When on a mission to lose weight and achieve optimal health, it helps to use your best ally– your brain. Your brain is your partner in this journey. While it can betray you if you don’t have your mindset in order, your brain can help you just as much, if you feed it the right messages. This means filling your environment with health-promoting items, reading up on nutrition and exercise, listening to calming music, listening to inspirational audio programs, and associating with positive, health-conscious people.
What you are doing here is creating a buffer against the obesigenic (obesity-promoting) forces all around you by taking advantage of the things that you can control in your environment; kind of like earthquake-proofing a building, or fortifying a house against a hurricane.
As you make small, incremental, health-affirming changes in your daily routine, you will experience a “shift” in your subconscious mind. At this point, healthy habits will have replaced unhealthy habits as your “default” behavior. You will no longer have to draw on willpower to resist the temptation of a double-chocolate layer cake offered to you for dessert, as it will come naturally. This is the state of subconsciousness that overweight individuals should strive to achieve. It is priceless as it is a one-way path to realizing optimal health and longevity.
So, as you embark on this journey, think of new ways to build your “house of health.” You want it to be a strong fortress, because the world we live in today is full of triggers and temptations that draw people away from health– fast food chains, celebrity endorsed junk food, all you can eat buffets, holiday treats, sedentary jobs, and much more. Make it so these forces have a difficult time affecting your habits.
One of the things you can do is find healthy alternatives to common high-calorie comfort foods.
Here are a few examples:
1. Instead of coke or diet coke, mix 8 oz. of cold, sparkling water like Perrier to 2 oz. of pomegranate juice. This refreshing drink has much less calories, doesn’t spike your insulin levels and the small amount of juice offers some anti oxidants. Plus, you get that nice carbonated sensation as you drink it.
2. Do you just love the taste of white rice along with your meat at dinnertime? Instead of eating refined, white rice, steam one half head of white cauliflower till it is soft enough to mince easily, let cool. Mince it to the consistency of boiled rice grains, and then pan fry in 1 tbs of olive oil for one minute. Add three shakes of sea salt. The cauliflower, while it has some amount of starch, naturally contains vitamins and minerals and of course is less processed and refined than rice.
3. Avoid the potential hormone risks and toxins in pasteurized milk by making almond milk. Blend a handful of raw almonds with 12 oz. purified water in your blender; strain out the nut grinds if you prefer. Optionally add one tsp. of organic honey to sweeten.
4. Ditch all bagged and boxed snack foods, which are all typically high carb, high sodium, refined flour products with little nutritional value. For snacks, fill a large tupperware with a mix of toasted almonds, toasted walnuts, thick dried coconut shavings, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and a handful of organic raisins and dried cherries (with no added sugar). The natural sweetness of the fruits and the oils from the nuts will fulfill any sweet and fat cravings. Limit to no more than one cup per day.
5. If you drink coffee, get into the habit of forgoing sugar with it. Add a dollop of whole, organic milk or half and half. The lactose in them is enough to sweeten your coffee; think of the cream as your sugar as well.
These are just a few, creative ways to outsmart the forces of obesity clamoring for your attention. If you have a favorite healthy meal alternative, please let us know in the comments!