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Why “Only Eat When You’re Hungry” Is Terrible Diet Advice

by | Sep 6, 2017

I hear it all the time. People reach out to me who have been trying desperately to eat healthier or lose weight, lamenting their lack of willpower.

“I try to eat only when I’m hungry, but I just can’t seem to keep my hands out of the snack bowl at work.”

It isn’t always the snack bowl. Sometimes it’s the cracker box before dinner or the peanut butter at night. Whatever the source of the downfall it is always laden with a side of guilt and self-loathing.

On the surface the idea makes sense. If you only eat when you’re hungry then you should be providing yourself just enough fuel to be healthy without overdoing it on calories.

The problem is that you aren’t a car (or a Nutricon), and fuel isn’t the only reason you eat. And the longer you pretend that’s an achievable goal, the longer you will suffer.

Humans eat for many reasons. Hunger is obviously a big one, but there are several others.

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How to Maintain Your Cooking Habit During a Busy Work Week

by | Aug 14, 2017

One of the hardest things about making your healthy habits stick is finding ways to do them when you are very tired, stressed or busy.

Randi is a school teacher, which means that in the summertime she has more free time to focus on her healthstyle. During that time, she enjoys making delicious and healthy meals for herself and her family.

However, when school is back in session she no longer has the luxury of a full day to plan her meals, which leaves her feeling stressed about what she is going to make for dinner each night. This pressure causes her to avoid cooking altogether, substituting snacks for a proper meal on the weeknights.

As a breast cancer survivor Randi’s health is of the utmost importance to her. She knows that cooking nutritious meals each week is necessary to maintain her weight and stay in good health.

Luckily for Randi she has all of the tools she needs in order to achieve her cooking goal. By acknowledging some of her limiting beliefs and finding ways to work around them we come up with a strategy that enables her to cook healthy meals year-round.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist Kitchen

The No.1 Thing That Prevents You from Changing Your Habits (limiting beliefs)

 

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How to Stop Being Wooed by Dieting When You Feel Out of Control

by | Jul 31, 2017

Leora enjoys learning about nutrition and discovering new healthy ingredients to try out. After years of study she has become very knowledgeable about what it takes to have a great healthstyle.

However, over the past few years Leora has become aware that what starts out as an innocent hobby often turns into a coping mechanism for managing stress. When life gets hard Leora turns to the health blogs in search for a way to regain a sense of control. Trying out a new diet that promises optimal health makes her feel like her life is back in order.

The problem is that the diet ends up causing her to not feel well and no longer enjoy her meals. She eventually goes back to her already excellent healthstyle feeling regretful for ever going on the diet in the first place.

What is frustrating to Leora is that she is aware that she is using dieting as a distraction from stress, but cannot seem to stop herself from doing it.

We discover that in order for Leora to quit dieting for good she needs to find other comforting ways to feel more in control when triggered by stress. Together we develop a strategy based off her own values and insights to get out of this habit pattern and release her dieting mindset for good.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Mindful Meal Challenge

Headspace

 

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Too Tired to Maintain Your Healthy Habits? What to Do When You Are Not Sleeping Well

by | Jul 24, 2017

Despite enjoying her healthy habits, Chrissy often finds herself exhausted in the evenings and not motivated to cook dinner, even when she has ingredients already prepped.

She reached out asking for strategies to curb this habit, since it can lead to a downward spiral of ordering takeout for weeks at a time.

Sometimes an issue like this is a result of failing tactics, but for Chrissy it runs deeper. Her problem is that she doesn’t sleep well at night, and as a result is too tired to maintain her healthy habits later in the day.

There is no amount of strategy or experimentation that will fix this for her. She needs to focus on getting enough rest.

Together Chrissy and I discuss why it’s essential that she refocus her efforts on getting enough sleep, since it is foundational for the rest of her healthstyle habits. This requires addressing some of her fears and limiting beliefs around sleep, as well as some practical sleep hygiene habits.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

How I Cured My Chronic Insomnia

Obesity and Reduced Sleep: Will Sleeping Less Make Me Fat?

What I Learned From 10 Days of Silence

How To Lose Weight, Meditate Like a Monk and Hone Your Super Powers: The Magic of Lucid Dreaming

The Oura Ring Sleep Tracker

 

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How to Stop Compulsively Eating Free Food

by | Jul 17, 2017

We have all been there. You walk into the break room at work or get to an event and there it is, a table full of free (and not-so-healthy) treats that are yours for the taking.

For Kristen these moments trigger her into what she calls “opportunistic eating,” mindlessly eating food that would normally not appeal to her just because it is there.

Kristen knows that this behavior is preventing her from dropping the last few pounds she would like to lose. She’s also missing out on enjoying better quality treats in the rest of her life because she has “blown her calories” on eating free junk food at work.

She feels she is undermining her personal values of both good health and enjoying delicious food because of this habit.

Together Kristen and I we come up with strategies that can help her bring awareness to her behavior and get in touch with her core values so that she can make better choices when tempted.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Mindful Meal Challenge

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Weighty Matters

The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work by Yoni Freedhoff M.D.

