Products I'm Obsessed With: Spaghetti Measurer

Oh spaghetti, how I love you! No I'm going to measure you and eat you.

Pasta lovers rejoice! You can now have your pasta and eat it too! You no longer have to avoid eating pasta all together because you’re afraid of overeating it. From Joseph Joseph comes the spaghetti measurer. All you have to do is set how many servings you want to make (measures up to 4 servings) and voil

Products I’m Obsessed With: Spaghetti Measurer

Oh spaghetti, how I love you! No I'm going to measure you and eat you.

Pasta lovers rejoice! You can now have your pasta and eat it too! You no longer have to avoid eating pasta all together because you’re afraid of overeating it. From Joseph Joseph comes the spaghetti measurer. All you have to do is set how many servings you want to make (measures up to 4 servings) and voilĂ , you are guaranteed to eat only as much as you make, without having to rack your brain with thoughts of wanting more, but knowing that you shouldn’t have it. And that means no more guilt! Plus, they come in 4 different colors, so you can match your kitchen!

Order it here, now! http://www.josephjoseph.com/kitchen-tools/spaghetti-measure

Emotional Eating Survival Strategies

Emotional eating isn’t something that only overweight people do. People of all shapes and sizes use food to comfort themselves, because they’re bored, sad, lonely, or angry. At first you think that you’re hungry, so you go for a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but then before you know it, you’ve eaten almost the entire pint and you’ve gone from hungry to disgusted in a matter of minutes. Where those minutes have gone you have no idea, because it seems like you were almost in a trance through the whole thing. Even if you did notice what you were doing you probably rationalized all the thoughts that were telling you to stop, because “you deserve it”, or “you’ve been really good lately”, or “it’s only today, I won’t do it tomorrow, so let me just enjoy it.” But, what ends up happening is that today becomes tomorrow and then tomorrow becomes the next day and the next, and before long you’ve created a habit of comforting your anxiety with food, thinking that it’s going to help. All it does though is make your problems worse, because now on top of your boredom, loneliness, sadness, or anger is guilt. And what you’re left with is a vicious cycle that won’t end unless you make a conscious decision and effort to end it yourself.

Here are a 10 tips to use the next time you feel like masking your feelings with food:

1. Dig deep – The first thing you absolutely must do is figure out why and when you eat. What feelings are you trying to avoid dealing with? Did something happen at work, do you feel sad or angry? Figure out your patterns, so you can watch out for them next time.

2. Make a List - Make a list of things you can do instead of eating the next time you feel the urge to raid your refrigerator. You can include all the tips listed here plus some others that you think might help you specifically, such as calling a friend for help or occupying yourself with something else.

3. Wait 10 Minutes – If you feel the need to eat make sure to wait 10 minutes before indulging. Most of the time you’ll be able to talk yourself out of it and see that you don’t really want to eat.

4. Ask Yourself This Question – “What purpose is this serving me?” If the purpose of eating is to console yourself maybe you need to find another strategy. Think back to all the other times you ate out of discomfort and think about how you felt. Probably the only purpose it served was to make you feel good in the moment, but pretty badly for hours after and maybe even into the next day. You don’t need to feel that way. You’ll feel much better if you fight the urge.

5. Brush Your Teeth – – Ever have orange juice after brushing your teeth? Not so good, huh! Walk away from the temptations and instead go for your toothbrush. You’ll be less likely to eat after you brushed your teeth.

6. Use a Reminder Designate an object as your reminder and put it in a place where you can see it, such as the kitchen, so that the next time you go towards food for comfort you’ll see it and be reminded that you don’t really want to eat right now.

7. Repeat – Tell yourself, “this is my pattern, this is what I do.” When you understand what’s really going on with yourself and you recognize it as a series of habits and behaviors it’s easier to get a handle on things and steer it in a different direction. Keep telling yourself this mantra when you feel like eating, so that you drive home the point that this is just your pattern. You can change that pattern!

8. Journal – Writing down what you’re thinking and feeling can really help you work things out. The process of writing can help you get to the bottom of your thoughts and can help make sense of things. Remember that no one is reading it, so let it all out there and don’t worry about judgements.

9. Have a Support System – Choose someone you trust who you know will support you in your fight against this. Call them when you need to (kind of like a sponsor at an AA meeting).

10. Don’t Beat Yourself Up - If you do have an emotional eating episode do not be mad at yourself. What’s done is done, so feeling guilty is pointless. It will only feed into the cycle and force you to continue this pattern. All you can do is learn from the experience and strategize on how you’re going to deal with it next time. Instead, give yourself some major praise for actually thinking about these things and trying to do something about it. You can’t be perfect, you can only try your best.

Ughhhh, I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing! – Weekend Survival Guide

If you have it too much or too often it's not a treat anymore.

