Healthy Snacks Aid in Weight Loss

Just that Time of Year

It’s that time of year. From a nip in the air to a massive snow and ice storm, there is a difference now. It’s colder and the tendency is to put on a few pounds. We’ve generally accepted that it is nature’s way of helping us provide a little extra winter fat — just in case. But how long since you last had a food shortage or had to wait out the winter for your next meal? This year can be different.

Today consider making one small change

When you make a small change, it is easier to handle, you are more likely to incorporate it into your daily life, and you are more likely to succeed, than if you try to make a global change to your whole way of being.

Start by adding more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet. Just for today, throw out your rules — if you follow any diet that forbids fruit or your favorite vegetables — because fresh foods are too important to miss. Fresh foods are sweet, satisfying and full of vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, and other things that your body requires for optimum health.

Choose a few you particularly enjoy. This time of year apples are good, bananas year around, citrus fruits are plentiful … Get some and start carrying a food sack everywhere you go. You can little packages of baby carrots, etc. A fellow I know always has a bagful of chopped cauliflower, carrots, and others that he munches on.

You Must be Crazy! I can’t Eat Fruits and Vegetables!

What? Have you lost your mind? Hear me out. The idea is when hunger strikes (or what you think is hunger), no matter where you are, you’ll now have a healthy snack handy. It’s not that you couldn’t wait out your hunger, but the tendency is to think about all the yummy foods you are trying so hard not to eat and this type of “I can’t have any” thinking sets you up for a massive binge once you do get ready to eat.

Instead, when you decide you are hungry, turn to your fruit/vegi sack for a quick, healthy snack.  Give it a go and let me know what happens.

Are you Starving? Putting Hunger in Perspective

Putting Hunger In Perspective

I recently read a book by the only man to have survived alone on a raft at sea for more than two months, Editor of Cruising World magazine, Steven Callahan. In “Adrift, Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea,” Callahan recounted how while slowly starving he dreamt of food, “My body knows what it needs. For hours on end fantasies of sweet ice cream, starchy baked bread, and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables water the mouth in my mind.”

Reading an account of one man’s survival in the face of sure death was inspiring. My ex-husband is building Callahan’s redesign of “Solo” the very boat that capsized, so he too can take off on a singlehanded sailing adventure across the seas. He believes he could survive as Callahan did, while I’m telling myself I’ll die of starvation if I don’t eat in the next half hour. Sort of puts things in better perspective, don’t you think?

Keeping Food Diary Helps Weight Loss

Keep track of what you eat for the next seven days; just one short week (you can do it). Note what, when, your mood, and whether you were hungry.

This diary then becomes your window into your real eating habits. If you usually eat a pretty healthy diet for instance, then the food may not be a big problem, but what about the frequency or quantity?

Waiting for Hunger or I’m Always Hungry

Do you eat in anticipation of hunger? It can be very enlightening to play the, “Wait for Hunger” game. You do this by simply waiting for real hunger before eating anything. By real hunger I mean the, “I’m hungry, and I need something to eat,” hunger rather than a vague sensation that, “Hey, I could eat something,” or you suddenly smelled food and what a surprise, now you’re hungry. You’ll begin to recognize false hunger more often when you wait for real hunger to arrive, and once you know it’s false hunger, it’s much easier to simply ignore. Wait 10 minutes and false hunger disappears. Poof!

The odd thing while waiting for hunger is it can sometimes take a long time to arrive. People begin to worry that it won’t come at all. The same people who earlier said they are hungry all the time, now come to realize they are rarely truly hungry because they don’t wait long enough to actually get hungry. Other times you could be hungry very often throughout the day. Every day is different.

Iryna Tysiak

I carry some type of food with me such as fruit or nuts, sometimes a food bar, pretty much everywhere I go. If I get hungry, I want a couple of bites of something healthy pretty soon. It helps to stave off the, “I waited too long and now I’m going to eat everything in sight,” behaviors as well.

A food diary seems like a hassle but it can be such an excellent learning tool, and I highly recommend it. Use software if you like such as the Food & Exercise Diary, or simply get a small notebook and carry it with you. In fact, even if you use software, you still need to carry a small notebook because trying to recall what you ate is nearly impossible. You’ll easily forget those little nibbles here and there, and they count too. It can easily be just the food you don’t realize you’re eating that’s adding those extra pounds to your frame.

Give it a week, you’ll discover many things. 1) you’ll discover whether you’re really motivated to make a change in your eating habits because if you can’t do this one thing, then the chances are you’re just not ready to make a change, 2) you’ll discover you won’t die if you wait for hunger, and 3) you’ll discover you really aren’t truly hungry as often as you think you are.

