Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What’s Eating You? Train Your Mind to Think Healthy

When Wednesday arrives and three PM ticks over, the sugar rush hits and most of us dive into a head-long rush for the Scotch Fingers or Whitakers bars; it’s an inevitability, as 40 hours plus a week disappears down the wires and into screen time. We become effective multi-taskers, often shovelling easy to eat tidbits down without letting our stomachs or brains a moment to process how full we really are. It’s no wonder office worker bees are attracted to sugar – before the age of excess (most of human history), people often had to scavenge for basic nutrients, eating morsels here and there between full meals. The human body adapted over time and engineered fat drive, seeking out food sources that stored life-saving fats to carry our fragile biology through deprivation. Take charge of this antiquated mechanism and train your body to crave a leafy, colourful salad.

What we eat reflects how we’re feeling about ourselves, the circumstances that guide us and the lifestyle choices we make. Challenging unhealthy eating patterns can take up to a year, as we must re-adjust our thoughts, feelings and aversions to food; think about it, when the day fell into the midden heap and you just NEEDED to be over, what was the first thing you reached for at the corner store? It wasn’t an apple. Sugar laden foods temporarily boost levels of the mood regulating super chemical, serotonin. Between the fat drive and our natural addiction to serotonin, it seems a little hopeless. It isn’t. Though these suggestions are not a place-holder for talking to someone about your long or short-term issues – everybody needs help from time to time – they will help you manage cravings, desires and negative self-talk.

Write It

Write what you’re feeling every time you’re struck by an unexpected unhealthy craving. There are a field of apps dedicated to word pads and note-takers, so the pen and paper excuse no longer flies. Express how you’re feeling and why, write it down and connect the dominant craving.

Think Positive

Instead of rushing to Ben and Jerry’s for another mini punnet of chocolate, caramel and praline swirl, think of something good about yourself. If you’re feeling particularly negative, do something that will give you the same chemical release and slap the fat drive back into its box. You don’t need food to feel good; going for a walk, listening to music or dancing around the lounge room, singing bad pop songs will all give you the same cathartic lift. Negative self-talk is holding you back from achieving whatever goals you’ve set yourself, forcing you to move the goal-posts and diminishing your esteem.

Forget It

Five minutes is all it takes to navigate your brain around a craving; make a list of things you can do from anywhere for five minutes, whether if it’s read a book, play Fruit Ninja, people watch, knit a scarf or fill a bubble bath, your mind will be so caught up in this new topic, the craving will dispel and you can continue to feel good. If you’re having trouble keeping time, download a stopwatch or set a timer.

Eat Clean

The supermarket is plotting against you. Whatever you do, don’t give into the virtual bazaar of chocolate and temptation while the checkout operator packs your green bags. Eating clean can be overwhelming; foreign textures, flavours, sounds and acidity challenge our perseverance. For one week, ditch the chain stores and check out a local farmers market and butcher – fresh foods are the key to sustenance, weight loss and a lower cholesterol reading. For more information on lowering your cholesterol there are websites out there like flora.com.au that go out of their way to write up facts that everyone should know as well as helpful tips and tricks to incorporate into your diet.

Author Bio: John is a health consultant and has been for the past 2 years. In his spare time he likes to write blogs about health, fitness and all round well-being.

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