Recently, I’ve noticed a trend that even with the best of intentions can leave you frustrated and disappointed in your weight loss results. Substituting certain foods for others (for example: substituting pure maple syrup for sugar, or evaporated milk for cream) is becoming such a popular method to “eating right,” that we’ve actually lost our focus on the simplicity of eating right! Due to our desire to create a change without actually making a change, we’ve started substituting every meal, snack, drink, etc. While this process may give you some sort of emotional satisfaction, I feel like using substitutions is doing injustice to your body and health in the long term.
Take my weakness, for example. I love (and I mean LOVE) the taste of chocolate. I’ve even given it up for a year, and yet I still find myself craving pretty much anything that has that sweet goodness in it. So I started trying to find substitutes to still satisfy that chocolate taste: skinny peppermint lattes, desserts made with cacao and stevia, cookies with carob chips, chocolate protein powder to create chocolate milk or ice-cream, and so much more. In fact, I did a search for healthy chocolate substitutes and there were over 9 million results! I soon found myself substituting at almost every meal to make me emotionally feel like I was getting my “treats” while trying to get the physical results I wanted. This was not only expensive, but also time consuming! Guess how that worked out for me?
Let’s just call it a huge FAIL! I found myself heavier than I’ve ever been since I was pregnant with my second child. This weight gain was largely because I had tricked myself into thinking I was eating healthy and therefore going for larger portions.
What would happen if we took a different approach and forgot about the complications of food substitutions? Let’s face it: constantly substituting makes us believe we are on a sustainable diet of healthy eating. It’s okay to sub at times to make a healthier meal, but when we are constantly trying to find a way to “cheat” the system, we are going to fail.
Let’s refocus on good food, get back to basics, and make those changes that can lead to a life full of happiness, confidence and success! Check out these 3 tips that I promise will provide you with the PERMANENT results you want!
- Keep the perspective on why you’re eating what you’re eating: No, this is not another “stop emotional eating” rant. Often, we eat certain foods out of habit and addiction. Many of us never give a thought to the meal or snack you just inhaled. Humans are creatures of habit. Did you grab the food because it was the time of day you always eat? Did you grab the food simply because it was there? Before mindlessly grabbing food, take a moment before every meal or snack and evaluate what this food is going to do for you and your health goals in the long run. Is it going to provide you with fuel to get stronger or flab to slow you down?
- Keep it simple: If you are eating more packaged/processed foods than clean foods, you are setting yourself up for failure. You have no control over what is in those foods (and what those ingredients can do to your body!), but you can control what you put in your body. Grass fed and hormone free proteins, fruits, veggies and quality grains should make up the majority of your nutrition!
- Refocus daily: Write down why you want to eat healthy. Why do you want to live an active lifestyle? What will keep you going on the days when the motivation is missing? Set daily, weekly and monthly goals that correspond with your “why.” By taking the time to focus on your goals every single day, you will be less likely to revert back to your old and unhealthy habits.