We have all been there: doughnut day at work, a partner who eats nothing but ice cream and cake and doesn’t gain a pound, that sense of euphoria or nostalgia from pizza cheese, or that trip through the bakery on the way to the produce section at the grocery store. Things would be so much easier if those foods weren’t so available, right?
Guess what, even the Cookie Monster is going to focus on a more healthy lifestyle. So here are 4 tips to avoid unhealthy eating and eat healthy:
1. Recognize the problem
You may not even realize that grabbing those few extra pieces of candy in the reception area will make a difference when you are trying to lose weight. I want to help you create awareness. It’s time to write everything down that you eat. No cheating, literally. Everything. The one cookie, the one piece of candy, the donut, that bagel loaded with extra cream cheese and even that large café mocha with whipped cream.
Own it by journaling everything you eat. This is not so much about counting calories as it is about self-awareness: CALORIES ADD UP. And those unconscious choices sneak up on us in the long run.
2. Drink more water
Carry it around with you, if you have to. First of all, a bigger water bottle weighs a few extra pounds, so why not walk around the office with it – it can help you burn some extra calories. Also, your body is comprised of about 60% water. As a matter of fact, you lose water constantly – through your skin, talking, and even breathing. It’s not something you control. You need water – it feeds your brain and all of the organs in your body – it transports nutrients, helps with digestion and even circulation. Which leads me to my point, what a great substitute for some of those forbidden foods, while at the same time maintaining your health. And if your water bottle is handy, you’ll grab for that - versus the candy.
3. Eat snacks that will ease your cravings
One example is almonds. They are a Super Food and on the list of The World’s Healthiest Foods. They come candied for those of us who like sweet stuff and spicy for those of us that like them hot. Other good examples of great snacks include pie flavored yogurts, dried fruit, string cheese, vegetables with humus, blueberries with light whipped cream, a rice cake with a teaspoon of peanut butter, or even an apple… find what you love. Let me put it into perspective and this a dramatic example. Just as you take your time planning a wedding or having your child research a college or searching for the perfect deal on your favorite car – isn’t it worth it to take some time to figure out what healthy snacks you love so that you can make them a part of healthy living - forever.
4. Limit negative opportunities
If you know you snack impulsively at specific times, limit those opportunities. For example, always go to the grocery store on a full stomach. This serves two purposes; the first is to avoid snacking on items in the store. The second is to avoid purchasing items that might take you off of your healthy eating plan. Trust me, I’ve done it. Or maybe you snack more at night and it’s time to get rid of the bad snacks in the refrigerator and turn them into celery sticks or fresh broccoli.
Bottom line, to avoid unhealthy snacking, you have got to acknowledge your behavior and make a plan to change the pattern! You can do it! Keep me posted on your progress.