Ever have that feeling? Did you have it this weekend? I’m sure many of you went to at least one party and had your fill of burgers and booze only to wake up the next morning thinking, “why did I eat all that”?. And if it wasn’t this weekend (good for you, by the way!) then it was for sure some other time. Either when you came home from work feeling like you could eat your dog if it came down to it, but instead polished off 5 cookies, or when you went to dinner on Saturday night way too hungry for your own good and ended up eating the entire bread basket, 3 glasses of wine, your entire plate of pasta and a few bites of your friend’s, plus dessert. We’ve all had that feeling of wanting to just undo the entire thing and make like it never happened.

Well, I can’t do that for you, but what I can do is help you avoid it the next time. You can be a bit more relaxed on the weekends, but don’t let all the good habits you’ve been working on fly out the window. Here are 5 tips to help you the next time you’re looking at your dog and licking your lips.

1. Always stay one step ahead – Start your Saturday and Sunday mornings off with a workout (if weekends are your weakness then try to schedule your rest days during the week). This will help set you off on the right track and will be a little reminder to stay balanced.

2. There’s a little something called the Interweb, or Web Machine, or something like it – If you like to go out to eat on the weekends, but lose control when you get to the restaurant, take some time to plan ahead. Decide on where you’re going to eat beforehand and then look up their menu for the best options. This way, when you get to the restaurant you won’t even have to open the menu and be tempted to order something you’ll regret later. Plus, if they have a dessert you really like you can plan to make up for it either by your workout in the morning or by going a little lighter at breakfast and lunch.

3. Dear Diary – If food journaling helps you, make sure that you’re tracking everything you eat – even on the weekends and if you go overboard. Many people have the tendency to leave out foods that they’ve overeaten, because they don’t want to look at it again and be reminded of it, or they figure, “what’s the point of tracking it, I know I went over.” It’s important to write everything down, so that you can really see what you’re taking in and keep things in perspective. Maybe you can have that extra slice of pizza if you see that you haven’t actually eaten all that much. And on the other hand, maybe you’ll think twice about having it if you see that you’ve had more than enough that day too.

4. Stop loitering – Going to a party? Fill your plate up and then leave the food table. You don’t need to mingle around it with your friends like a swarm of flies. If you really want seconds then you can go for it, but first walk away. Make sure that you’re filling up on healthy foods first and then if you want the other yummies decide on how much you’re going to have and stick to it. It’s ok to have a little of the things that are really tempting you, but remember that you don’t want to fill up and then have the thought, “why did I just do that”?.

5. Don’t shop til you drop – Shopping can actually be a pretty good workout. You’re walking around, trying on clothes (working your way out of something that’s too small without ripping it, or even just getting it over your boobs can be a major arm and back workout!), carrying bags, and walking some more. Make sure that you carry a healthy snack, like a Kashi Crunchy bar or an apple and some nuts, so that you can nibble when you feel hungry and don’t end up sluggish and ravenous. You don’t want to be so hungry that you end up eating the first thing you see.

So, there you have it, my 5 tips for weekend survival. Good luck and remember that there’s a reason things are called “treats”. If you have them all the time they’re not treats anymore. You’ve worked hard on replacing your bad habits with healthy ones, so don’t let your weekends get out of hand and have them go to waste.

Ughhhh, I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing! – Weekend Survival Guide

If you have it too much or too often it's not a treat anymore.

Ever have that feeling? Did you have it this weekend? I’m sure many of you went to at least one party and had your fill of burgers and booze only to wake up the next morning thinking, “why did I eat all that”?. And if it wasn’t this weekend (good for you, by the way!) then it was for sure some other time. Either when you came home from work feeling like you could eat your dog if it came down to it, but instead polished off 5 cookies, or when you went to dinner on Saturday night way too hungry for your own good and ended up eating the entire bread basket, 3 glasses of wine, your entire plate of pasta and a few bites of your friend’s, plus dessert. We’ve all had that feeling of wanting to just undo the entire thing and make like it never happened.

Well, I can’t do that for you, but what I can do is help you avoid it the next time. You can be a bit more relaxed on the weekends, but don’t let all the good habits you’ve been working on fly out the window. Here are 5 tips to help you the next time you’re looking at your dog and licking your lips.

1. Always stay one step ahead – Start your Saturday and Sunday mornings off with a workout (if weekends are your weakness then try to schedule your rest days during the week). This will help set you off on the right track and will be a little reminder to stay balanced.

2. There’s a little something called the Interweb, or Web Machine, or something like it – If you like to go out to eat on the weekends, but lose control when you get to the restaurant, take some time to plan ahead. Decide on where you’re going to eat beforehand and then look up their menu for the best options. This way, when you get to the restaurant you won’t even have to open the menu and be tempted to order something you’ll regret later. Plus, if they have a dessert you really like you can plan to make up for it either by your workout in the morning or by going a little lighter at breakfast and lunch.

3. Dear Diary – If food journaling helps you, make sure that you’re tracking everything you eat – even on the weekends and if you go overboard. Many people have the tendency to leave out foods that they’ve overeaten, because they don’t want to look at it again and be reminded of it, or they figure, “what’s the point of tracking it, I know I went over.” It’s important to write everything down, so that you can really see what you’re taking in and keep things in perspective. Maybe you can have that extra slice of pizza if you see that you haven’t actually eaten all that much. And on the other hand, maybe you’ll think twice about having it if you see that you’ve had more than enough that day too.

