Okay, before you reach for that piece of chocolate or that Danish pastry....stop and think about it for a second. Are you truly hungry?

Chances are if you can't put your finger on what you really want, what that craving is really for, maybe you aren't really hungry for food after all. I know, I know... you may not want to really think about this, but you don't have to be a slave to this type of emotional eating.

Could it be it's your heart that needs some nourishment? Eating to fill an empty space in your life or heart never really fixes anything. It just seems like a good idea at the time until eventually you can't buckle your pants or zip up your jeans and then on top of heartache you get depressed from the added pounds. It's a vicious cycle.

Feelings of depression, disappointment, sadness, loneliness, and boredom often come disguised as hunger cravings. Next time you feel like grabbing a bowl of ice cream or a candy bar ask yourself, "What is making me feel empty right now? What am I missing or needing in my life? Will eating change this?"

Here’s a thought. Try a little TLC for yourself for a change:
  • Howzabout a warm bath and some scented candles with some of your favorite music in the background.
  • Maybe you could try taking a class to stimulate your brain.
  • Take up a new hobby like learning a new language or yoga.
  • Think about doing some volunteer work or read a book (to yourself or someone else).
  • Go hug a tree and caress a flower or get into nature by simply taking a walk or hike outside.
  • Plant flowers or a garden.

    You have options. Try filling your hungry heart with things that make you feel good instead of food that makes you feel bad immediately after swallowing.

    You might just realize that you've got a lot to be thankful for and even lose some weight in the process. Next time you get a craving, think about it and make sure you are feeding the proper hunger.

    No matter how good it may taste at the time, there is not enough food in the world to fill the hungry hole of an aching heart. But, doing some random act of kindness for yourself or someone else is a great place to start. So tell me, what are you really hungry for?


    Ever wonder how many calories or grams to eat of this or that? I know ya do! Well, wonder no more. For those of you who want to do the math instead of going to a website and entering your data, here it is!

    What follows is the equation to use for figuring fat calories or, for that matter, carbs or protein too. Just decide the percentage ratio you want and go with the equation as indicated below.

    I feel good about 50-55% carbohydrates, 30-35% protein, and the rest fat. But it is a personal choice on how much you want. Something close to that is healthy.

    Just remember, carbs are your biggest source of energy; they are not your enemy. The carbs that are unhealthy are the ones that come from processed foods, fried foods, and simple sugars.

    Try to eat more whole wheat grain foods, legumes, and live food such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Try replacing white foods with brown foods, i.e., eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and eat brown rice instead of white rice and go for whole grain bread instead of white.


    First, estimate your total calorie needs. It is best to calculate a range of intakes instead of a single number.

    1. Multiply your weight by the appropriate factor to estimate baseline calorie needs.

    Men: 11 _______lb x 11 = _______.
    Women: 10 _______lb x 10 = _______.

    Example: 135-lb moderately active female. 135 lb x 10 = 1350 Baseline Calories.

    2. Multiply your weight by the appropriate activity factor to estimate calories needed for activity.

    Men: Sedentary 3.2 / Light 6 / Moderate 7.2 / Heavy 10.5
    Women: Sedentary 3.0 / Light 5 / Moderate 6 / Heavy 9

    _______ lb x _______(factor) = _______. 135 lb x 6 = 810 Activity Calories.

    3. Add together the calories from 1 and 2 to estimate total calorie needs per day.

    _______ + _______ = _______. 1,350 + 810 = 2160 Total Calories.

    4. Multiply the total calories by .10, .20, or .30 for 10%, 20%, or 30% fat calories.

    _______ x .10 = _______. 2160 x .10 = 216 Fat Calories (10%)
    _______ x .20 = _______. 2160 x .20 = 432 Fat Calories (20%)
    _______ x .30 = _______. 2160 x .30 = 648 Fat Calories (30%)

    5. Divide the calories from fat by 9 to get the number of fat grams to eat per day.

    10% = _______/9 = _______. 216/9 = 24 Fat Grams for 10%.
    20% = _______/9 = _______. 432/9 = 48 Fat Grams for 20%.
    30% = _______/9 = _______. 648/9 = 72 Fat Grams for 30%.

    You can do the same to figure carbs and proteins by using the percentage of carbs or protein you want to intake in step four and dividing by 4 instead of 9 in step five.

    If you want more info on macronutrients go to my nutrition page at straightforwardfitness.com and read all about it.

    If you're like me and numbers tend to go all blurry and confuse you, just click on the freedieting link on the nutrition page of my site and it will take you directly to a calculator that allows you to enter your data and voila...they do the math for you. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about baby!

    The Magic Health Potion

    How much water have you drunk today? Best get to it! You need at least 64 ounces daily. That's 8 eight-ounce glasses. And no, caffeinated beverages do not count, however, sodium-free club soda and herbal tea does.

    Here are only a few of the reasons we need that much: Did you know that water makes up 80% of your blood and your brain and about 50% of the remainder of your body’s tissues? It helps the liver and kidneys to function properly, helps to move nutrients and oxygen through your body and helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

    So, what are you waiting for? Your body is begging for it and will thank you by running much more efficiently. Grab that water and start chugging. Just keep a bottle handy all day long and take a sip every time you think of it. Before you know it, you will be getting along swimmingly....(sorry, couldn't help myself.)

    If you liked the Q&A in the last newsletter and have a question you'd like to ask, please click here and submit your questiion and I’ll gladly use it in an upcoming newsletter.

    If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

    And don't forget to tell everybody about Straightforwardfitness.com where they can get all the free fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

    From my heart to your health,

    Linda Burke, CPT

    PS I would like to extend my love and prayers to all who've been affected by the floods. May God bless you, each and everyone.

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