Last week, we chatted with one of Philly’s hottest trainers, Jess Sullivan, about how to look good without foregoing fun. This week, we’re digging a little deeper into the food side. I chatted with the beautiful Dana James (pictured here), an NYC-based food coach who helped me work through some of my own challenges. Check out the nuggets of wisdom…
So last week, Jess told us to only eat when we’re hungry…What if you think you’re ALWAYS hungry? Here’s the thing about eating when you’re hungry. If you have gotten into bad habits, you may be thinking you’re hungry when you’re actually not. Think about jetlag. You’re never hungry in Europe in the morning for breakfast because your body is not set up that way. You train your appetite. If you train your appetite to eat on a consistent basis, you will be hungry all the time.
To re-train your hunger pains, eat something every 3 hours, 5 times a day. Then give your body a 12 hour break. So if you eat dinner late one night, that’s fine. Just eat breakfast later the next day. Dana and I talked on Tuesday. I gave myself a few days to “digest” 😉 this advice and am sharing my Friday plan with you.
Learn more about the 12 hour window here. Just know – this article talks about mice. I’ll leave it up to you to decide about humans.
GREHLIN IS A HORMONE, NOT A WEIRD MONSTER
We also heard we need 7 hours of sleep. This week, we’re breaking down the why for you. Disclaimer – I’m not into science. I can pretty much just claim to be one of maybe twenty people still be watching Grey’s Anatomy (Yes – it’s still on. Yes – Meredith and Derek are married :)).
Alas, here’s the deal with sleep. The body’s hunger hormone is called Grehlin (pr. GREL – in). The less you sleep, the more Grehlin you produce. So, the day after a sleepless night, you’re going to be hungrier. But, you don’t actually need more food. The trick is to recognize this biochemical reaction, and treat it with what your body needs, sleep. Not a bowl of pasta.
THE REAL DEAL WITH CARBS
I can’t claim to be practicing what I preach on this front just yet. But I think it’s only fair to share the truth. As a woman, you don’t actually need carbs. If you love them…actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t…Since you love them, know that you can have a quarter of a cup at lunch and at dinner. It’s not a lot. A quarter of a cup is about the size of a medium egg. Here’s the problem with carbs – carbs make insulin. Insulin blocks the body’s ability to burn fat. A quarter of a cup isn’t going to have a huge effect on your body, so it’s fine. But, you can’t go carb free at lunch and double up at dinner.
KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES. LOVE YOURSELF ANYWAY.
Chandler might be caught up in fear and self-loathing. We don’t have to be. As women, we tend hide things we’re not proud of. If we feel guilty about something we eat, we might just continue to eat in a negative way. Instead, identify the bad meal as a blip not a trend. If you continue to eat food that’s not good for you afterwards, that’s when damage is done. Instead, we need to be compassionate towards ourselves. The key is to get out of the guilt loop.
My weakness was the hotel mini-bar. Dana helped me work through some of my own guilt last year. When traveling for work, I would often reach for the M&Ms (and the shortbread cookies) when I stayed up late. I wasn’t hungry. I was tired…looking for energy. Clearly, sweets were not the kind of energy I needed. Sleep would have been a much better next step. But in order to break the habit, I didn’t rely on will power. I called the hotel and asked them to clear my mini-bar every week. Yes – it was an awkward phone call. But it helped me break a bad habit. I replaced my mini-bar with a hot shower and cup of tea. I’m not proud of the habit, but am so proud I brought the struggle out of hiding.
10-DAY WELLNESS CHALLENGE
Do you want to be supported in your own journey with wellness? Dana is running a ten day wellness program designed to immerse yourself into the beauty of nourishing foods, the sanctuary of morning and evening rituals, and the joy that emanates from being the woman that you want to be. The program is part food, part psychology and part exploration.The Experience is less philosophy more doing. It’s ideal for someone who wants to feel it, breathe it and live it. It’s for the woman who says’ “I know what to do, but I just don’t do it.” Find out more here.