Spring Crackdown is my own personal way of ditching the wintertime blues, literally. Winter for me is a terrible, terrible thing, it makes me positively miserable. To cope, I become what we all like to call an "emotional eater" I eat anything I think will make me feel better and generally that means cookies, lots and lots of cookies, and other sugary baked things. The Spring Crackdown starts at the end of spring break or whenever the sun decides to show its glorious shining face. The phases follow no set schedule seeing as how this is MY system and all my readers know how I feel about measurements and such.. So the phases follow my whims and if you feel like jumping on the bandwagon I give you my solemn promise (scout's honor):
This is not a fad diet,
this is not a crash diet,
this will not kill you,
this is perfectly sound,
this is not insane,
this will not turn you into a hungry eating machine,
this will not turn you into an angry starvation crazed monster,
you will feel better
What I need you to keep in mind:
you will not see "immediate" results
it takes time for your body to respond
it will be worth it! (these are photos I found on google images, I don't have any rights to them)
It begins with Phase One:
Spring crack down, jump on the bandwagon: if it grows in the ground you can eat it, if it eats things that grow in the ground you can eat it. If it does not fall under either category, don't eat it, it is not food, it is trash.
Learn the difference between food and trash
This is food.
This is trash.
Easy enough so far right? Awareness is key in this phase, so pay attention to what you're putting into your body. Food is not an emotional crutch, though many of us, myself included, are guilty of using it as such. We all have our go-to items, think about your problem areas. For me it's sugar (in case you couldn't tell)
Spring Crackdown: Eat meals. A meal consists of one protein and two vegetables, OR one protein, one vegetable, and one fruit. A meal is NOT two proteins, or two fruits. Meals have three items, one MUST be a vegetable and one MUST be protein(not necessarily meat).
This is a meal.
Spring crackdown: new rule, time to step it up, if it has a label and it has more than 13g sugar, just say NO! It is trash, do not eat it.
Sugar is my own personal demon, if yours is carbs, set a carb limit, if it is sodium, set a sodium limit. Learn how to read food labels. If it doesn't have a label because it is fresh produce, EAT IT! It is FOOD!
Is it food? or is it simply something that is edible?
For the love of all that is holy, read the ingredients. Can you pronounce them? Can your 6 year old niece pronounce them? Does it contain a bunch of preservatives? Your body does not need preservatives. Your body does not need "artificial flavors" or "yellow #5" so why are you putting that into it?
Spring crack down: game changer, raw vegetables are free in terms of your caloric bank account, everything else must be bought and paid for: eat 100 calories = burn 100 calories.
Time to step it up another notch. start getting real with your food. Your body needs food to burn as fuel like your car needs gas.. you don't keep putting gas in the car once its full, so why do the same to your body?
To figure out what your body needs try looking HERE(this one is a bit high), HERE(I like this one better), or HERE(probably the most accurate). You are welcome to compare and see which one you agree with more based on your activity level and such.
Another way to handle this situation is to stop eating once you are satiated. Not FULL, we as Americans with our over abundance of readily available food tend to over eat. You do not need to eat until your plate is clear, or until your belly is completely full. If you're having a hard time distinguishing when that feeling happens, eat slower. You can fake your body out by eating too fast and it wont realize it is overly full until you stop and take a breath, that's when you get that "Oh my God, I'm going to throw up if I even look at food right now" feeling.
So lets recap here for a minute..
1. Stop eating trash.
2. Eat complete meals.
3. Watch your sugars (insert your own personal demons here).
4. Cut out the non-necessities.
5. Don't over-do food. Portion control.
Simple enough? I think so. Now put the store-bought cookie down and go have some carrots, an apple and peanut butter.