A POTATO DOES NOT MAKE YOU A POTATO, BUT BEING A COUCH POTATO DEFINITELY DOES!

Though we love the batata or bateta or aloo or potato in our food, we also love to blame the poor tuber for our weight gain! Let’s face it – whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food. Did You Know that potatoes are NOT inherently fattening? But if you choose to add butter or sour cream to potatoes or choose to fry it and eat it or eat chips you increase the numbers of calories and fat grams significantly and yes – that does make you fat!

For my technical – questioning – calculating minds –

Boiled potatoes are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber (responsible in making you feel full) and nutrients. They are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, phosphorus, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. A large, unpeeled boiled potato is rich in B-complex vitamins, which help your body form blood cells and make energy from the protein, carbohydrates and fat from the food you eat.

A boiled potato provides more than half of the vitamin B-6 you need each day, as well as about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake for thiamin and niacin. It is also high in vitamin C, giving you one-half of your daily requirement for that nutrient.

Because the potato is a root vegetable, it is rich in essential minerals that help you build strong bones and benefit your nerve and muscle function. A large potato, boiled in its skin, provides 1.1 grams of potassium, one-fourth of the potassium you need daily. It also gives you about one-fifth of the magnesium and phosphorus you need each day. A potato has 5.4 grams of fiber, about the same amount as a bowl of bran flakes cereal – so bring back the poha with batata and other vegetables for breakfast instead!

And AGAIN – the most important thing here like any other food item or group is the concept of MODERATION. Anything less or anything in excess is not good. So yes eat the potato in your veggie, but eat other veggies too – in the right quantity.

Now coming to the couch potato bit! Exercise is an essential component of life, just like eating. I am not talking about fancy exercise or equipment. Take small steps. Just motivate yourself to exercise. Our body, our joints need exercise – not excess not less – Just RIGHT!! So if nothing just start with a walk for about 30-40 mins a day, 5 times a week! Regular exercise helps you gain muscle weight and shed fat weight (Remember Fat loss is important!). And most importantly focus wellness, reducing body fat and a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

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EMOTIONAL EATING MANAGEMENT

EMO EAT

10th June 2014, Tuesday

1pm-4pm

Over eating or bingeing are the mechanisms of mind and emotion. People often seek refuge in food. In the 3 hour session discover your Emotional Eating Pattern & equip yourself with techniques to release it. Go from EMOTIONAL EATING to MINDFUL EATING

Workshop Conducted by – Dr. Khushboo Thakker

She is a Homeopath, a Certified Trichologist from the International Association of Trichologists, Australia; Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist from the California Institute of Hypnosis and Certified Nutritional Counsellor from Sophia College.

To register contact – 09820770536

Healthy Heart Worshop

Heart BigHealthy Lifestyle + Healthy Diet + Healthy Thoughts= HEALTHY HEART

Date – 31st May 2014

Time – 1pm – 4pm

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with heart disease or are at risk for developing it, you might be surprised to learn that simple changes in your diet, lifestyle and even thoughts will profoundly affect your heart health, because – Complete Cardiovascular health must address the whole Heart–its physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

Healthy Heart Workshop is a mind-body approach to preventing and healing heart disease by strengthening the existing and creating total heart health. By exploring key areas of your life, you can take a step forward to heal your heart. Along with nutrition and exercise, we will also focus on creating changes in our environment – internally as well as externally. Take a simple example – the way you communicate, or how you handle stress have a big effect on your heart.

Topics covered –

Lifestyle

Making lifestyle changes can often help relieve signs and symptoms of heart disease; prevent the disease from worsening and even prevent the occurrence of heart disease Instead of creating lists of restrictions – do’s and don’ts  & good and bad foods, we focus to create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial and discipline

Nutrition

No one diet works for everyone. We focus to find the food and lifestyle choices that best support you and to make gradual, lifelong changes that enable you to reach your current and future health goals.

Mind – Body connection

What is your heart trying to tell you? Physical symptoms are merely tangible evidence of what is going on in your unconscious mind and how you are REALLY feeling deep inside.  Your emotions play a crucial role in ensuring your needs are met.  So, if they are ignored, your subconscious mind must find another way to get its message across and help you see that your deeper needs are not being met.   Symptoms are the way your body alerts you to how you are out of balance.

