We are a nation that’s focused too heavily on curing illness, rather than focusing on wellness and staying healthy in the first place. On the surface it would seem everyone would want to stay well and healthy, but looking at exercise and eating habits gives a different picture. We are a nation of obesity. Based on statistics, half of America will be obese in just ten short years. Obesity is presently the leading cause of preventable deaths and leads to cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, while also contributing to other conditions like arthritis, knee and hip replacements and more. Even worse, many of those who are obese are also malnourished. Why is this happening?
Do you care about yourself enough to take care of yourself.
If you’re struggling with weight problems, health issues and stress, you have to start by looking at your belief system. Do you believe this is the life that you’re destined to live? Do you believe you deserve the illness and discomfort? You shouldn’t, but many times, people do. According to Malina Malkana, registered dietitian-nutritionist, RDN, CDN and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are five common reasons for overeating, but each person is unique, so finding your reason is the key to solving your problem.
A food journal can help you get to your answer.
A food journal is nothing more than recording the food you eat—every bite, including that handful of M&Ms as you pass the desk of your office companion. If you include more information, like how you felt, the time of day and whether you were hungry, it can pinpoint important information on your eating habits. Some people do mindless eating. They simply eat because food is available, even if they’re not hungry. Some people are emotional eaters, substituting food for real problem solving, like mending a relationship or developing one. Stress-eating is another potential, just as continuous diets or skipping meals can make you overeat, when you finally decide to eat. Finally, eating food that’s heavily processed can cause blood sugar dips and spikes that leave you hungrier.
How can a food journal help?
Once you find the reason for overeating, find a good substitute. If you’re an emotional or stress eater, wait for the cues and when you feel them, get some exercise, drink some water or just do something else to fill the void as you work on the problem. Chronic dieters and junk food junkies can change to a healthier diet that’s nutrients dense. Mindless eating is often solved, just by forcing yourself to keep a food journal.
- Be mindful of your actions and include eating. Chew your food slowly and savor the flavor. Always take time to sit down to a meal, rather than eat it on the go.
- Realize you deserve more than you’re providing for yourself. You’re important and deserve to take care of yourself and your health. Focus on foods that will keep you healthy and how good your body feels when you exercise.
- Create alternative actions for emotional or stress eating. Have a list and all the supplies necessary to help you through the time.
- Choose a menu that’s healthy and make sure you eat three meals a day and snacks. You’ll break the cycle of yo-yo dieting and can solve that junk food junkie habit when you do meal planning and prep ahead of time.
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