4. Stop loitering – Going to a party? Fill your plate up and then leave the food table. You don’t need to mingle around it with your friends like a swarm of flies. If you really want seconds then you can go for it, but first walk away. Make sure that you’re filling up on healthy foods first and then if you want the other yummies decide on how much you’re going to have and stick to it. It’s ok to have a little of the things that are really tempting you, but remember that you don’t want to fill up and then have the thought, “why did I just do that”?.

5. Don’t shop til you drop – Shopping can actually be a pretty good workout. You’re walking around, trying on clothes (working your way out of something that’s too small without ripping it, or even just getting it over your boobs can be a major arm and back workout!), carrying bags, and walking some more. Make sure that you carry a healthy snack, like a Kashi Crunchy bar or an apple and some nuts, so that you can nibble when you feel hungry and don’t end up sluggish and ravenous. You don’t want to be so hungry that you end up eating the first thing you see.

So, there you have it, my 5 tips for weekend survival. Good luck and remember that there’s a reason things are called “treats”. If you have them all the time they’re not treats anymore. You’ve worked hard on replacing your bad habits with healthy ones, so don’t let your weekends get out of hand and have them go to waste.

Ask Dani – Surviving Vacation

Ahhhhhhhh, vacation.

Dear Dani,

I’m going away for July 4th weekend and am worried about how I’m going to eat healthy and stay active while I’m away. I’m not sure what’s around me, so I’m worried that I’m going to slip up and eat whatever’s around. And the people who I’m going with aren’t too conscious of their weight like I am. I don’t want to be too crazy about it, but I also don’t want to lose control and throw away all my hard work. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks, Tempted Traveler

Dear Tempted Traveler,

Going on vacation is so exciting, but it can also be stressful when you’re worried about your eating. The first thing I’m going to tell you is not to stress out about it too much. It’s just a weekend, so nothing that you do can be too damaging. This doesn’t mean that you should completely let go of everything, but allow yourself to indulge and enjoy yourself a little bit. This isn’t a time to lose weight, rather focus on just maintaining.

Here are my 5 tips that you can take with you:

1. Make A List – Before I go on a vacation or sit down to a huge meal with family and friends I like to put together a little “Survival Cheat Sheet”. I simply write down a list of things that will help me make the right choices, such as reminding myself to ask for help from someone supportive if I need it, and walking away from the table when I’m done eating, so that I don’t overeat. I also jot a few things down that remind me why I want to stay on track. For instance, I need to remind myself that I feel so much better when I don’t overindulge and that if I do it’s only going to make me feel bad.
Make sure to put this on your list: Ask yourself “what purpose is this serving me?”. Before you give into something tempting or feel lazy and don’t want to work out ask yourself this one question. If your answer is legitimately that you want to indulge this one time and that you won’t be mad at yourself later then go for it this once. But, if your answer is that it serves no purpose other than to have some immediate gratification and then be upset later, then you know that you don’t really want to give in.
Take this list with you and look to it when you need some extra support.

2. Have A Battle Plan – Before you leave for your vacation do an internet search of markets and restaurants near where you’re staying. That way when you get to your destination you won’t feel tempted to eat the first thing that you see. You can stock up on good foods at the market and know where to go for a nice night out. Most restaurants have full menus online, so you can choose the place that has the best options for you.

3. Be “That Customer” – When eating out don’t be shy about asking the waiter for some healthier. Don’t worry about being annoying. If you’re nice about it they won’t mind too much. I always start by making a joke about how “I’m sorry, but I’m going to be “that customer” tonight”. It usually lightens things up and then I can ask for what I want, such as dressing on the side, an egg white omelette made “dry” instead of with a ton of oil or butter, or even to have my salmon baked instead of fried. Be sure to leave a nice tip too.

4. Pack Your Bags – Of course you’re going to pack your bags, but what I mean is to make sure you’re well equipped for your getaway. Just in case you don’t have time to buy food or you need something in a pinch pack some things to take with you. Some things that pack nicely are Kashi Crunchy bars and instant oatmeal. Even some part-skim cheese sticks and yogurts (secured safely in a Ziploc bag) will hold well in cargo (it’s freezing down there!).
And don’t forget workout clothes, so that you set the tone for your trip. Packing your Lulu Lemons and sneakers will remind you to make time for your workouts while you’re away. Resistance bands and a jump rope are super light, take up next to no room, and are like a full gym in a bag.

5. Be Kind To Yourself – Vacation is a time to let go a bit and not be so hard on yourself. Do your best to stay on track, but also cut yourself some slack. If you slip up, don’t worry about it, you’ll get back up. Allow yourself to enjoy the moment, because you don’t always get a break. Sometimes allowing yourself some time to go a bit easier on yourself renews your vigor for later. You can’t always be perfect, so take some time to enjoy yourself.

Bon Voyage!

Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!