This can be so frustrating: even though we want to eat healthy because the rewards are so big, many of us keep falling off the wagon.
How could we prevent this?
Here are some ideas that can help you:
1) PLAN FOR SUCCESS
That means keeping all the right foods at home so you can’t say ‘I had no choice. I had to eat the ice cream for dinner because there was nothing else’
2) PREP AHEAD
Over the weekend, prepare a few servings of soups, roast a tray of vegetables and cook up a batch of whole grains.
They’ll come in handy if you’re running out of time to prepare a meal from scratch. If it is all there in the fridge, you’re set for a delicious dinner, no matter how late you come home from work. And don’t forget to open a can of beans to add to the above foods to make it a balanced meal.
3) DON’T LET YOURSELF GET TOO HUNGRY
This can cause you to fall off the wagon big time. Especially in the evenings when you sit down after dinner….Hunger will catch up with you. And then no matter how much you eat, you want to keep eating something else.
And usually, a stick of celery will not satisfy. Therefore prevent this by ‘pre-eating’ during the day so you don’t ever run on empty. EAT. But choose foods that will support your goal.
4) TAKE THE SOUP TEST
Imagine that you are hovering around in the kitchen looking for something to eat because you feel hungry. You know you have soup in the fridge. But you think to yourself: “NO….I don’t want soup. I want that bag of corn chips with an avocado dip.”
So at this point, can you just stop there for a minute?
Ask yourself ‘Am I actually hungry? Or am I craving something to make me feel better because I’m bored, lonely, cranky, etc? Obviously, hunger can be satisfied with the soup. The rest needs options other than high-calorie unhelpful foods
5) HIDE (OR don’t even buy) TEMPTING JUNK FOODS
Control your environment. Too often the decision to grab high-calorie options is due to their easy availability. Even healthy foods, like the bowl of nuts that used to sit on my kitchen bench. But no more. How easy was it to grab a few nuts as I walked past?
Don’t leave high calorie food in easy reach. Best to hide things way up on the top pantry shelf, or under a bag of lettuce in the fridge, or right at the back of the fridge behind the apples and carrot sticks. When you open the fridge, the first thing that ‘smiles’ at you should not be some leftover chocolate cake from, but a bowl of cut-up fresh vegetables.
Although there are more ideas to keep yourself from giving up, I think the main one should always be your own strong reason for eating healthy.
And unless you keep remind yourself of the real benefits it will bring to your life and the ‘why’ you wish to do this, the lure of that bag of corn chips might just become too strong.
But the good thing is: you can dust yourself off and at the next meal you can be back on track. After all, during the next week, there will be another 20 main meal opportunities to get this right.