Managing your cravings may seem like an impossible task. With every day stressors and temptations, and simply not knowing how to make better choices instead, your cravings might seem like they will always overtake you. But that doesn’t have to be the case
Even after being on this lifestyle change journey since 2008, I can honestly say the cravings haven’t gone away completely, but they have been greatly reduced. I do not give in to them nearly as often and I have developed a healthier relationship with food!
What have I learned along the way? I put together my top 5 Tips to Help You Manage Your Cravings plus a delicious recipe!
1.Eat balanced meals – One of the main reasons that you have cravings is because your body is not getting the nourishment it needs. Cravings are your body’s way of saying it is out of balance and lacking in one or more areas. Overconsumption of fast food, fried foods, sugary and processed foods leaves you nutrient-deficient because you’re filling your body with “empty calories”
To create a balanced plate, make 1/2 your plate green veggies, 1/4 of your plate a lean protein, then the remaining 1/4, a complex carb. You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of a healthy fat on the side for a little something extra!
2.Make breakfast – When you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast, you’re more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Allow your breakfast to set the tone for the day. What are your healthy intentions for the day? Establish that with the first meal of the day. Some easy options include overnight oats, green smoothies, egg muffins, casseroles or frittata’s
3. Fill nutritional gaps – If you’re craving sweets, then you need more glucose. But opt for fruit or naturally-sweetened foods. Craving chocolate? You might need more magnesium, found in nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. How about soda? You might need more calcium, which you can find in cheese or dairy foods (ex. yogurt or cottage cheese), green leafy veggies or sardines
4. Get some rest – When you’re tired, you might crave foods that will give you a quick boost of energy, like pastries, cookies, or candy. Establish a night time routine and aim for 7-9 hour of sleep per night. Your body needs to receive signals that it’s time to wind down – a warm bath, listening to soothing music, un-plug from social media one hour before bed, or read a book
5. Avoid extreme food restrictions – THIS is why I am anti-diet. Diets are restrictive and are essentially set-up to cause you to fail. “How do I know if I’m on a diet?” When you have a laundry list of “bad” or “off limits” foods, then eventually your body will rebel and you will begin to crave those foods more and more. I promote balance, moderation, and creating a sustainable lifestyle. Instead of constantly removing food from your daily diet (with the exception of food sensitivities and intolerances), find more calorie-conscious ways to satisfy your cravings
I help career women who struggle losing weight create effective and sustainable lifestyle changes while eating food they enjoy! Let’s partner together! 1:1 Health Coaching or Weekly Personalized Meal Planning Services!
I know not everyone enjoys exercising. Many people see exercise as a chore. Sometimes it’s about time, convenience and/or simply finding something they enjoy.
If you aren’t sure where to start, let’s look at some options and see what you discover! Once you discover the formula of time-convenience-enjoyment and realize the benefits of exercise, you won’t want to stop!
Find what moves you!
Exercise actually gives us energy!
Exercise has also been shown to be great for reducing stress, anxiety and depression, as well as keeping us looking and feeling younger.
Think about how you feel after you’ve been sitting around for hours, versus how you feel when you’re up moving around. You feel better when you’re active, right?
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get the benefits of exercise.
If you’ve taken a break from exercise, start with something simple like a 20-minute walk. Look at ways you can add more activity into your day – a short walk during your lunch break, another walk after work perhaps. If finding 20-30 minutes at a time is challenging, see how you can break it up into smaller chunks of time. 10 minutes, here and 10 minutes there – it adds up!
The key is to start with something, and COMMIT to it. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
What gets measured gets done.
Having an activity tracker like a Fitbit or pedometer is a great way to see how active you are. Activity trackers can give you an idea of how many calories you burn during the day, and it can be motivating to see your progress.
You can also use an app like RunMeter or WalkMeter to track your walking pace and distance. There are more and more fitness tracking devices coming out on the market all the time, but for starting out, a basic pedometer might just be perfect.
