Week 2 Wrap-Up

So it is the end of week 2. You now understand how you got here and who can help you move forward.  You can let go of the past and move towards the future you deserve and want. I am sure some of you still think or feel at a deeper level you don’t “deserve” a better future but if you look at what brought you here you will see a lot of it you had no control over e.g. your childhood, your subconscious learning patterns, your financial challenges etc.  So forgive yourself for something that was never your fault.  Though of course there will also be areas you were responsible for and so you have to accept that responsibility and use it constructively.  Personally, I think there isn’t time for unconstructive self-loathing, there is a lot of suffering in this world and if you can move towards your better self then you can help others move towards their better selves; it is a win-win, so get on with it!

If you have not already, please check out the document resources at the end of week 1.  Remember we are for 1000-1500 calories a day of whole and real food mostly, mostly vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, healthy proteins (plant or animal) and healthy carbs (e.g. sweet potato, legumes, lentils, chickpeas).  Specific calorie recipes, snacks and more info are in the end of week 1 resources.  We have built a strong foundation for your journey and you are hopefully doing the activities and changing up your diet and routines.  Well done!

At this point, I often see people experience a few different things.  What do you do if you are getting hungry or craving snacks for those past “treat” (aka probably crap) foods?  Here is the short version and we got into lots of depth here later in the course…

The foods that help you feel full for longer are foods high in plant or animal protein and fibre.  I covered this in detail in week 3 but to quickly review = there are animal and plant sources of protein ranging from meat to nuts, legumes, peas and beans and studies show they make you feel “full” equally as well.  High fibre foods include whole plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, peas and beans. Hence other foods like refined carbohydrates and sugar do not make you feel full.

There are basically two types of hunger; (1) Genuine hunger to stop your starving to death and (2) Conditioned hunger where your body has learnt after the repeated experience that this is the “normal”.  If you eat breakfast every day and don’t eat breakfast one day, you will feel hungry and your stomach will rumble, you might get a bit cranky and so on.  But if you wait 20-30 minutes this will pass because you are going to survive just fine. So it is important to be aware that not all pangs of hunger are equal.  Over time this conditioned hunger can change and go away when your food patterns change.  We are creating a “new normal”.

Next, our cravings for those past treats may be challenging you. I cover this in later weeks because it requires a bit of attention but for now, here are a few key points.

  1. If you keep yourself satisfied with real foods regularly you will crave less.
  2. Over time the cravings will reduce, so wait 15 minutes and see if the cravings are still there.  Remember after time your brain and body will change so it will not be like this forever!  If you stay the course then your future cravings will be tiny compared to now.
  3. Have a healthy substitution snack e.g. fruit instead of juice.
  4. Change your surrounding and environment straight away e.g.get outside, play with the kids, call a friend etc… Don’t rely on will power alone!  Change the external and your internal will change more easily.
  5. It is OK to have the occasional treat!  Don’t feel guilt!  Just move on.  It is ok to have a break, as long as you get back up and keep moving.  This is what I call the 80:20 rule; do well 80% of the time. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

And finally – I have said it before – but consider inviting your friend/partner or someone to join you on this journey because the support and creating a new routine will really help you.

Be well

Dr. Sam