Workshop Conducted by – Dr. Khushboo Thakker

She is a Homeopath, a Certified Trichologist from the International Association of Trichologists, Australia; Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist from the California Institute of Hypnosis and Certified Nutritional Counsellor from Sophia College.     

She believes in a holistic approach towards fitness and emphasizes on a healthy lifestyle rather than any drastic changes that are not long term. She is completely convinced that it is possible to be madly in love with food and yet be very healthy and fit.

To Register Contact – 09820770536

9 Commandments to Effectively Handle Emotional Eating – to Go from i-Crave to i-Understand

1. IDENTIFY YOUR HUNGER

Is your hunger physical or emotional? (Refer to the comparative chart on the previous post to determine if your hunger is based the physical need to eat, or emotional need to eat.)

If you ate a few hours ago and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you may not be “truly” hungry. Give it 5 minutes and see if the cravings are present yet.

Also –

  • When having a meal stay away from all distractions. Switch off your tv, you cell phones. This will help you put your complete focus on the food in front of you. Now with every morsel of food – try and involve all your five senses; see the food in front of you – the colour, the variety; smell the aroma of food, feel the texture in your fingers, taste the various flavors and finally enjoy the silence of your meal. This will make you more attentive towards your food and help you get in touch with your real hunger signals.
  • To help determine if your hunger is physical or emotional, try asking yourself questions like “When was the last time I ate?” “Am I suddenly hungry or I have been hungry for a while now?” “Do I really need to eat this specific food that I am craving for, or can I substitute it for something else?”
  • Create healthy alternatives to eating. Whether it’s a walk in the park or curling up with a good book or talking to your friend or even playing with your pet – planning other activities will help you relax and avoid binge eating.

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2. IDENTIFY YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

Emotional eaters must become aware of their reasons for wanting to eat.

A long drawn but a great way to be more aware of your emotions surrounding food is to keep a journal and record how you feel before you eat and after you eat. Write down what you eat, how much you eat (portion sizes), when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are (on a scale of 0-10). Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal emotionally driven eating patterns and you will see your triggers that you need to avoid.

Top 6 Emotional Eating Triggers

  • Stress and Anxiety –Oh God! I am so nervous and edgy. Munching on the bag of chips or a tub of ice cream makes me cope with it better.”
  • Loneliness – “I am alone, I don’t know what to do or I am lonely and sad – let me just switch on the TV, watch a movie and order in a pizza”
  • Anger –I am so angry with XYZ, and what makes me more angrier is that I can’t tell XYZ how angry I feel – so let me just munch on anything I can lay my hands on”
  • PMS – “where is that CHOCOLATE? I need it NOW!”
  • Sadness and Depression – “I am feeling so low – only a good dessert would make me happy”
  • BOREDOM“I am bored and I have nothing to do, let me what is there in the fridge or the pantry or the kitchen”

3. AVOID KEEPING YOUR SNACKY-MUNCHY FOODS AROUND

  • Avoid keeping your comfort foods at home. Give yourself special days that you allow yourself to have “treat” foods available, and only in MODERATION
  • If you are planning on food shopping and are also feeling hungry or low, postpone the trip for a few hours so that these feelings don’t influence your food choices at the store.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time! Knowing what you plan to eat ahead of time, will make you look forward to every meal, as you know exactly what your next meal would be and will make it less likely that you will opt for an unhealthy option, even after a stressful day.
  • Eat every 2 – 2 ½ hours. Eating frequently and in small portions throughout the day will help to keep your blood sugar stabilized, keep your energy and mood up, and prevent cravings for sugary or fatty foods.

4. EAT A BALANCED DIET

  • If you are not eating enough in your normal meals – for the fear of getting fat, you may not be getting enough calories to meet your energy needs for the day and that may make you more likely to give into emotional eating. So try to eat at regular times and never skip breakfast. Include foods from the basic food groups in your meals (carbs, proteins and fats). Avoiding or reducing any of the food groups – leads to a lot binge eating. Get your portions and proportions of these correct. When you eat your basic food well, you are more likely to feel full longer.

