If you’re nodding your head right now, we feel you. And so do more than 30 percent of our new clients who say they over-consume alcohol.
The question is: What does “too much” mean? It can be different for everyone.
Maybe you’re drinking two or three glasses of wine at night and wondering if you’re relying too much on alcohol to take the edge off. Or perhaps you don’t imbibe during the week, but drink to excess on the weekend.
Even if you don’t have what’s considered a “serious” problem, your drinking habits could be affecting your ability to lead a healthier lifestyle—by interfering with your sleep, affecting your judgement (“Hey everyone! Who wants late-night nachos??”), and stimulating your appetite.
Ask yourself: What’s one action you could take to feel a little better about your alcohol intake?
Ease yourself into it, and notice how you feel. Better awareness can result in better choices.
For more help and how-to advice, check out: Would I be healthier if I quit drinking?
Are you seeing a theme emerge? Sure, this one’s related to “I don’t plan out meals” and “I eat out too much.” But it’s also slightly different because it’s specifically calling out the reason why: a lack of a key resource.
Now let’s be honest: There may be a lack of desire here, too, at least compared to activities you do have time for. And that’s okay.
After all, many people are on the move all day, making a living, commuting, and/or caring for others. You deserve some time to unwind, and if that means grabbing takeout so you can sink into your couch 30 minutes sooner, we get it.
But let’s go back to our continuum concept:
That’s how real, lasting transformation happens: one tiny step at a time, not by trying to change everything overnight.
So figure out what action you’re capable of now—even if it doesn’t seem like much—and try it out. Then practice it next week, too. As it becomes easier, ask yourself: “Could I add in another home-cooked meal?”
Remember: Progress, not perfection.
And for more ways to deal with a hectic lifestyle, check out 7 ways to make time for exercise and nutrition.
In the weight loss industry, it’s popular to tell people, “It’s not your fault.”
And in this case, it’s probably true. Between your parents directing you to “clean your plate,” the abundance of hyperpalatable foods (see Challenge #4), and the mega-meals served by chain restaurants, eating more than you need can feel completely natural.
Which means eating an appropriate-sized meal can feel… completely unnatural. At least until you get you used to it. And that requires practice.
A simple way to start:
Eat slowly (Challenge #3… again), and stop when you’re 80 percent full. Do this no matter how much is left on your plate or how uncomfortable it makes you feel.
This won’t be easy at first, and you may wonder, “Am I at 80 percent full or 70 percent?” or “Did I just totally mess up and go over?”
Don’t worry about it. The point is to become a more mindful eater and pay better attention to your body’s satiety signals. That takes time, and like any skill, you’ll improve with practice.
We’re going for progress here, not perfection.
Of course, it helps to start with a reasonable portion size. But you don’t need to enter your meals into a calculator ahead of time. You can use your hands to estimate how you should eat, with our simple but effective portion and calorie control guide.
With so many temptations on restaurant menus, it’s natural to feel a little tortured about what to order. Once that mental back-and-forth begins, it’s all too easy to say, “Heck with it, give me the carbonara and pass the bread sticks.”
Along with planning meals or your food choices (as in Challenge #2), you can also plan how to show up.
Every time you follow through on your plan, notice how you feel after you’ve finished your meal.
Ask yourself: “Am I just as satisfied as I would have been otherwise?”
If yes, that’s a positive step to encouraging the same behavior next time. (With more practice, smart choices become easier and easier.)
If no, try following these steps:
Is this your top challenge? Make sure to read 25 ways to eat well on-the-go for additional insights and strategies.
Maybe you love cookies. Or M&Ms. Or anything that’s rolled in sugar.
That’s completely normal, according to almost 50 percent of our new clients.
However, it’s typically not just the sweetness that appeals to your taste buds, belly, and brain. It’s a diabolically delicious combination of sugar, fat, and salt that makes certain foods nearly irresistible. There’s even a special name for them: hyperpalatable.
In fact, food manufacturers use this flavor formula to create products you can’t stop eating. (It’s great for sales, after all.)
The biggest challenge with these foods is their availability: They’re everywhere, including your kitchen.
So, remember Berardi’s First Law
If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually eat it.
This also leads to the corollary of Berardi’s First Law:
If a healthy food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually eat it.
We’re not saying you should make sweets off-limits. Instead, shape your environment to set yourself up for success.
What would happen if, next time you visit the grocery store, you bought some fruit for dessert instead of that jumbo pack of Oreos?
Try it, and observe what happens.
To learn more about how to handle hyperpalatable foods, read Manufactured deliciousness: Why you can’t stop overeating.
While this isn’t at the top of the challenge list overall, it was the #1 issue for men—with nearly 60 percent of guys raising their hand.
And turns out, these folks are spot-on. Almost everyone benefits from eating more slowly.
In fact, in our coaching method, slow eating is one of the first practices we ask clients to do. The reason is simple: It’s incredibly effective.
The act of consciously slowing down—even just taking a breath or two between bites at first—can help you eat less without feeling deprived.
And we’ve found it works for everyone from the most advanced dieters to those who’ve struggled with healthy eating for a lifetime.
To experience how you can use this practice to transform your body—starting at your next meal—see The 30-day slow eating challenge.
Survey says… 53 percent of both men and women check this box.
But good news: Serious improvement in this area may not be as time-consuming and complicated as it sounds.
Think about meal planning on a continuum.
At the far left: You put zero thought into what you might eat later today or tomorrow or the rest of the week. Most decisions are made after you’re already hungry and while you’re staring at the contents of your refrigerator—or looking at a drive-thru menu.
At the far right: You spend Sunday morning grocery shopping and taking the afternoon to prep seven days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, packing it away in containers and leaving nothing to chance.
But in between? There’s real opportunity to progress, and it doesn’t require a complicated meal plan. You just need to do a little better than you are now.
A great place to start:
Plan to eat one to two servings (think: an amount the size of your fist) of produce at each meal.
Don’t worry about variety for now: If you like steamed broccoli or raw carrots or sliced cucumbers, you could have those at every meal, if you want. Just practice buying what you need and eating it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
And if you find yourself at a restaurant, stick to the plan. That could mean getting a side salad with an order of broccoli instead of fries. (For bonus planning, try checking the restaurant’s menu online before you go.)
You’ll be amazed at how this simple approach can transform the quality of your meals, yet it doesn’t require a ton of effort.
For more ways to ease yourself into healthy eating, check out: Why meal plans usually suck.
More than 60 percent of our new clients list emotional/stress eating as a major nutrition challenge.
What’s more, over 50 percent say they also “get intense cravings” and “snack when not hungry.”
If you relate, it might be a relief to know you’re not alone.
Of course, that’s little consolation when your spoon’s scraping the bottom of a freshly-opened jar of cookie butter.
But what if you realized this behavior occurs…
In our coaching approach, we call this “noticing and naming,” and it offers us great opportunities to regain control.
Emotional eating and intense cravings are typically part of a pattern of behavior that’s triggered by a specific experience—a thought, feeling, and/or situation.
If you can identify the trigger, you can disrupt the pattern of behavior and make different choices.
We use what we call a “break the chain” worksheet that helps clients identify their emotional and stress eating triggers. Then, we apply a step-by-step strategy to build alternative actions.
For the complete instructions, read this article: Conquer your cravings and break the sinister cycle that makes you overeat.
As you can see,
Ideal Nutrition Center
1602 Lohmans Crossing
Lakeway TX 78734
Ideal Nutrition Center
2410 West Ave N
San Angelo TX 76904