When you are trying to lose your post baby weight, it can be all well and good to say ‘eat healthy fresh food and reduce your intake of unhealthy food.’
For some of us who have been eating poorly for years, that can be easier said than done.
If you’re one of those people that feels as though they are addicted to certain take aways or junk foods, read on to find out how to rewire yourself so that you can reach your goals.
It’s all about retraining your brain so that you no longer desire the high fat or high sugar foods.
Follow our 5 tips below which will help you to lose your post baby weight:
Remember how it makes you feel after you eat it
Have you ever found that the desire or thought of a certain food is much more appealing than the food itself? For instance you might crave a burger, chips and a shake – you feel as though you really want it badly. Then you eat it, and afterwards you feel quite sick and zapped of energy.
Compare that to how you feel after eating, say, a chicken salad. You feel full, satisfied, and ready to get on with your day.
The key is tapping into these feelings when you have a craving – by remembering how it made you feel afterwards you can tell yourself that it’s not a good idea to go for the burger and to instead make a healthier choice.
Plan ahead so that you don’t get hungry and emotional
If you know that you have a flavour packed wrap or salad in your fridge or bag for lunch, it can be easier to say ‘no’ to yourself when the urge for a greasy pizza strikes.
This step means that you need to be planning your meals and snacks ahead of time, rather than waiting until you are hungry (and let’s face it – that’s when most of us think ‘what can I eat RIGHT NOW’).
You can also keep some stash meals (single or family sized serves) in the freezer so that you aren’t tempted by a take away when you’ve had one of those days. Try our favourite freezer friendly meals here.
Letting yourself get too hungry between meals can also lead to reaching for a sugary or fatty snack (think croissants or cakes) – so the same goes for your snacks too.
Always keep fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt or other healthy snacks on hand so that you don’t get caught out. You can see our snack section here too
Avoid the triggers
If you have certain people or situations that lead to poor food choices, it’s time to make some changes. If you always grab Chinese with a colleague for lunch, or always head to a café for a chocolate mud cake with a girlfriend – you need to nip those bad habits in the bud right away.
Make suggestions for healthier options – why not take turns bringing in a healthy lunch for you and your colleague? Or meet your friend for a walk instead of at the café?
It’s important to notice the triggers that lead to the poor choices, and then turning them on their head so that they are no longer an issue
Cut out one thing at a time
If you feel as though your junk food craving is too big to tackle all at once, try cutting out one thing at a time.
You could start with soft drink for the first week, then chips, then other favourites – all the while topping up what you do eat with new, tasty options so that you don’t feel as though you are missing out.
So if you really love blueberries, be sure to keep them in the house so that you can ‘indulge’ whenever you feel like it. If you love dip, make your own healthy versions (like this) so that you can tuck in anytime.
Do your research
Spend a little bit of time finding out some of the nutritional information about your favourite junk foods. Our Calorie Bible is a great place to start.
When you see in black and white just how much fat, sugar, salt, calories or artificial additives are in these foods it can help to reset your brain to say ‘no thanks.’
Click here to see the breakdown of what’s in ice creams and ice blocks.
Click here to see what’s in those chocolate bars.
How to beat sugar cravings
So what are some ways we can beat or control the sugar cravings so it doesn’t hamper our weight loss efforts?
1. Eat a low GI diet. Eating a diet full of low GI food will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and will stop the rapid insulin surges. It will also keep you feeling fuller for longer and prevents a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels which then causes cravings.
2. Get lots of nutrients in your diet. Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients to work properly, and to help sugar move into the cells efficiently If you don’t eat the right foods then your cells will not be nourished and a common side effect of this is craving sugary foods. If you are pressed for time and finding eating a high nutrient diet hard then try one of our smoothie plans which will nourish your body and cells.
4. Eat more fibre. Fibre is extremely important for slowing down sugar absorption in the body and making us feel fuller for longer. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables will provide fibre, as too will swapping white rice, pasta or bread for the whole grain varieties. You can also put a couple of tbsp of psyllium husks or oats into your smoothies – this will combine with water and expand in your stomach, making you feel fuller. It is important to increase your water intake when you have more fibre as it can be counter productive other wise
5. Clean your teeth! After dinner, clean your teeth straight away. This works well for a lot of mums because you are less likely to snack on sweets when you have that clean toothpaste taste in your mouth, and if you do, you know you have to clean your teeth all over again!
6. Eat the right snacks. When you are hungry you need to eat the right foods that will satisfy your appetite and nourish your body – as well as preventing large rises in blood sugar. Try to have only nuts, seeds, and fruits, high protein snacks and cut out junk food. Good fruit choices are apples, pears, and strawberries. To have a healthy snack try making up ‘fruit kebabs’ every couple of days and keep them in the refrigerator. Cut up chunks of apple, strawberries and other fruits and then thread them on skewers, drizzle with lemon juice, and store in a glass jar in the fridge.
You can also reduce sweet cravings by substituting regular sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and stevia.
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