Calories have been ingrained in our society as a scientific measure of the health of food. But, nothing could be further from the truth! Medical research now shows not all calories are created equal and different types of macronutrients are metabolized differently. It’s important to evaluate food based on different measures of health, such as how much insulin it produces. During this podcast, I discuss why calories aren’t a good measure of food health and provide examples of other internal measures that are perhaps more important considerations.
When faced with negative emotions, we often turn to food to buffer our emotions. This common practice is an attempt to feel better by numbing our feelings. The problem is, we often sacrifice our long-term health for short term comfort. Learning to truly experience and accept our emotions – even the negative ones – is an essential step towards not buffering with food and living a naturally healthy life. During this podcast, I discuss my personal experience buffering emotions with food and I make the case for allowing negative emotions.
Do you buffer negative emotions with food? Or, are you someone who mindlessly munches until the entire bag of chips is gone? Then this podcast is for you! Overeating is a common problem. For many, overeating may mean binging on junk food. However, overeating can also happen with higher-quality foods, such as nuts or cheese. In my coaching practice, I’ve seen many types of overeaters ranging from emotional overeaters to mindless overeaters. During this podcast, I discuss several types of overeaters and why they eat. I also discuss the thoughts that drive the action of overeating, and inevitably prevent you from reaching your health goals.
When it comes to pursuing our health goals, often we want the success without doing the work. We want to lose weight, have a normal BMI and an A1c under 5.6, but we also want the chocolate cake. These competing desires regularly cause us to look for workarounds – a way around the rule. For example, we may use artificial sweeteners in an attempt to avoid sugar. The problem is, this workaround is still causing us to crave the sweet taste. Or, perhaps we overeat chicken, almonds or fruit in an attempt to avoid eating desert. Ultimately, workarounds are a way to avoid doing the hard work of critically evaluating our thoughts and understanding why we are overeating. During this podcast, I discuss common workarounds and build a case for why doing the hard work of understanding our thoughts is so important to sustained success.
Thoughts drive emotions, actions and inevitably our results. For this reason, recognizing true source of our emotions is an essential step towards living an authentic, happy and healthy life. When faced with challenging emotions, we like to believe these emotions are the result something someone did to us rather than our underlying thoughts. The problem is unexamined and unresolved emotions can drive unhealthy behaviors like eating foods that don’t serve your body. During this podcast, I discuss the importance of recognizing and critically evaluating the true source of our emotions. I present several examples from my own life and apply the thought model.
When setting and achieving goals, your plan of actions is more important than the goal itself. Often, goals and resolutions are too high-level, such as “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to eat healthier.” These general aspirations are quickly undermined by busy schedules, responsibilities and stressful situations. Developing detailed plans that include incremental steps and specific timelines significantly increase the likelihood you will be successful. During this podcast, I will discuss how to “get granular” in your plans and the importance of sticking with your plan even when it is difficult.
The importance of good self-care can’t be overemphasized. Simply stated, self-care are things that fuel us instead of taking away from us. They are deliberate actions taken in the interest of improving our mental health, physical health, emotional health or spiritual health. Sometimes, however, we indulge in activities after a challenging day and call it self-care. Are these actions truly self-care or are they buffering? During this podcast, I discuss the difference between true deliberate self-care activities and buffering, which can be self-sabotage. Understanding the difference between these two concepts is necessary for achieving our goals.
As human beings, we often feel entitled to feeling happy all the time. This causes us to use food and other vices to buffer negative emotions. Buffering is when we exploit easy feel-good activities like food, alcohol or shopping, to improve our mood and numb the negative experiences in our life. When we buffer negative emotions, we are not experiencing the full breath of the highs and lows life has to offer. Additionally, many of these vices can lead to health issues like diabetes. During this podcast, I discuss the concept of buffering and argue that allowing yourself to feel negative emotions will lead to a happier and healthier life.
Overeating and the associated detrimental health effects may be the result of how you approach your mealtime. When it comes to eating, many people approach meals and food with anxiety. For example, many people let the stress and the rapid pace of the day carry over into meals. The result is rapidly and often mindlessly consuming food then searching for more food in an attempt to increase satisfaction. Mindful eating, which is being fully present and aware during your eating time, is an effective tool to regain control and increase enjoyment. Common practices that increase mindfulness before meals include praying, meditation and active awareness. During this podcast, I discuss how overeating is often the result of mealtime anxiety and not being fully aware. I also introduce awareness building practices, such as prayer and meditation.
Making decisions throughout the day can be exhausting. From decisions regarding food to exercise and kids to work, it’s no wonder we are often burnt out by lunchtime. As the day progresses, decision fatigue sets in causing us to make poor choices. When it comes to living a naturally healthy life, this can mean making choices that don’t serve your body. During this podcast, I discuss how to make and stick to decisions in advance. By limiting how many choices we make on the fly, we protect our mental bandwidth and ensure good decisions.