I’m Hungry

Good Thing I’m Not A “Breakfast Skipper” Or This Could Be A Rough Day

Nah, I always eat the most early in the day anyway, so being hungry is expected. Having my stomach gurgling like a flooding riverbank is another story.

Sometimes when I wake this hungry, it’s as if nothing I eat will satisfy me. I’ll have my usual cereal (I nearly always have cereal and milk for breakfast), then I’ll start eating fruit, then I’ll have more fruit or a yogurt with Grapenuts, then maybe soup, then a bagel perhaps? Then …

I eat like this sometimes all morning, and usually by early afternoon I find I’m okay – I lived through another huge appetite morning. When you feel like you’re starving, even though you know you are not, eat real food. Fresh, wholesome food, not fake fat, not denatured crap, but fresh food. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans? Anyone eating beans? I love beans, soups, stews. This time of year a hearty soup with a big piece of heavy (I mean heavy in your hand) whole grain bread is so satisfying.

I don’t mean to make you hungry – I apologize. I tend to get carried away talking about food, I do love it so.

Learning Hunger Is A Signal From Your Body To Eat

Feed yourself well, and the signal will stop. Feed yourself poorly and the signal just keeps coming. Also, a huge tip? Drink water. As soon as your stomach starts gurgling or doing whatever dance it does, go get a glass of water and start sipping. Give yourself five or ten minutes from the first hunger pangs to finish drinking a nice glass of water. After 10 minutes, if you still feel hungry, get something to eat, but often you’ll find either you forget you were hungry entirely (I get busy and forget) or you’ll not feel anywhere near the powerful urge to gorge, just mild hunger.

Hunger Is Not A Disease

Do not fear hunger. Embrace hunger. Sit with it. Nurture it. Live it. It’s okay – you’re okay. Take a deep breath and say, “Even though I’m afraid of being hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway,” let the air back out, and relax.

If you don’t know how to use EFT, which I refer to often, then get yourself some materials and learn it. It’s easy, and effective. Start at the beginning to learn, download the free materials at OneMoreBite for using EFT for weight loss and get started today.

Let’s Talk About Hunger

Why Am I So Hungry Today?

Yesterday I felt hungry all day. I decided it was because I felt trapped. I didn’t have a choice about what or where to eat – I couldn’t leave my house because there were a few inches of ice literally on everything outside , so I did what any normal, sane person would do. I ate. I might want to work on this issue since if I were ever truly in a situation where the food supply was limited I’d hate to think I’d wipe it out in one frenzied day of panic.

I didn’t eat junky stuff, but I did eat far more than usual. For instance I had a wheat bagel, sliced with raspberry honey. I never slice my bagels, and never put anything on them, so that was odd by itself. I have a very regular schedule of hunger, I eat generally around 7 AM, then again around 10 AM, again around 12 noonish, and maybe 4 or 5 PM is dinner. Thursday I had my usual breakfast, then snacks, then more snacks, then a big lunch, then more snacks, then a big dinner. I popped a few chocolates that day as well.

Basically healthy food but it still adds up. I had a mixture I hadn’t had for a long time where I get out a bowl and toss in granola cereal, raw almonds, raisins and carob chips. That sounds nice and healthy but those calories add up. I mentioned last week it was nearly 4,000 calories that day, of reasonably healthy foods, so I proved you can overeat on good food. I also ate two bananas, one on my cereal in the morning and another in the afternoon as a snack, so I wouldn’t faint from hunger, I guess.

I never used EFT that day. Thinking about it later it seems I had a fear of not having enough, of running out, of thinking I’m being controlled by outside forces, and of not having a choice. One thing I did not do that day was berate myself in any way shape or form. I do not say mean things to myself – I never have, except for the occasional, you idiot type of stuff but never in a serious way. I don’t do that, and if you do, stop now. Just stop. If you hear yourself saying something unkind to yourself just stop.

Since I Didn’t Pay Attention To My Hunger, I Ate Non-stop

Okay. It’s over. Today’s a fresh day. That Friday, I felt back to my usual self. My appetite was normal, I felt fine, good in fact. I was happy, satisfied, maybe wider than usual, but happy still, and that’s what counts, to me. Being happy in my own skin is far more important than fitting someone else’s idea of my ideal image. You have to love yourself first.

Next Daily Bite look for my list of my favorite foods and a bit on tracking your hunger levels. I promise to post my hunger level worksheet so you can see that I’m not perfect either. I maintain a reasonable size and shape by eating like what I call a normal person. I don’t obsess about it, and I do overeat sometimes (witness last Thursday), but one overeating episode does not frame my whole day nor does it color my life. It’s not me, it’s just a behavior.