 

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How to Stop Snacking at Your Stressful Job

by | Jul 10, 2017

Monica has a demanding job with hours that are continuously changing. She is responsible for producing original ideas at a moment’s notice, which is very intellectually demanding. Although she enjoys her work, the stress of the job causes her to snack constantly whether she is hungry or not.

It doesn’t help that her job is copywriting for fast food and snack companies and there are always plenty of treats around for her to indulge in whenever good ideas are not flowing.

Monica knows that she needs to deal with work anxiety in a healthier way. In general, she has a very healthy lifestyle. At home she eats mindfully, has a regular exercise routine and cooks healthy foods. However, when she gets to work she compares it to a “black hole” where she disappears into “non-healthstyle land.”

The overeating at work caused by stress ends up making her tired, hurting her stomach and does not align with her values. Together we come up with ideas for how Monica can resolve her anxiety using her mind instead of food.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

How to Eat More Mindfully in 19 Seconds

 

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Exercise leads to better habits, Big Food manufactures authenticity, and sleep reduces stress eating

by | Jun 30, 2017

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week exercise leads to better habits, Big Food manufactures authenticity, and sleep reduces stress eating.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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How to Switch to Maintenance After Losing Weight Through Extreme Dieting

by | Jun 26, 2017

After successfully losing over seventy pounds on a meal replacement diet Cara has reached her ideal weight and is feeling great. But now she faces a new challenge: weight maintenance.

Knowing that diets rarely work long-term and that she needs a more sustainable approach to her healthstyle she is ready to tackle the hard work. In Cara’s case, that means getting over one of her biggest fears.

Cara hates cooking, but knows that learning how to prepare her own food is necessary in order for her to maintain her weight loss. After putting it off her entire life, she says she is now “trying to focus on how to make the hard work doable.”

Together we explore the story Cara has built up in her mind over the years regarding food preparation. Having struggled with this topic myself, I share how I got over my own fear of cooking and suggest ways she can approach it in a much less intimidating way, find inspiration and even get excited about it.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist Kitchen

How To Overcome Your Fear of Cooking

 

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How to Recognize Your Limiting Beliefs to Change an Unhealthy Behavior

by | Jun 19, 2017

Once or twice a week Allison and her husband decide to order take-out for dinner. They find fun reasons to celebrate, often making a night out of it by renting a movie and having a couple drinks to go along with the food delivery. It is a good time and sharing these moments together brings a lot of joy to their relationship.

Theoretically there is nothing unhealthy about this behavior. But for Allison and her husband the problem is the amount of food that is ordered and how much of it is consumed. It is not uncommon for them to order two extra large pizzas and eat one each.

Allison knows the amount of food she and her husband are consuming on these nights is not healthy and has seen a fluctuation in their weights. To compensate for the extra calories she often turns to dieting tactics and maintains a very intense exercise routine. She and her husband have tried cooking at home to compensate for their binges and have even planted a garden to inspire them to eat more vegetables, but eventually their willpower gives out and the co-bingeing ritual repeats.

Allison wants to change this unhealthy behavior, but she cannot seem to stop herself from doing it. Throughout the episode Allison and I investigate why she is over ordering take-out and discover that she has many limiting beliefs around what she considers to be healthy behavior. It becomes clear that these limiting beliefs have created blind spots for her, which are preventing her from seeing a solution.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist, by Darya Rose, Ph.D.

The Mindful Meal Challenge

How to develop confidence in your ability to get healthy (podcast)

The No.1 Thing That Prevents You From Changing Your Habits

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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How to Avoid Drinking Too Much In Social Situations

by | Jun 12, 2017

A couple of times a month Polly is expected to go out for drinks with her coworkers. This is part of the company culture and a great opportunity to bond with her team. Plus, she really enjoys it and finds it to be an overall rewarding experience.

The problem is that at these events Polly finds herself drinking three to four times more alcohol than she normally would. This frustrates her because it is out of character and not aligned with her healthstyle values.

In her normal life Polly has no problem stopping after one or two drinks and the rest of her healthstyle is very strong. She eats mindfully, cooks every day, exercises, and gets plenty of sleep.

Polly has tried to talk herself into drinking less at work events without success. As soon as she arrives anxiety and excitement kick in and she feels the urge to match her coworkers drink for drink, making sure no one’s glass is ever empty.

While all over-indulgence habits are hard to break, binge drinking is particularly tough since alcohol inhibits your ability to make good decisions. It is important to remember in these cases that small actions can lead to big results over time and to have patience with yourself when you aren’t perfect.

In this episode, Polly and I discover what her triggers are and I share with her some tricks that have helped me drink less in social situations. We also develop strategies she can use to alter her behavior through trial and error, instead of setting strict rules to follow. This encourages her to approach her situation with a new and more realistic outlook.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

8 Tips For Drinking Less Without Your Friends Knowing

How To Cut Back On Alcohol Without Going Cold Turkey

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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