Hey Gorgeous -
In my experience and research I’ve found that there are basically six things that reek the most havoc on your desire to live in your boldest, baddest and best health – and they can be boiled down to what I call the Six Sassy Saboteurs. I call them sassy because they think they’re cute, but you don’t have time to be bothered. You have too much of an impact to make on this world.
The six sassy ones are: Sugar, Stress, Snacking, Saturated Fat, Salt and Sleep(lessness). Yes they're sassy and sometimes even sneaky, but they can also be controlled and conquered. After all – you are MORE than a conqueror.
You can B.A.S.H. them with these four simple steps:
B – lood Sugar and Cravings Management
A – ction! (Daily physical activity)
S - tress, Salt and Sleep Management (Less Stress and Salt- More Sleep)
H – unger Management (Know your hunger cues)
Let’s get into it!
#1 – BLOOD SUGAR & CRAVINGS MANAGEMENT
This is the biggee. If you can manage your blood sugar levels and cravings, you’ve honestly done a LOT of the work to silence the sassy ones. When your blood sugar is on the "Rollercoaster", it is constantly spiking, crashing and you ultimately crave more sugary, fatty crunchy munchies. The sassy ones love this, but this is also the road to an expanded belly and disease – and we don’t want that.
But how do you do it? Here is your simple two step ACTION PLAN:
Step 1 - Eliminate/Reduce the C.R.A.P. in your life
I can't take credit for this acronym, but it's a favorite of mine. Reducing these food categories on the daily can go along way to size down your waistline and power up your health.
C - arbonated and Sugary beverages
R - efined flours (that break down rapidly into sugar during digestion)
A - rtificial Ingredients (including fake sugar) and Added Sugar
P - rocessed Foods
Your Action Step: Take one the food categories above and reduce it in your diet by half this week. And what’s just as important is replacing it with something you enjoy. For your carbonated and sugary beverages (that make up 47% of the added sugar in the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)) – try Kombucha (Trader Joes now carries it) or Sparkling Water with a splash of juice for fizzy. You’re not limited to water – try infused water with lemon, cucumber or strawberry. How about green, mint, oolong or rooibos tea with steamed coconut milk (Starbucks carries coconut milk =).? All super yummy!
Step 2 - Make Power Choices (Lean on Clean!)
Power Choices are whole, clean, single ingredient, nutrient dense foods from God’s abundant buffet. These are the foods your body loves and knows how to use most effectively to give you energy, creativity and confidence. This is God’s domain. Free Will Choices, on the other hand, are man-handled - highly processed, often lab created and nutrient poor. They give you short term pleasure (our taste buds dance!), but in the end lead to expanded bellies and put your health at risk.
Your Action Step: Commit to becoming a Radical Label Reader this week. Don't put anything into your body until you know everything that's in it. Only eat food with words you can pronounce =).
#2 - ACTION! (Physical Activity)
If you’re not getting 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise each week (the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans) then you likely know that you need to move more. You also likely know many of the benefits, but in addition to helping to manage stress, weight, et al, it also helps boost your dopamine levels to make you feel good. And who doesn't want to feel good?
Your Action Step – Instead of reaching for a crunchy munchie that you’re not even really hungry for - take a short walk, play your favorite song and have a spontaneous dance party, or do some high knees or push-ups. If hunger’s not the problem, food isn’t going to be the solution any way. Get into action!
#3 - STRESS, SALT & SLEEP Management (Less Stress & Salt - More Sleep)
Stress is a killer – point black - but its also at every turn and quite frankly hard to avoid in your busy multi-tasking life. But you MUST manage stress and build an arsenal of tips that work for you. My top 3 are:
- Breathe (Deep); Meditate (on the promises of God); Pray
- Exercise (Got to move it - move it!)
- Green Tea (has been researched to relieve stress and for me - even making it is relaxing)
Your Action Step: Do you have your go-to stress reducers? If not - make a short list of 3 and try them out. If there work, keep using. If not - find another one. Here are some other great tips.
Salt is everywhere. In fact a study showed that 70% of salt intake comes from processed foods so you don’t even need to add much. And with hypertension (high blood pressure) being more prevalent in the Black community, being aware of salt intake is important.
Your Action Step: Cut down on processed foods. Be a Radical Label Reader, and don't put salt in anything you can't taste first =).
Sleeplessness is linked in research to obesity in study after study. Its impact on your energy, hormones, focus, mindlessness and waistline are well documented. Candidly, this is an area where I struggle because there never seems to be enough hours in the day. But not getting enough sleep can be life threatening. I have enough dings in my car to know that =(. The magic recommended minimum number of hours for adults is 7.
Your Action Step: If you are struggling in this area. Just aim for 15 minutes at a time, one week at a time. Be patient, but be committed and consistent. COMMITMENT + CONSISTENCY = CHANGE.
#4 - HUNGER MANAGEMENT
Another great overall tip in in your Divinely Designed Healthy Life*Style toolkit is Eat When You're Hungry. It's as simple as that. When you give your body a chance to really digest, you also give your body a chance to burn fat instead of just using the immediate available energy from the food you're continually consuming. Get into a rhythm with your body. When you have the "need to feed" and you’re not really hungry, RECOGNIZE the root of what’s really going on for you (hunger, loneliness, boredom, craving, etc.) and REPLACE it with an ACTION (go for a walk, brush your teeth, call a friend). It’s what I call the R&R Reset.
Your Action Step: Do a food diary for 3 days (2 week days and one weekend day). Write down what you're eating, what time you're eating and most importantly WHY you're eating. This is awesome self-examination work to help you identify your hunger cues, patterns and where the sassy ones are creeping into your life.
So if you want to conquer cravings and begin to control the Six Sassy Saboteurs, B.A.S.H. 'em. Take one step today. Choose an action item above and take it for a spin until it becomes a habit. Celebrate and then move onto another one.
And if you want to take a deeper dive – join me next Thursday, June 8th for my next webinar in the Spirit Powered Belly Blast series – The Sugar-Free(dom) Workshop! << Click Here for the link >>.
Take action today for you! And in the words of Dr. Dean Ornish - Eat Well, Move More, Stress Less & Love More!
Blessings & XO!
Charlie Jordan Brookins
Your Girlfriend in Whole Body Health
Founder, Fit thru Faith