It helps to have a goal of 10,000 steps per day and see how close you get to that each day. If you are just starting out, a goal of 5,000 per day for the first month may be more realistic. Remember to check with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine.
Find a friend or coworker that has similar goals and figure out something you can do together to help keep each other accountable. For many people, this can be a huge help and a great motivator. Studies show that when there is a support system in place, people do much better sticking to their goals.
Do you prefer to work out at home? Great! There are endless options for workouts to choose from for every fitness level. Options include exercise DVD’s, YouTube workouts, fitness apps and more. Let me know if you need suggestions.
Joining a gym is a great option too. If you can invest in a personal trainer to get you started, you’ll see results quicker and be assured that you’re using proper form to prevent injuries.
There are plenty of exercise options available – find something you enjoy so you’ll look forward to it rather than considering it a chore. Here are just a few:
Group exercise classes at the gym
At-home workout DVD’s
So what will you start with this week? Put the days and times on your calendar just as you would for an important appointment.
Tip: Get your workout clothes ready the night before and have them laid out all so you’re ready to go. Put them where they’ll be one of the first things you see when you wake up. If you work out in the morning, put your workout clothes on first thing, before you do anything else.
Make sure to compliment your workouts with the food you’re eating. You can’t outwork an inconsistent diet and you don’t want to undue all of your hard work, do you?
You have the intention and desire to lose weight. You’re tired of feeling sluggish, not fitting into your clothes comfortably, lacking confidence, running low on energy, or receiving negative doctor’s reports concerning your health. I have definitely been there so I understand how you feel. You want to make changes, but you aren’t sure where to start. All of the information online seems conflicting and overwhelming
Or perhaps you have started, but have fallen off track due to the holidays, traveling, family obligations, etc. But now you’re ready to get back into the swing of things and pick up where you left off
No matter where you’re at on your journey, this blog post is for you!
I’m covering 6 ways to improve your physical health and 6 ways to improve your mindset so you can be successful in the New Year and beyond!
You need to focus on improving both along the way if you want to achieve long-term, sustainable changes! No magic potions or quick fixes here!
So let’s get into it!
Since you can’t outwork a poor diet and 80% of your weight loss results will come from making changes, here are some easy healthy eating habits you can begin with
Start with 1-2 that seem feasible for you. Once you are consistent, add another, and then another…
Plan the following day’s meals & snacks– when you have a plan you’re more likely to eat foods that are in line with your goals and the office doughnuts and fast-food on the way home, will be less appealing. If you feel you could benefit from receiving a weekly personalized weight loss meal plan, I proudly offer that service! Click here to learn more!
2.Eat green veggies at 2 meals + 1 snack – I call this the “Volume Method.” This method adds fiber to your meals, which promotes fullness. You also receive vitamins and minerals that aren’t available through processed foods. This could look like filling ½ your plate with green veggies at lunch and dinner. Tossing in a couple of handfuls of spinach in your morning omelet, or enjoying a delicious green smoothie for a meal or snack
3. Take a 20 minute walk on your lunch break – getting in more non-exercise activity is highly underrated. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, can help you burn more calories throughout the day. Plus this short break can help you feel refreshed and less stressed. If walking outside is not feasible due to the weather, you can follow along to a YouTube indoor walking video
4. Eat protein with each meal of the day – protein is the most filling macronutrient in comparison to carbohydrates and dietary fats. A portion of protein could be 2 whole eggs or 4 ounces of chicken, turkey, fish, pork loin, or extra lean ground beef. Adequate protein intake of 0.8-1gram per pound of body weight is recommended to preserve lean muscle mass. Muscle helps you burn more calories at a resting heart rate throughout the day
5.Eat more natural foods (less packaged food) – Eat more foods with ingredients you can pronounce, such as the lean proteins listed above, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, and low-fat dairy. If you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients on the back of the package, chances are your body will not recognize it as food; meaning the body cannot use it for energy. Packaged foods are highly processed (stripped of nutrients) so they offer very little nutritional value. They are mostly filled with sugar, sodium, chemical additives, and saturated or trans fats. These foods are manufactured to be highly palatable so they become addicting, which fuels your cravings for more
6. Drink more herbal tea & water for liquids – the liquid calories from soda, juice, alcohol, and specialty coffee beverages, adds up quickly and does not help you feel full and satisfied compared to solid food. Sparking water and fruit-infused water are both great ways to increase your water intake without the extra calories. Ideally, you should be drinking ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water per day
Now that you have some starting points for easy ways to dial in on your nutrition, what will keep you focused when the journey gets a little tough?