Taming Your Eating Triggers

I’m sitting here at home on a rare Portland, Oregon snow day, and it’s cold. Yesterday the weather man said it was 20 degrees but “felt like four.” I had to laugh. That’s putting it in plain English I guess. Instead of saying, “The Wind Chill factor is 4,” they tell us what it “feels like.” Can you tell the difference between 20 degrees and 4? Neither can I.

So, I’m cold – I’m usually cold, so this is nothing new, but it’s especially cold to me. I’ve got on layers, two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, three shirts, and I’m still feeling brrrrr, shivering cold. I’d put the heater higher but my husband likes this arctic chill, so I’m compromising. Being chilled I suddenly thought about getting something to eat. Not because I’m hungry, but simply because I’m cold. Moving around would feel nice, eating would warm me too – that’s the thought that ran through my mind, and it makes sense. Eating stokes the metabolic fire, after all.

Discover Your Eating Triggers

So, there I’ve just discovered an eating trigger for me. Being cold makes me want to eat something – not a bowl of cereal, or a sandwich. I was thinking along the lines of chocolates, or nuts – something simple I could just pop in my mouth and commence chewing. Ah, but then I remember, today is the second day of my big plan to eat a “clean diet.” I’ve been talking about it for a month – letting people who know me in on the plan in an effort to help me do it. I eat a pretty healthy diet but I’ve let my weight creep up this winter, so I need to nip it in the bud right now.

Now nuts are okay on a clean diet, but the salted peanuts we have in the house are greasy and very high fat (raw almonds would be a better choice), and I know I’m not really hungry, so no amount of nuts is going to satisfy me. I just want to chew. It’s one of those, “eat until they are gone” type of hungers. So my new goal for this week is to wait for real hunger before eating. That’s all – just wait until I’m hungry first.

So I did a couple quick rounds of EFT: (Remember, if you need EFT instruction, here are no-cost materials to help.

“Even though I’m ultra cold, and I want to eat something, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

I always start on the P.R. point (side of the hand – karate chop point) and say the set-up three times. Then I do a series on the usual tapping points with the shortened words: “too cold.”

“Even though I don’t want to wait until I’m hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself and will wait anyway.”

“Don’t want to wait.”

Notice how you can add any words you like at the end of your statement? Go ahead and embellish the wording, speak to yourself in a kind manner, and the words will come to you.

While tapping I was thinking about my issue – how being cold is making me want to eat. Is that true, or was I just having a knee jerk reaction? I remember being offered hot chocolate as a child, with those little marshmallows on top, “Here, have some nice cocoa, it’ll make you feel better.” Smiling grandma fades out. So many memories intertwined with food.

There’s nothing wrong with having memories around food – food is an important part of our lives, and I’m not advocating stopping that practice – no way. I am interested in discovering my triggers though: those times I absentmindedly put something in my mouth because of a triggering event, such as the cold feeling in my body. Being cold is not the same as being hungry.

How to Wait for Hunger

Waiting for hunger isn’t so difficult but the hunger itself can be elusive and you may wish it would come sooner. The more nutritious food choices you make, the less often you’ll feel true hunger. Waiting for hunger isn’t so difficult, you just need to find something else to do when the urge to eat strikes without hunger. I’m busy working, so that’s no problem.

You’d be shocked if you waited for real hunger – assuming you eat nutritious food when you eat, that is. I ate breakfast at around 7 AM, nice big bowl of oatmeal and raisins with a sprinkling of brown sugar and non-fat milk. Around 10 AM I decided to eat an apple. Nice, sweet, juicy apple. Crunchy, excellent snack, IMO. So, now it’s likely I won’t be hungry again for another couple of hours.

Oops, I wandered off in the middle of writing this and ended up peeling and eating a Clementine while standing in the kitchen admiring the snow (a Clementine is a type of seedless tangerine, I think). Anyway, it was good. So I wasn’t hungry just then, that’s okay. I’m not a robot – it’s a plan, not a life sentence.

The nice thing about waiting for hunger is you can estimate it – so if I want to plan for lunch, I know sometime between noon and 1 PM will probably be when I’ll get hungry. Unless I’m busy doing something, in which case I might decide to wait. My husband just offered to make me some soup and a sandwich and I said, “No, thanks. I just ate an apple.” I could eat a sandwich, but today, I’m going to wait for hunger. Try it yourself, and see what happens. You may be surprised.

From now on I know that if I’m cold I may want to eat something, so I’m going to wait for hunger. Simple. It’s about being aware, that’s all. Notice what’s going on around you, and use EFT for the obstacles.