As you know I’ve been trying to lose a few kilos these last few weeks. Well it was going great until this morning; this is the kind of weird BS our bodies can pull on us:
Week 1 weigh in: 59.3kg
Week 2 weigh in: 58.7kg - excellent!
Week 3 weight in: 57.6kg - hurray!
This morning’s weigh in: 58.1kg!! - WTF!?
How did this happen? I have been totally ‘on it’ with all my StealthHealth stuff – Nutri Foods, Carb Sense, Light Days the whole fandango and then I put on a half a kilo, grrrr. But wait! I am 22 days in, of course, it’s hormonal! I know this, my weight goes up 1-2 kilos at this time of the month which in some ways is quite reassuring – I'm nearly 50 and still ovulating (high five)!! It will figure itself out before my next weigh in. Phew!
It's a good reminder that this is a marathon not a sprint and a long-term view is absolutely key if you want to make fundamental changes to your eating habits. Little bumps in the road are fine, now is the time to really trust in the process. The last of the 8 StealthHealth Key Concepts, Food Strategies, can really help when resolve is flagging and temptation strikes (there is definitely a time and a place for cake but perhaps not 10am on a Monday!).
The first step is to pause and assess:
Am I genuinely hungry? If you are have a snack but try and have something nutritious (see suggestions below).
Am I just bored or need a break? Have a walk, a stretch, a cup of tea. You may just need a change of scene not food.
Am I thirsty? Thirst and hunger are often confused. Have a big glass of water and see if that helps.
I've got a sweet craving! This usually happens mid-afternoon for me. I make my own version of energy balls called ‘uncookies’ (the recipe is in my book) and I often have one around 4pm. There are plenty of similar recipes online.
Can I ride it out until the next meal? If it’s not far off resist munching for the sake of it.
It is important to face up to cravings and develop ways of dealing with them. Sometimes you just have days where you feel like grazing – perhaps you could have two snacks in place of a meal - or you might find there is one particular snack that really helps nail your cravings.
Here are some excellent snacks that are under 100 cals and really hit the spot for me:
1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt with a tsp of honey and a shake of cinnamon
An oatcake with a dried fig (I am slightly obsessed with dried figs, they are sweet, nutritious and filling)
1 medjool date with a tsp of nut butter (I make these and freeze them, so good straight from the freezer)
A square of dark chocolate and a few salted peanuts
A handful of berries, a pear, an orange or a small banana
Some mini carrots and a tbsp of hummus
Some cornichon pickles and a small piece of cheese (I’m quite partial to a Babybel!)
A small amount of nuts (fyi 14 almonds is 100 cals)
A Ryvita cracker with a smearing of Boursin (another borderline addiction)
A hard-boiled egg sliced up on a handful of spinach/watercress/rocket leaves (needs salt and pepper to come alive!)
[If you have any other really good snack suggestions please mention them in the comments below – I’m always looking for new ideas!]
Of course, there’s more to Food Strategies than managing cravings and hunger pangs. You can also develop strategies for handling special situations like eating out, parties (booze!), holidays etc. and I’ll be talking more about those tomorrow.
Now I am off to the gym for my Express Core class (basically 20 minutes of planking!) and I know I’ll be hungry afterwards so I'm going to take some fruit and a few nuts with me - it’s my food strategy to avoid face-planting in the croissants at the coffee shop afterwards! I’ll let you know how it goes …