It’s February, and thirty days since the population simultaneously committed to change. If you’re like me, you committed to losing weight and toning up in the New Year. Last year (2014), I lost 33 pounds. In order to reach my goals, I intend to lose 34 more pounds and tone my body. I want to exchange my complacent body for an athletic one. I struggle with temptation, but I’ve devised a system that helps me keep losing despite my often desperate need for salty and chocolaty snacks.
Make a List of Cravings Satisfiers
Sometimes, the things we think we’re craving aren’t actually what our bodies want. I like to keep a chart of cravings satisfiers. If I have a craving, I consult the chart and eat the healthy food instead. If you do this all the time, you’ll create healthy eating habits, and you’ll lose weight.
Salty Foods: Your body is asking for two things when it craves salty foods: chloride and silicon. For chloride, eat fatty fish and drink goat’s milk. For silicon, eat cashews, nuts, and seeds.
Chocolate: Your body is asking for magnesium when it wants chocolate. So, satisfy that craving with magnesium rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruits.
Sugary foods: Sugary cravings are hard to nail down. Your body could be craving chromium, a craving that’s satisfied by broccoli, grapes, cheese, and chicken. If it’s carbon you need, you’ll feel satiated when you eat fresh fruits. If it’s phosphorus you need, chow down on some chicken, beef, fatty fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, veggies, or grains. A sulphur craving requires cranberries, horseradish, cabbage, or cauliflower. Finally, a tryptophan craving requires cheese, raisins, sweet potatoes, or spinach.
Carbs (Bread, Pasta, Etc.): Who doesn’t feel the compulsion to fill up on bread? It’s so delicious, but it is dangerous; am I right? I put on more weight chowing carbs than any other way, but it’s so hard to stop. I’ve been recognizing my body’s need for nitrogen, and replacing carbs with high proteins, such as fatty fish, nuts, beans, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and other meats.
Oily Food: Oils aren’t all bad. I use oil in my cooking, and I refuse to stop. I refuse to live in a world where I can’t add EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to everything! I do recognize a need for oily food is a need for more calcium, and that craving can be satisfied by organic milk, cheese, and green leafy vegetables.
Keep Good Snaking Habits
“Snacking has a bad rap, but it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, the right snacking habits can help you lose weight!” That quote is from IdealShape.com, a site that’s offering me free shakes in exchange for my honest review. I haven’t tried their shakes yet, but I’ve heard good things.
They have an amazing article, titled: 4 Slimming Snack Habits, and the article advises that you have healthy snacks on-hand to satisfy cravings. It’s important to choose snacks that are filling and healthy, such as veggies and snacks that are high in fiber. “Keeping your belly happy is the trick to avoiding BLTs (bites, licks and tastes).
Eat More Super Foods
Super foods feed the mind, and the body. The National Institutes of Health writes that “Super Foods are a component of the Balanced Choices program and will highlight foods that promote health benefits above and beyond the basic nutrients.” The website includes a comprehensive list of all the world’s super foods, and how they benefit your body.
For me, super foods keep me full longer, and they make me happy. Many have the ability to improve mood; how cool is that? When I’m in a good mood, I’m more prone to exercise, and daily exercise is important to me.
Here are a few of my favorite super foods:
- Dark chocolate – It’s rich in the antioxidants known as flavonoids. Of course, it’s sugary chocolate, so you don’t want to overdue it, but research has shown that eating one to two ounces of dark chocolate per day, can lower blood pressure, improve endurance, sharpen problem-solving skills, improve the look of your skin, and reduce your risk of blood clots. Plus, it’s delicious.
- Sweet potatoes – Have you ever tried sweet potato French fries? They’re wonderful. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways, and have a number of incredible benefits. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
- Red wine – Red wine features polyphenols, which is an all-natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to reduce your chance of cancer, as long as you drink it in moderation. Like sweet potatoes, red wine can prevent blood clots.
Everything in Moderation and Accepting Yourself are the Keys to Weight Loss Success
It used to be hard to forgive myself after I had too much of something. I’d over-indulge, and then I’d feel worthless. Once I had some fast food, I’d feel ruined, and I’d spend the rest of the day overeating. I’ve learned to laugh off these little slip-ups, and accept them as bumps in the road.
I’ve accepted myself as I am, and I’ve learned to love my body (muffin top and all). It wasn’t easy, but once I began to see myself as beautiful, I discovered my real reason for losing weight: I am doing it for myself, so I can look and feel healthy. It’s not about outside perception. It’s not about looking good for other people. It’s about looking my best for me; for my own happiness. And, that’s what’s keeping me on-track most of all.