Editor’s Note: Today, we welcome guest contributor Tina Haupert, Author of Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake At A Time. Enjoy! LMH
Overeating is the worst feeling. I feel like I have been defeated — like my cravings have taken over and I am powerless to resist them. I feel weak and disappointed in myself. I try not to let these feelings take over because I know nothing good can come from them. But here I am, blogging about healthy living and trying to set a good example for people, and I feel like a total failure. Every day, I show people what a healthy life I lead, but in truth, I can’t seem to deal with my own overeating habit. It’s embarrass ing for me to admit that I really struggle with this.
Sharing the Struggle
I share a bit of both with my readers. At first, I only talked about the successes. But the more I blogged, I realized that I connected with my readers more by showing them that I am a real person who is relatable — someone who has similar struggles. I want to be a role model, but at the same time, I’m not perfect and I don’t want people to think that I try to be. So, after about a year of blogging, I started to open up more in my posts about overeating and gaining weight after losing it.
In situations like this, I don’t resent the blog or consider stopping. Blogging about my experiences also helps me deal with my issues and gives me a new perspective. My readers are always willing to leave a comment or suggestion on my blog about their experience or words of advice that help motivate and inspire me to keep on trucking along with my goals. Sometimes I write about my struggles just so I can hear what they have to say. It’s nice hearing so many different points of view; it helps me get through whatever I am struggling with. I think my readers also appreciate the conversation in the comment section of my blog because it helps them too.
My Tips to Avoid Overeating
I eat enough during the day. I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat substantial meals that include fiber-packed carbs, low-fat protein, and healthy fats, I usually encounter crazy cravings later. Now I make sure that all of my meals and snacks include a combination of all three.
I keep “trigger foods” out of the house (most of the time). Cookies, chocolate, and cereal are foods that give me trouble when it comes to portion size. Instead of keeping my favorite foods in the house, I purchase them only once in a while. I love peanut butter chips, but I buy them only every other month or so because I know I will finish off the bag in less than a week. Every now and then, it’s okay, but I don’t let myself have these treats in the house on a regular basis. When it comes to cereal, I buy mostly “healthy” cereal that I tend not to overdo it with. Kashi is one thing; Frosted Mini-Wheats are another!
I try not to mistake thirst for hunger. In the afternoon, especially right after lunch, I always feel hungry. But much of the time, my hunger pangs are satisfied with a big swig of water or a hot mug of tea. A little hydration goes a long way when it comes to dealing with emotional eating.
I eat by the clock. If I just ate a meal or a snack, I will try to wait at least 20 minutes before I eat something else. When I wait, I put a buffer between myself and the food, which helps make the temptation go away — at least most of the time!
I try not to be too hard on myself. A single slipup isn’t going to cause me to gain pounds. If I do overdo it, I don’t let it become an excuse to continue to eat poorly, though. I don’t get down on myself, and I make sure to get back on track the very next time I eat.
I just don’t start. Especially, when it comes to baking, I don’t let myself taste my treats until it’s time to do so. If I bake muffins for breakfast the night before, I don’t allow myself to have one until the next morning. Same goes for cookies or blondies — I wait until dessert time. Otherwise, I’ll start eating them and not stop. If I pick a specific time to enjoy a muffin or cookie, I savor it during that set period and cut myself off after that.
The above is an excerpt from the book Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake At A Time by Tina Haupert. Copyright © 2011 Tina Haupert, author of Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake At A Time
Tina Haupert, is certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA). She publishes her blog Carrots ‘N’ Cake on a daily basis and also writes another blog called Trading Up Downtown for a nutritional rating company called NuVal. Additionally, Tina writes a weekly feature for Health.com as part of their Feel Great Weight program, and she also promotes events online and via social media for a local fine wines company called Gordon’s Wines and Liquors. Tina lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, Mal, and her pug, Murphy.