5. EXERCISE  

Participate in regular physical activity. Be active for a minimum of 40 minutes for 5 days a week. Go for a bike ride, run or even a swim. Every little bit counts!

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(Image Courtesy – http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=55003566)

6. GET ADEQUATE REST

Your mood is more manageable and your body can more effectively handle stress when it is fit and well rested. You can also do relaxation exercises such as imagery and guided visualization, deep breathing and meditation. Try tai chi or yoga.

  • Get enough sleep. If you do not sleep well when you are stressed, it may have an impact on your weight loss efforts, and often will cause fatigue leading to emotional eating.
  • Develop a ritual to help prepare you for sleep, and try going to bed at the same time each night.
  • Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are all great ways to ease emotional stress, and to help you fall asleep more easily.

7. DEAL WITH YOUR STRESS

Since lack of emotional support is directly linked to the tendency to binge-eat, it is important that you build your own reliable support system. This could mean talking with a counsellor, or a friend or starting a healthy weight loss program.

  • If you have difficulty expressing your emotions verbally, try getting them out on paper. Maintain a journal or write a letter to even to yourself writing in detail about how you feel. Avoid judging or critically analyzing your own feelings. Acceptance of what you feel and where you are helps
  • Be sure to schedule time to spend with your friends or loved ones or family works wonders. Building relationships doesn’t happen overnight, so make spending time with those you care about a priority.
  • Make yourself your No.1 Priority. This is not about being selfish. It is about SELF – LOVE.

8. LEARN TO COPE WITH CRAVINGS

We all get food cravings, and often we all give into them. It is how we deal with these – is actually what will make or break our dream body efforts.

In essence, we subconsciously desire food that might bring on a specific feeling like a sugar rush or comfort. These “comfort foods” may have more to do with emotional security than a desire for food.

SO, THEN WHAT TO DO? TIP – The key to dealing with any food craving is to select times that you will give into them. If you deny your cravings all the time, you will only drive yourself to binge and eat more of what you crave once you do indulge. Select a day once every 2 weeks or once every month – where you eat the food you love! Be honest with yourself, and understand that having a treat does not mean having an entire day devoted to poor food choices.

9. COMPLETE WELLNESS OUTLOOK

It is important to remember that we eat to nourish our bodies and not for comfort. Look at food as nutrients that fuel your body. Every vitamin, mineral or nutrient that you put into your body helps to maintain your youth, vitality appearance, energy, fitness and health. Combine your food with exercise and a happy spirit, and you’re on your way to living happy, eating guilt free yet MINDFULLY!

My Relationship Status to My Food – It’s Complicated! — Really?

 “Why am I so weak willed?  Why is it so difficult for me to resist the temptation of over-indulging in so called forbidden foods – ice cream, chocolate, pizza, that very inviting-looking pastry, etc.?” – How often do we get frustrated with ourselves this way?

Like I mentioned in the previous post, our bodies make us crave particular foods and flavours when we are out of balance in some way, whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally. Feeling powerless to resist cravings usually has absolutely nothing to do with willpower.

Physical or rather physiological cravings occur because we have either a reduced store of certain nutrients or an imbalanced diet as a result of either an excess or even drastically reduced portion – often of sugar, salt, or carbohydrates. These types of cravings can happen as a result of poor diet (includes both – over-eating as well as eating less than what you need), over-exercise or no exercise, stress, illness, lack of sleep, or – as a favourite topic of discussion among the ladies – a symptom of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

Cravings related to mental or emotional state are much more complicated, because the root cause cannot be addressed simply by increasing your intake of leafy greens. No food or vitamin supplement can replace this.

Emotional eating can really disrupt your efforts for weight loss. Often, emotional eating leads to consuming too much of our so-called forbidden foods – like the high calorie ones, high fat ones, salty and sweet ones. Eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness and loneliness can never really solve the core issue that led to the disturbance. There is personal inner work to be done to identify triggers and thus we begin our journey to heal.

How to differentiate Physical Hunger from Emotional?

