@SadMrsToBe: I want to start off by saying that you’ve taken the biggest step of all.. you’ve analyzed your issues, broken them down, and accepted that they are not things you want to be doing.
That being said, given the number of issues you’re having with food, my best advice is to seek out a registered dietician or a nutritionist. I am not one, so my advice is definitely not expert, just an opinion.
I second what some other bees have posted: start small. Going cold turkey on every single thing is going to make you upset, miserable, and you’ll never be able to sustain it.
Here are my best suggestions and words of advice:
–I’m an emotional eater. You have to stop looking at food as a comfort. I know this is extremely hard, as tasty food makes all of us happy. But the truth is, eating to comfort yourself is just fueling the other problems that you have (overeating, bad food choices.) When you’re sad or down, find another support: your Fiance, your family, your best friend, a punching bag, writing, reading, dancing, anything. I think it’s also important to understand why you’re upset enough to make emotional eating a problem.
–I eat large portions. Portion control is so hard these days, especially since restaurants are making plates larger and larger! If you’re out to eat, ask for a box WHEN your meal comes. Immediately put half in the box. Don’t even look at it. Some girls I know pour water on their plates, ruining the excess food. Personally, I put my napkin, silverware, etc. on the plate and cover the food. I do this when I know I’ve had enough, and don’t want to make myself sick. If you’re cooking at home, try the box strategy. Cook your meal, and immediately divide it up into portions, placing the extra in tupperware. This is great because it removes the excess food from your plate (out of sight, out of mind) AND you get lunch for the next day, already a perfect portion.
–I eat too many times a day. Ok – I am actually of the mentality that more meals are better than fewer. However, the big thing here is again, portion control. I eat numerous, small (and healthy meals) a day (this is because of a strict workout schedule and the nutrition timing associated with it.) But you can employ the same idea: if your body is screaming “I’m hungry!!!” then eat. But you have to be smart here, and pick healthy foods and snacks.
–I have a big sweet tooth. Girl, I do too. But, I learned a neat trick: I picture the dessert or sweet I want. I actually think about how I’d feel eating it, and consider if it would fuel my body. I literally ask myself that. “Will this make me feel good? Is this something my body needs?” There’s nothing that says you can’t have something sweet. You need to develop the ability to have ONE piece of chocolate. Or ONE scoop of ice cream. Plus, there are plenty of delcious, healthy sweet treats. You can make your own popcicles, or freeze blueberries, etc.
–I hate vegetables. Ok – you’re going to have to be brave here. There’s a HUGE variety of veggies out there, and I can guarantee you’ll find some that you love. Personally, I hate cooked peppers or spinach. But, I found that I liked them raw. It might be the other way around for you. I find edamame fun to eat, and it’s delicious. Experiment! Have some fun! See it as a challenge, not an impassable wall. Now go conquer those veggies!!
–I skip breakfast. It’s ok to not want to eat as soon as you open your eyes. But try and get something in your stomach, even if it’s a greek yogurt, or a piece of fruit. I make a really amazing slow cooker apple oatmeal that’s amazing warm or cool. Or, you could try making a smoothie with fruits, veggies (yes, you can do it!) and some protein powder/powdered vitamins. You’ll feel more like youre drinking something, not eating.
–I eat late at night. Wow, I don’t know how you go to bed so late, and are up at 5. Your body needs more sleep! So my suggestion is to alter your sleeping habits. Gradually turn the TV off a little earlier. Get yourself on a routine – make a cup of tea, go up to bed, do some reading, and then turn the lights out! Your brain needs time to reprogram itself when it comes to sleeping habits, so take it slowly.
–I love pasta and bread. Pasta and bread aren’t inherently bad for you. Large quanities are. There are many ways to replace carbs with veggies (killing two birds with one stone!) such as spaghetti squash, or using lettuce as a wrap. You can also switch out processed grains for whole ones, such as quinoa, farrow, etc. And, they are delicious!
–I hide food. This is something that I feel you might want to talk to a nutritionist or other professional about. I think this is definitely an indicator that you know you shouldn’t be having that food item, but you are anyways. I don’t have much good advice here….
–I load up on condiments. What is it about the condiments that you like? Does it mask the taste of the food you’re eating? Or do you just prefer a wetter texture? If it’s for the taste, you should explore stronger seasonings (not salt!). If it’s the texture, there are ways to alter the recipes.
–I’m awful at planning meals. You need to build up your “fast and healthy” arsenal. Cooking can be a pain in the butt! When you’re tired or busy, it’s easier to pick up a pizza and just eat that. So spend some time looking at quick and healthy meals (Cooking Light magazine has great ones) and pick a few to try. Utilize leftovers effectively. If you know you’re going to have a busy day tomorrow, cook extra chicken breasts tonight. Slice them up on a salad, make them into a stir fry, or shred them for tacos. There are healthy recipes for everything! My other tip is to always go to the store with a list. That way, you’ll have all the ingredients for a dish, and you wont have an excuse to give up. Many cookbooks, websites, and magazines actually include a shopping list with the recipe. Also, invest in pantry staples.
Phew.. ok, so now that I’ve rambled on, I really want to commend you for getting your head wrapped around the challenges you face. Get your Fiance involved, and make cooking date nights. Get healthy together. Have FUN with it! You got this, girl!