Breaking A Bad Habit

The first couple of weeks adjusting my diet is rough. It took time to figure out what I could eat without exceeding or falling too far below my calorie intake. There was a moment where my weight went up, but I didn’t give up. When I have time in the morning, I’ll immediately log into the myfitnesspal.com website and look into what I ate yesterday. I tend to eat the same things over and over again, but sometimes I might find the occasional snack that went unnoticed.  It’s so easy to find what I need from a drop-down list that pops up after I click on the snack link.

As I’ve mentioned before, during the week I eat a croissant or a Morning Star Vegan sausage patty in the morning before work. This has been my biggest change since I don’t have time to eat something complicated and it gives me my allowed calories for the day. On the weekends, I’ll sometimes make a bigger breakfast with a single piece of toast, scrambled egg and turkey bacon. I use I can’t believe it’s not butter instead of actual butter since its fat content is high. I only use 1/2 a tablespoon to spread on the bread. Sometimes, I’ll add a slice of cheddar cheese to lightly melt on my egg.

Two to three hours later, I’ll have a light snack that comes in an already prepared package, or if I’m home I’ll have some reduced fat chips and salsa that I make from scratch. If I’m feeling especially hungry, I’ll throw in a bunch of vegetables and cook them for three minutes until they’re just steamed enough. I’ll pour a teaspoon of olive oil on them and sprinkle a little bit of pepper. A couple of hours after that, I’ll have lunch. That can be a banana with peanut butter sandwich, or whatever I’m in the mood to eat that day.

For dinner, I’ll have baked salmon and another large bowl of vegetables. I use olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper to flavor them. If I want, I can even have a potato with a small amount of sour cream. I have to watch how much I eat to stay within my calorie intake. For desert, I dice up an apple and sprinkle some cinnamon on it with a very small amount of water and a touch of honey. Within a minute in the food processor, I have a serving of low-calorie sugar-free applesauce as a treat.

Sugar is an addiction I’m trying to break. I no longer get cravings for sugar, but I still eat it every once in a while. When I feel like having cookies, I can eat a couple for one serving, which is in most cases is the recommended amount.  I feel satisfied enough to complement them with fruit and whipped cream. I learned which foods triggered my food addiction, and kept them out of my house at all costs. If you’re able to control yourself around irresistible foods, then you are doing much better than me. My kids and husband tend to somehow sneak food that I’m trying to avoid into the house.

A good trick is to separate your craving from your emotions. Remember that deprivation is a killer, so eat smartly and stick to the serving suggestions if you need to feed into a food addiction. That makes it a little harder for you to eat the entire package all at once. If this doesn’t work, then simply tell your spouse and children to hide them away from you.

Working on food addictions is a problem that should be addressed, but trying to quit everything is another surefire way to regain the weight. I try to remember that the less calories any particular food item has, the more food I can eat without gaining weight. I don’t worry as much about my fat or protein grams going over the limit, but I like to stay well below the carb and sugar limit.

There really isn’t anything difficult about losing weight. The hardest part is accepting that It’s a lifestyle change that only works gradually. We have to break bad habits and at the same time restrain ourselves from going back to our own way of thinking. To act and think in a completely different way about food and the role it plays in our lives is not going to happen overnight. As we break those old habits, better habits will form.

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