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In this journey to heal or even identify that disturbance which leads to the “emotional craving” for certain foods, befriending our body works wonders instead of criticizing ourselves or thinking that we are weak willed. When we make friends with our own body – our own inner guidance – we come to realize that our body is actually strong and that it knows what to do. It will then guide to make right food and exercise choices to achieve your dream bod!

I believe that food is not about calories or fat but about feelings, emotions, the love for food is an enriching and rewarding experience and central to human existence. Along with your body befriend your food. And eat it without any guilt rather eat it with utmost pleasure. (Mind you – I said EAT not Binge 😀 😉 & remember the bit on Physical hunger)

(P.S. – Working to write the last part of the i-Crave series ending with Strategies on dealing with Emotional Eating. Will keep you posted)

i-Crave!! – Ever Wondered the Whys of Emotional Eating – Obsessive Compulsive Eating – Binge Eating – Un-explained Food cravings???

Very often, when taking the initial history of my patients, I find them helpless, clueless and wondering why they crave foods that make them Fat!! Just 2 days back, I was counselling a 17 yr old girl, who was visibly overweight and she told me – “Doc, I know it is not good for me- but I still eat that entire big bag of chips or the entire big box of chocolates in one sitting, when I am upset with my mum.. I just cannot stop myself at a few pieces.. I feel so angry, so helpless! Help me.. Please!!”

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Been in this phase at some point in my own life – I knew exactly what she was telling me. Haven’t we heard of someone going through something similar or even haven’t we ourselves experienced emotional eating like this at some point?? Have we not already realized that our state of mind can affect our food choices and this is true the other way round too!!! This link between food and mood has been established by so many scientific studies.

Haven’t you ever wondered why we crave certain foods during certain moods? What do these Food Cravings even mean??

Cravings for food are a sign that there exists a certain disturbance in the body and there are unresolved emotions that are looking for peace and balance. Very often today our cravings arise from emotional imbalances. Taking this one step deeper – actually, whenever there are disturbances inside of us, we receive an inner guidance – like a gut feeling or an idea or simply our inner voice guiding us to change the situation, that caused the imbalance to begin with in the very first place.

But due to too much going on in our lives and mind – we are either not in touch with our inner selves to hear this guidance or just ignore this guidance; the body which continues to experience the imbalance now tries to regain the lost balance in a different way, and so now we crave certain foods. Very beautifully, the body or rather the mind knows that certain foods will alter the brain chemicals in order to regulate energy or mood (though not permanent – but yes, for that little while one does feel better) And once that moment is passed – we eat that food again – because we want to continue feeling that way. It is a lot easier to eat our way out of a problem, than address the root of the problem itself. This takes us into the cycle of Compulsive Eating – Over Eating and Excess Weight!!!!

Let me explain – let’s say that you’re unhappy at work, with your boss. You feel he constantly pressurizes you to perform the job of 2 people without giving any consideration to your time or even increasing the pay. We do give in – as we need the work, but after a while, we begin to feel the resistance, the fatigue and the voice inside tells us – you need to make a life change. May be like discussing with your boss or speaking up for yourself or looking for a new job. But then crops up the fear about financial security or how would your family survive the transition, what if I dint find a new job?? – such doubts and many more like these – keep us from following this guidance. So now – the body that wants to feel better sends signals to eat certain foods that will help us temporarily feel better.

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The most direct route to reducing cravings is to heal the situation that’s triggering them. Even taking a baby step towards the resolution of a problem at work, in your love life, or in your lifestyle can reduce food cravings.

But instead, we end up equating food to making us fat!! We thus make associations with food – some devil, some angels.. some fattening.. some thinning.. So now, food either evokes a feeling of guilt, or a feeling of resentment, or a feeling of worry!!!

Don’t we get energy from our food?? Should it not bring forth a feeling of appreciation, a feeling of abundance, a feeling of longevity, and a feeling of energy – of being charged to move forward with our day; a feeling of well-being – of feeling good about what we eat, about our body and most importantly Ourselves!!!

Food is such an important component of our experience. Why call it names? Why give it unnecessary tags?? Why not befriend it.. Bless it..  And eat it with utmost pleasure and gratitude 🙂

Think about it 🙂