Make these 6 mindset shifts to keep you from yo-yo dieting and saying to yourself “I’ll start over on Monday”
1. This is a marathon and not a sprint – You have to be committed to a long-term lifestyle change. What approach can you take to eating healthier that is sustainable for you? You didn’t gain the weight overnight, so you can’t expect to lose it overnight
2.Take your focus off the scale – Yes, weight loss is the goal, but there are so many other ways you can gauge your success that are also important – do you have more energy? Better sleep? An improved mood? Better eating habits? You can lift heavier or workout with more intensity? Has your digestion improved?
3. Progress over perfection – Progress is not liner. Some weeks’ you might lose 1 pound, the next week ½ a pound, and for a couple of weeks, the scale might stay the same. The point is to keep moving forward. It is part of the journey you need to embrace because it happens to us all. The process may seem slow, but quitting surely won’t make it happen any faster
4. When you get off track, it’s not the end. You can begin again – Don’t stay stuck. Evaluate where you’re at and why you’re there. Then make changes. When in doubt, remember your “why” to keep you focused and motivated
5. Small changes add up – No change is too small. Forward is forward; no matter the pace. Consistency is the name of the game. When you’re consistent with your habits, you will see positive changes
6. Abundance instead of restriction – Avoid thinking in terms of foods you “can’t have.” Why? Because truly all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle. You can have what you want, just not all of it all of the time. Instead consider what you can add – discover new foods, spices/seasonings and new food preparation methods (hint: get an air fryer!). When you restrict the foods you eat, that only leads to frustration, burnout, and you wanting to return to your old pattern of eating that wasn’t working for you. It’s also important to consider how much of a blessing it is to have access to fresh, healthy food!
When you get your body and mind aligned, you’ll actually start working for change in some way on a daily basis. You’ll build resiliency overtime so you won’t give up when life throws you a curve ball!
How are you getting your mind and body prepped for success?
For the ultimate new year reboot + reset, check out my 7-Day Real Food Reset Program where I show you how to detox naturally in 7 days by eating whole foods! Learn more here!
Yours in wellness,
Nutritionist + Women’s Health Coach + Blogger
Owner of Fab + Fit Health Coaching
I help career women who struggle losing weight create effective and sustainable lifestyle changes while eating food they enjoy! Learn more about my products and services here!
Are you wondering how you will achieve balance between enjoying holiday meals and achieving your health goals? Sure, this is the time of year when most people gain weight. But that doesn’t have to be your story.
I can understand how the holiday’s might make you anxious and wonder if you should just throw in the towel and begin again January 1st. Before you even think about quitting, check out my top 10 tips that will help you achieve balance at your next holiday meal!
1. prepare a healthy dish so you have an option. Don’t feel embarrassed to kindly ask what is on the menu so you can plan accordingly
2. eat before you go. Have a light snack so that you’re not ravenous and tempted to overindulge. A piece of fruit and nut butter, a low-sugar protein bar, or veggies and hummus are all great options
3. have a balanced plate. Start by filling 1/2 your plate with veggies and the other half with foods you enjoy. Consider taking small amounts of some foods you don’t typically eat throughout the year
4. hydrate! You might be eating foods that are higher in sugar and salt than what you’re used to. Avoid bloating and constipation with plenty of water. Ideally, drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily. I also like drinking water before a meal and during the meal to fill my belly and prevent overeating
5. wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to send the signal to your brain that you’re full. If you allow your food time to digest, you might realize you don’t want anything else or at least not as much
6. enjoy the festivities for more than the food. Enjoy time with family and the opportunity to relax. Try not to make the holiday all about food
7. eat slowly and mindfully. This relates to tip 5. When eating mindfully, you’re engaging your senses and really taking the time to slow down and savor your food. Food is meant to be enjoyed!
