I have been struggling to lose weight for a long time now. So far I have made small changes to my eating style, but I feel like I can get more results with some advice. My problem is that I absolutely love to cook and eat. I also eat when I am stressed or anxious as a defense mechanism. I recently tried to cut down my carbs significantly, and keep down my fats (although I focus more on carbs). I know exercise is important..and I have been trying to exercise consistently, even if it is just walking. I am 5'7 and 215 lbs. Do you have any tips for me? I would love to know any healthy meal ideas too. I always find myself struggling to find something new and healthy.
Thank you for your nutrition question. For healthy recipes I would suggest checking out www.foodfit.com They have some awesome recipes there.
I also put together for you some suggestions and alternatives to try next time you reach for food when stressed or anxious.
1. Once you know you engage in unhealthy eating habits to combat stress, it鈥檚 time to look for other types of contentment.
2. Walk the dog. Don鈥檛 have a dog? See point 1. Anything physical (preferably in the fresh outdoors) works.
3. Listen to music. 鈥淪omething like Beethoven,鈥? encourages Rapitis. 鈥淚t鈥檚 satisfying music with lots of notes and it鈥檚 very relaxing.鈥?
4. Be creative. Paint, draw, shape clay, sew some beautiful beads鈥rt and crafts are very enjoyable, and unbeatable emotional outlets, too.
5. Take a bubble bath. 鈥淲hen people are bored they stagnate, there鈥檚 really not a lot of joy in what do,鈥? says Julia Trick, N.D., nutrition director at The Green House spa in Texas. OK, it鈥檚 the second part of her comment that explains why you might take a bath! A bubble bath is fun, not to mention restorative and indulgent. Men, this one鈥檚 for you, too!
6. Practice deep breathing. You may need expert guidance on how to perfect the technique, but focused breathing could help dissipate your sense of boredom. Best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil is a big proponent of the power of breath work.
7. Meditate. The transformative effects of meditation are well documented. Again, you may need to research whether Vipassana, T.M., or another form of meditation is the right one for you.
8. Read. Biographies of inspirational people may help best, advises Trick.
9. Drink herbal tea. People often crave stimulants when they鈥檙e bored. Sure, caffeine and sugar give you a little lift, but there are better choices, according to Trick. 鈥淐innamon tea, particularly, has a very good effect on blood sugar,鈥? she says. 鈥淵ou can make a big thermos of it and drink it all day.鈥? She also suggests licorice tea for adrenal support 鈥?but not the candy!
10. Balance your body. Speaking of blood sugar, keeping it steady throughout the day by eating smaller, more frequent meals may prevent the onset of boredom before it begins.
11. Repeat an affirmation. Or an inspiring quote. 鈥淲rite it out and stick it right there on the fridge,鈥? says Trick.
12. Call a friend. Pick up the phone instead of a bag of nasty chips to encourage you out of your funk.
13. Prepare healthy food. For that matter, get excited about food again, Trick says, because maybe it鈥檚 food that鈥檚 the root of your boredom. 鈥淎bout 75 percent of our calories come from the same old 10 foods. Challenge yourself when you shop for groceries to pick six foods you haven鈥檛 tried before, or that you have to learn how to cook,鈥? she suggests.
14. Do housework. OK, it鈥檚 near the bottom of the list because really, not many of us enjoy it. Still, there is the satisfaction of having a clean home, and alternative fulfillments are what you鈥檙e seeking.
15. Develop a list. In preparation for the next time boredom strikes, write a list of these and/or your own ideas of things to do. 鈥淧rint it twice and put one list on your cupboard and one on the refrigerator,鈥? recommends registered dietician Rick Hall. 鈥淚f you don鈥檛 have the list, you probably won鈥檛 think of something later when you鈥檙e bored!鈥?
For more answers to your nutrition questions check out "Ask the Nutritionists" by George Rapitis at www.authorhouse.com or your favorite bookstore.
-George Rapitis, Bsc. Nutritionist
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