and protein shakes, I’ve got an oldie and a newbie for you today and both are awesome!

**Both of these recipes have a good amount of protein in them which is not just to improve satiety. Protein is also integral in just about every major metabolic activity in your body! So not only will eating enough help increase your metabolism, but it also helps your body and muscles recover from a workout. Protein is not just for men! It will not cause you to “bulk up”, ladies! Protein is important for every body and integral for maintaining a healthy body composition!

OK, on to the good stuff…

Protein Pancakes

This pancake has been rocking my world lately. I love pancakes and this thing is packed with protein and super yummy at the same time. I found this recipe on the Tone It Up website. While I might not love their exercise style, they have some really tasty recipes…

Ingredients:pancakes

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 T almond milk
  • 1/4 C egg white
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ~ 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 t ground flaxseed (optional)

 

Heat pan on low to medium heat. With a fork, mash banana and almond milk together in a bowl. Add the rest of ingredients and mix together until texture is fairly smooth. Spray pan before pouring mixture in. Flip when bubbles form on top.

*Top with strawberries and a little bit of real maple syrup.

**You can also make these in the evening by just replacing the banana with 1/4 of an avocado. This will give it some moisture without the carbs.

McBurns “Egg McMuffin”

I have a confession. I love McDonald’s Egg McMuffins! Back in college, in a moment of inspiration and pure genius ;), I realized I could make a healthier version of this at home! It’s super easy, and in my humble opinion, even better than McDonald’s. (Whodda thunk?)

Ingredients:photo

  • Whole wheat English muffin
  • 1 whole egg (I also like to add some extra egg whites, but it’s totally optional)
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 pieces of turkey sausage

             OR

  • 1 slice of mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 slices of Canadian bacon

 

Obviously, you can use any meat/cheese combo you like. Fry egg over medium heat. I use our bigger pan, so that I can also throw the meat in to heat it up at the same time. Toast English muffin in toaster. Layer as desired and BOOM. Delish. 🙂

**I like to add a side of veggies, like some cherry tomatoes or bell pepper slices.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

What do you think? Do you eat breakfast? If so, what’s your favorite healthy breakfast item?? Please share over on the Beth Burns Fitness Facebook page!