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Food cravings impact so many people and can potentially result in making unhealthy choices by impulse. In Element 16 of Your LifeBook, Co-founder and independent OPTAVIA Coach, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen explains why it’s important to be prepared when confronted with unhealthy food choices.

Uncomfortable feelings can often leave us turning to food as a quick fix. However, it does not have to be like this! We may not be able to control when these impulses come, but we can control how we handle them.

Check out these tips on how to deal with addictive food:

  • Pause. Before reaching into the cabinet and making an unhealthy choice, take a moment to pause and ask yourself why. Are you eating because you are hungry? If so, reach for a healthier option. Are you eating because you are bored? Remind yourself that eating will only temporarily occupy you and opt for a different activity that will be more fulfilling.
  • Wait it out. Cravings for addictive foods may feel intense in the moment but are typically brief. Rather than immediately acting on your craving for an unhealthy choice, give it a moment to pass and remember your personal health goals and remind yourself that unhealthy choices are obstacles between you and achieving these goals.
  • Remove the temptations. The simplest yet most challenging solution to giving up addictive foods, is to remove them from your home so when the impulse to make an unhealthy decision comes, you will not be able to act on it. Rather than having a pantry full of unhealthy options, fill your pantry with Fuelings so that healthier choices will be available. Although it can be difficult not to pick up your favorite unhealthy snack at the store, remember that they are an obstacle between you and your personal health goals.
  • Use your support system. In a moment of weakness, a quick text or phone call to a family member or a member of the OPTAVIA Community could serve as a distraction while the moment passes as well as remind you of your personal health goals.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more conscious you are about what you put into your body, the easier it will be to make healthy choices.

Connect with me, your independent OPTAVIA Coach, for more tips and suggestions on how to deal with addictive food.

Check out Dr. A’s Element Stories here!

The first two articles in the ‘You in Charge of Yourself’ series have focused on building structural tension and creating a habit loop.

This week, we will share guidance on identifying the new MicroHabit you would like to install.

According to Co-founder and independent OPTAVIA Coach, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, a MicroHabit is a small doable behavior that can always be completed. The vital role of a MicroHabit is that the level of effort is so easy and simple, that daily repetition is never in question. You can always do it. It is this consistency and predictability that creates the new behavior.

In order to identify and install a MicroHabit ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it appealing? Do I want to do it? This is your level of motivation or your desire to act in the moment. You must want the outcome in order to be successful in achieving it.
  • Is it achievable? Can I do it? For it to be achievable, you must be able to do it every day. This includes the days when your motivation or desire to do the action is low, but you still do it and avoid breaking the chain of daily habit installation.
  • Is it easily activated? Is there a prompt that reminds me to do it? Until the habit becomes an automatic part of your daily life you will need reminders; something that triggers you to act on your MicroHabit. This is the cue in the habit loop discussed last week and can be a reminder on your phone, a specific place, or even a certain person.

Now that you have the questions and considerations to identify the MicroHabit you would like to install, connect with me, your independent OPTAVIA Coach, so we can discuss the MicroHabit you selected to focus on and how you would like to approach it!

Remember, it takes an average of 66 days to install a new habit, so keep going!

We’ll be back next week with the final element of the series!

Yield: 4 servings

Complete Lean & Green Meal: 1 lean, 3 greens, 3 condiments

Total Time: 30 minutes


12 eggs

½ lb. romaine lettuce, washed, leaves torn or cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups thinly sliced cucumber

4 scallions, trimmed and minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp white vinegar

2 tbsp coarse Korean red chili flakes

½ tbsp sesame oil

½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a wide pan, place eggs in a single layer covered by 1-inch of water. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover with a lid, and let stand for 2½ minutes. Remove eggs and place into a bowl of very cold water. Peel eggs and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine scallions, garlic, light soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, red chili flakes, and sesame oil.
  3. Add lettuce and cucumbers. Toss evenly and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Transfer to a large platter.
  4. Slice eggs lengthwise and arrange on salad.

Nutrition Per Serving: 290 calories, 22g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 18g fat

Download the OPTAVIA App today for additional Lean & Green recipes!

In it to Win it

Peri spent most of her adulthood chasing after her six children, teaching classes, and maintaining an active lifestyle. However, her lifestyle slowed between her 50th and 60th birthdays, resulting in unwanted weight gain.

After watching her friend, who was an independent OPTAVIA Coach, post her progress, Peri decided to reach out to see if OPTAVIA would be a fit for her too. “After connecting, I took the leap of faith.”

Peri got on plan and immediately saw a change in her weight*, as well as a shift in her attitude. In addition, her energy improved, and she was starting to feel like herself again.

After talking to her independent OPTAVIA Coach, she decided to take the leap and become an OPTAVIA Coach herself to pay it forward and help others experience the lifestyle change that she did.

“I have big dreams for myself and my family. I am a better wife and have become better organized and structured. Of course, I am still a work in progress, but by working in Your LifeBook, I can stay focused on my goals. OPTAVIA has changed me in so many positive ways, and I am in it to win it!”

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.


Bill Ellis
Orlando, Florida

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