8. movement. Try to stay active through the day with a workout, brisk walk or volunteer for kitchen clean up
9. have a post-holiday plan. Have a plan to get back to your normal eating habits the next day. Hydrate and get in some movement too
10. be kind to yourself. Never, not just during the holiday, feel bad about anything you’ve eaten! No one is perfect. You didn’t fail. The only time you fail is with you stop trying. So no matter what, learn from it, give yourself grace and keep moving forward!!
Of course, this journey is yours. So take what you want and leave what you don’t!
Which tips will you use this holiday season?
I’m here to help you make this holiday season your fittest and most fabulous holiday yet without sacrificing flavor. Keep the momentum and finish the year off strong!
My Healthier Holiday Favorites e-cook book includes50 healthier holiday classics for delicious dinners, scrumptious sides, and decadent desserts!
Pumpkin Mac n’ Cheese
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Savory Breakfast Biscuits
Roasted Broccoli with Pecans
Crispy Pork Tenderloin
Cajun Collard Greens
Dark Chocolate Turtles
Just to name a few!!
This e-cook book will help you stay on track this holiday season with crowd-pleasing main dishes that are more elaborate than a roasted turkey, seasonal sides that will make your guests want a little bit of everything, and of course desserts that will entice and are naturally sweetened!
I was recently interviewed by Dr. Veronica Outlaw of the IAm Transformed podcast! I had the honor of being her first guest!
I shared my 10 year journey to a healthier me and how I used that transformative process to launch my health coaching practice where I empower and equip career women to create healthier habits and eat in way that is satisfying and sustainable!!
If you’re struggling with weight loss, then listen to discover how you can lose the physical and mental roadblocks that have been holding you back from achieving long-term success!!
If you want a weight loss strategy that allows you to maintain your results, it needs to cover 3 critical bases:
1) It needs to be right for your TASTEBUDS. It lets you enjoy your favorite meals (in a balanced way) so that you never feel deprived.
2) It needs to be right for your BODY. It helps you feel your best so you actually feel MORE energy while following your lifestyle plan. No more constant hunger and fatigue.
3) It needs to be right for your LIFE. Unless you have a personal chef, you can’t have 3 hours of food prep go into your meals each day. You probably can’t spend 2 hours at the gym each day, either. Nor would you want to! I know I wouldn’t…
My 28-Day Total Body Clean-Up Challenge will give you everything you need to create healthy habits that work for you and take the next step towards being fit and confident.
This online program is designed to help you lose the stubborn pounds, detox, and add nutrients to your day!
I hope you check it out and experience the impact that easy-to-implement eating and lifestyle habits can make for your health and weight! 🙂
Yours in wellness, Sharae Jenkins, MBA Nutritionist + Health Coach + Blogger
P.S. The reason that all the “quick fixes” you’ve tried in the past didn’t work is because you can’t turn a quick fix into a lasting fix. Lasting weight loss requires a different approach… one that is effective AND sustainable.
I recently had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed by Ashley Sauve’, The Growth Lead at That Clean Life! That Clean Life is a female-owned online software company designed for wellness professionals to empower our clients to eat smarter. This platform allows me to serve my clients by providing them with delicious weekly, personalized meal plans that are nutritious and gets them excited about eating healthy! My clients succeed in their weight loss goals and I can also grow my business!
