They say the average person starts a new “get healthy kick” every three months. But many only stay on one for a few hours and 60% of us never follow through with our health kicks for more than a couple of weeks. Here are the top 10 triggers that cause us to fall off our healthy kicks.
1. LOW FUEL
Balanced blood glucose will help you avoid a dip in energy levels. Eat whole grains like oats or brown rice to help you avoid super sugary snacks. Likewise carrots and other crisp vegetables can help with the urge to nibble. Better still B vitamins (protein—meat/dairy) and magnesium (nuts, green leafy, and bananas) are nutrients required by the body to convert the food you eat into energy used by cells. Women are more at risk of low iron levels than men. Not enough minerals can leave you feeling wiped out and tired.
2. WORK STRESS
Managing stress can be helped by being sure to eat at least three regular meals each day and avoiding sugary foods and other stimulants (caffeine) is key to managing stress through the diet. Stimulants cause fast releases of carbohydrate foods that create even more stress hormones including adrenalin and cortisol. However, tryptophan, an amino acid, found in bananas, turkey and soy protein can help you relax.
Sugar and caffeine—That’s why its sadly not good for us. But you don’t have to completely go without. Start buying smaller bars or switch to a milk and chocolate drink so there is a bit of protein with it. Also take your time, savor the flavor and texture.You’ll enjoy it more and crave it less that way.
Usually in the evening, we start hunting around for food. Try being more focused at dinner time in the task at hand. Eating in front of the TV allows us to ignore eating which then causes us to be ready to eat again. Engage with friends and family while eating to make it more of an occasion. Dining alone? Focus on the taste and texture. Taking up hobbies can also keep you occupied rather than slumping in from of the TV.
They can be so much fun but a food trap too. Plan ahead to make events that you do the highlight (beaches, museums, sports) not dinners. Drinking plenty of water, to help keep feelings of hunger in check, and beware of alcohol intake.
6. A NIGHT OUT
Plan ahead and let your friends know you are on a health kick. They’ll provide moral support.
There is still room for a little alcohol in a healthy diet. However, having a large glass of water between each drink will help keep your drinking within your limits. (You’ll feel better for it too.) Cutting down on the alcohol is also easier when you let those close to you in on your goals.
8. BAD WEATHER
Not a lot we can do about this but be mindful that our increased appetite could be brought on because the weather is preventing us from doing something outside. Try and find an indoor hobby.
9. TAKE-OUT FOOD
Far to often we think of take-away food as a treat or a give-up. When ordering make a point of picking lean grilled meats with vegetable dishes. Then make sure to keep your portion size in check, too.
Is it a cause for celebration? Don’t buy large cakes and don’t go back and forth to the fridge with a fork for leftovers. Be super generous with your guest, make your single serving something you notice: a fancy plate, sitting down to eat it SLOWLY enjoying every mouthful. You could also try serving a dessert/flavor you are not a fan of but the guest of honor loves. That will get you in the habit of only eating a bit to be social not a gluttonous amount.