By Kimberly Floyd
As a Christian weight loss coach, I often receive questions from others about their health challenges. Several months ago, a nice lady emailed me about an issue concerning her habit of turning to sweets whenever she was stressed. In her message to me, she was beating herself up for her perceived lack of discipline. She wrote, “Kim, right now I have some cookies in my cabinet and I’m tempted to go and eat them. Why doesn’t God give me the discipline to resist them?”
After assuring her that I too would struggle under similar circumstances, I shared with her a principle I live by, which comes from the martial arts: The best way to win a fight is to avoid getting into one in the first place. In her case, the best way to resist the cookies was to avoid bringing the cookies into the house in the first place.
Are you creating daily “fights” with yourself by surrounding yourself with food temptations? If so, you are making shedding pounds needlessly hard!
In setting yourself up for Christian weight loss success, you must create a healthy “safety zone” around yourself. The fact is, people do what people see. If you don’t have healthy foods in your home, healthy snacks at the office for emergencies, or prepare before you visit restaurants, then you are pretty much at the mercy of whatever you see or smell.
Here are two tips to create a healthy safety zone around yourself and help yourself to success:
1. Keep healthy foods available and within reach.
Be sure that you have plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your home. One thing that helps me out is to batch cook on Saturdays. I cook vegetables, chicken breasts, oven-fry fish, bake sweet potatoes and freeze it all in smaller containers. That way, when I’m busy during the week, I can just take something out of the freezer and maybe add a side item for a quick meal.
This allows me to reach for food that satisfies me from the inside/out rather than surrounding myself with foods that just satisfy my tongue.
Another tip is to keep a fruit bowl on the counter or dining room table. Keeping it within sight and reach makes it more likely you will eat it. Whenever possible, avoid bringing the high fat, high sugar items into your home. But if you must, make sure it is the smallest possible box or bag you can get. The principle is, if you can’t (or don’t want to) avoid the temptation, then minimize the damage by practicing wise portion control.
2. Be prepared whenever you eat away from home.
While it is true that some fast food restaurants are offering healthy items on their menus today, most menu items are still either fatty, salty, sugary, or a combination of the three. Be honest: If you go into Burger King and smell the hamburgers and fries, how likely is it that you will order a salad? You don’t want to lead yourself into temptation.
However if you must go to a fast food restaurant, then I recommend that you check out the establishment’s Web site beforehand. Usually, they will post the menu and provide nutritional statistics on the items they offer. You can decide ahead of time what you will have. Then, go to the drive-thru to get it. That way, you won’t be tempted by the smells of the unhealthy stuff.
At work, keep a water bottle or jug on your desk that you sip on throughout the day. Many times, we eat food when our body is really crying for water.
Also, keep a few snacks with you so you aren’t at the mercy of the vending machines. Apples, oranges, small packs of raisins, almonds, pretzels, air-popped popcorn with Parmesan cheese, or low sodium tomato soup or vegetable soup are some examples of food you can keep with you for emergencies. Proper planning is good for your health, your waist and will ensure your Christian weight loss success!
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