That Clean Life conducts monthly interviews with their community members. During the interview, I was able to share why I started my health coaching business, Fab + Fit Health Coaching, LLC, and how I almost allowed fear and comparison to keep me from pursuing my passion and ultimately, my purpose in life! My purpose? It is to empower women and equip them with the tools they need to achieve their goals so they can go from merely surviving to thriving!
Download a FREE 5-Day Meal Prep Sunday Program! This meal plan comes complete with recipes, an itemized grocery list, and a meal prep guide to show you how to get it done! Oh and you can prep for all 5 days in about 2 hours! Yes!
You’ve probably heard is takes 21 days to build a habit. However, more recent studies suggest that it could take up to 66 days based on your ability, motivation, and external environment. But don’t get discouraged! Even though habits aren’t formed overnight, I can assure you that over time with patience and consistency, you can develop the habits you need to create a lifestyle that works for you and helps you crush your goals!
1– Start simple, start small – you don’t need to change everything at once. I know you’re ambitious and hardworking, but this is one area where you don’t want to necessarily hit the ground running and overwhelm yourself. If you attempt to change too many things at once, that could lead to burn out and actually cause you to get discouraged. It’s better to start off by mastering 1-2 habits at a time and then moving on from there
The best place to start is with implementing habits that help you eat better like adding a green veggie to your dinner each day, taking lunch and snacks to work, including a lean protein with each meal, looking up restaurant menus online beforehand so you arrive at the restaurant with a game plan, or choosing sparking water over soda
2 – Environment is key – the environment that you have the most control over is your home. To make your environment work for you, have healthier options readily available. Pre-cut your produce so you can quickly grab it for a snack or add as a side dish to your dinner. Leave a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter as a reminder to grab a piece if you need a snack. If you’re storing your produce in the fridge, keep it at eye level so that you’re more likely to reach for that first
Keep trigger foods out of the home or in hard to reach places. If you live with someone, tell them about your goals, why they are important to you, and ask them if they can hold you accountable
3 – Be kind to yourself – How would you speak to a friend who slipped up? Would you scold them for the choices they made? Or would you encourage them to stay in the game? Don’t beat yourself up. You formed these habits long ago, so it will take time to change them. Remember that repetition builds mastery. Habits are formed when you work towards them daily
4 – Be proud of yourself every step of the way – don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal weight to celebrate. Celebrate those small wins and non-scale victories, along the way. When you learn to celebrate more often, this will keep you more motivated in the long run. Don’t just focus on the end goal, but also find ways to enjoy the process to reaching the goal
5 – Get accountability – I touched on this a little in step 2! Accountability could come from a family member, close friend, co-worker, a workout buddy, online fitness community, or a coach. When we tell someone else about our goals, we are more likely to stick to them because most of us do not want to disappoint other people. When we commit to just ourselves, it’s easy to brush off what we should be doing. But when we add that extra layer of support, we are more likely to succeed!
If you’re looking for accountability, you can join my Facebook Group! Or if you’re looking for 1:1 support from a health coach, I am accepting personal coaching clients. You can click here to learn more about how I can support you!
6 – Find an activity that makes you happier – physical activity is important, but you don’t have to follow an exercise regimen you don’t enjoy. Find various ways to get active that you like! This could be running, kickboxing, CrossFit, Yoga, boot camp, dance fitness, etc. The key is to find what you like so that you look forward to actually doing it
7– Manage your stress – when we are less stressed, we are more energetic and we are also more likely to eat better. High levels of stress could lead to emotional eating, which isn’t the most productive way to handle stress. Stress is unavoidable. So what we can control is how we respond to it. Write out a few tools you can use the next time you are tempted to eat to soothe your feelings. This could be deep breathing, journaling, going for a walk, calling a family member or friend, painting your nails, reading, an adult coloring book, watching a movie or YouTube video, or sometimes you simply need to give yourself permission to rest
Sometimes what keeps us from moving forward is not even knowing where to start. But I am confident that as you start implementing these habits, you will be well on your way to not just losing weight, but strengthening your mindset and developing a healthier relationship with food!