Step 1: Erase the Damage Already Done
Anyone who wants a do-over is at a point in their life where they aren't happy with themselves and feel the damage is done. The damage that has been already done is typically because of these five food felons. Get rid of these food felons as the first step to start your do-over.
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Refined carbohydrates
Step 2: Reset Your Cravings by Identifying Triggers and Creating Substitutes
Just like you should have a fire safety plan in place for your family, you should also have a food safety plan for emergencies. Identify what triggers the weight to creep on. Once you figure that out, you can recognize it and prepare better. Did you overeat after your boss yelled at you? Or do you find yourself reaching for the bread basket every time you go out to dinner? If so, you have to change your response to trigger situations like these by creating a new game plan. Write down three of your biggest food weaknesses (or more than three if you have them) and next to each one of them, write down one thing you can do to substitute eating them if you feel a binge coming on. This piece of paper becomes your emergency plan. Once that plan is in place, it's much easier to change your behavior because you are now prepared. Here are some examples to help you create your new game plan:
- If you crave chips, substitute with veggies with peanut butter or guacamole.
- If you crave soda, substitute for black coffee.
- If you crave ice cream, substitute for berries and dark chocolate.
- If you crave the bread basket, call the restaurant ahead to have something else brought to the table besides bread.
Step 3: Establish the Four Building Blocks for Every Meal
Your meals should have protein, vegetables, fat and 100% whole grains. If you follow this formula, you are more likely to avoid pitfalls. To stay prepared, shop for cook-ahead meals for the week. Use these sample meals below as a start:
- Grilled fish, steamed broccoli with red pepper flakes and a few slices of avocado.
- Grilled chicken, roasted asparagus and some quinoa.
- Whole-grain pasta with vegetables.
Most importantly, forgive yourself for gaining the weight back. Remember that we're all human and we make mistakes. Following this plan will help you correct those mistakes for good.