Secondary Foods: Feeding the Beast Within

Today we finish our series on developing a weight loss mindset, moving from Primary Foods to Secondary Foods; the simple nourishing of your body that provides the energy you need to perform at your best.

A quick reminder of the concept: when you nurture your need for Primary Foods, you’ll no longer need to overcompensate with unhealthy Secondary Food choices. By working on WHO you are first, in every sense of the word, you’ll no longer feel the need to feed cake, ice cream, and cookies to the unhappy person you’ve become.

Then again, you’re only human, which means you’ll make mistakes. You can’t make every aspect of your life, and your Self, perfect. You’ll face daily, weekly, and monthly challenges to how you would like to see your life to be. Healthy living is an everyday adventure, and it’s not going to be calm seas and smooth sailing all the time; otherwise, it wouldn’t be as difficult as it feels – or as fun as it can be when you succeed!

Ultimately, you need to learn what works best for you, individually, and that is going to be different every day and for everyone.

Making Healthy Secondary Food Choices

Although focusing on Primary Foods will help you overcome your desire to eat unhealthy foods, there will be temptations to overcome. However, there are steps you can take to replace those choices with healthy alternatives.

  • Satisfying your Sweet Tooth – That craving you’ve developed for processed sugar can be replaced with naturally sweet alternatives. When the need for something sweet hits you, try replacing your usual treat with berries and other fruits. Treats like strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, and bananas contain natural sugars that are far easier for your body to process, and are a tasty and healthy alternative.
  • Stop Bingeing – Is it really more satisfying to eat a dozen chocolate chip cookies than just a few? Of course not. Binge eating is an indication that something else is going on and, in most cases, you’re bingeing to avoid that something else. If you simply must have cookies, try replacing your Chips Ahoy™ cookies with a homemade, whole grain alternative. Baking them yourself will slow down your craving and whole grain foods are more filling, reducing you need to binge.
  • Add Some Greens – And other colors to your diet. Dark green vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, as well as fiber, which is more filling. Other vegetables offer these healthy characteristics as well, so adding a variety of colors to salads and side dishes is a huge plus. It’s also less boring!

The key element to remember here is that, for many, food often becomes a substitute for something else that is missing in life. You may be using food to overcome the feeling that you’re drowning, or pushing feelings of doubt or stress down with food. You may feel that, because you sometimes make mistakes it’s not worth trying, focusing instead on the never-ending negative self-talk that follows your bad decisions or unhealthy choices. You may think “What’s the point in changing; life is always throwing events and emergencies in my way and it’s just too hard, and sometimes impossible, to stay on a healthy path.”

When this happens to you, remember to refocus on your Primary Foods. Seek the support of trusted friends and family. Take that 20-minute walk. Seek the help of a Life and Wellness coach. Just because it’s challenging does NOT mean it’s impossible.

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