You know what foods are good or bad for your body, and you are determined to stay away from the bad ones. Unfortunately, you have the impression that the foods you wish to eliminate from your diet are everywhere once you resolve to stay away from them… If you recognize yourself in this description, follow my tips to avoid succumbing to the temptation! Whatever situation you will face, these tips will help you holding your diet resolutions.
At the supermarket
It can’tbe said too often that you should never do shopping when you are hungry. In fact, all the foods appear more attractive when hungry, especially fatty and sugary foods! By doing your shopping hungry, not only you will want to buy a snack rich in empty calories (crisps, sandwiches, cookies…), but you put yourself at risk of buying foods you do not need compulsively, and therefore spend more than needed.
In order not to fall into the trap, in addition to eating before you start shopping, consider making a precise list of what you need. This will prevent you wandering the aisles of the supermarket, and ending up buying a product you do not need just because of its enticing packaging, cleverly set up to your eyes so you cannot miss it! With your list in hand, you will remain focused on looking for what you need, and therefore the risk of compulsive shopping will be lower.
At the restaurant
You have planned dinner in a nice restaurant, and have therefore decided to have a light lunch? You are wrong! In doing so, you make sure you will be litterally starving by the time you get to the restaurant, so you will pounce on appetizers and bread, before ordering no-doubt more hearty and heavy dishes than if you had a moderate appetite. Remember, the more hungry, the stronger the craving for high calories foods. Needless to say, this phenomenon will be amplified if you have an alcoholic drink.
To avoid food woes at the restaurant, have a good meal at noon and have a snack around four o’clock: a banana and a piece of dark chocolate, a handful of dried fruits and nuts, a yogurt, a chia pudding you have brought from home… This way you will choose lighter dishes and avoid overeating in the evening.
You are invited for lunch at friends’. You arrive at half past twelve very hungry. Unfortunately, you friends are still busy in the kitchen, the meal is not ready yet. You are offered appetizers, you resist valiantly initially. Alas, after a glass of wine, you cannot hold any more and pounce on crisps and appetizers. By the time lunch is ready, you are no longer hungry, but you force yourself to eat a bit of everything to honor the cooks. And so you end up overeating once again…
Whether at friends’, in the supermarket or at a restaurant, follow the same rule: never go hungry! Have a snack one hour before arriving at your hosts’. Do not be afraid to get there without being hungry: an aperitif and waiting will dig your appetite.
Ah, the brunch trap… contraction of the words “BReakfast” and “lUNCH”, brunch idea is to combine two meals. Having this combination of late breakfast and lunch is perfect after sleeping late. Brunch is convenient on the weekend when eaten at home, but it requires a little organization if eaten outside.
Indeed, when one has to go to a chic or trendy place for brunch, it is impossible to sleep late! You get up early to choose your outfit, to do your hair and makeup. You end up skipping breakfast, and you end up getting at the brunch venue very hungry. To top it off, brunches are often served as a buffet, you bite off more than you can chew, fill your plate beyond what you would normally, and you strive to eat as much as you can to avoid leaving your plate half full.
For brunch without overeating, I recommend that you act as if you were invited to lunch and have your breakfast at home in the morning as you would normally do. Once at the venue, start by eating a small salad, it will calm down your appetite and prevent you pouncing on pastries, cold cuts and cheese because of hunger. After you have finished your salad, choose without guilt among the dishes that tempt you the most. Given that your appetite will be moderate, you will choose healthier foods and eat more reasonable quantities.
The birthday cake
You are invited to a birthday party. Great! But a birthday party always goes with a birthday cake, and usually more than one, since there is always a generous person to bring a cake in addition to those provided by the host. To treat yourself without guilt and without offending anyone, find a companion to share your plate. So you can taste several cakes, but you will not feel sick at the end of the celebration.
Are you familiar with the mid-morning energy slump? What about the mid-afternoon one? You are hungry, tired and cannot manage to concentrate. So you get up to have some fresh air or a coffee. On your way is the cafeteria or a distributor, and you end up buying a chocolate bar. Otherwise, there is the nice colleague who’s drawers are always full of chocolates and biscuits. She is so generous, she always offers you a treat when you get the munchies.
To avoid succumbing to the temptation at work, integrate your snacks for the office to your weekly shopping list. Buy plenty of fresh and dried fruit, unroasted and unsalted nuts. Bring your basket of snacks at work every Monday. By having something healthy to eat on hand whenever you get hungry, you will stop buying high calories snacks and be less tempted by the sweets of your kind colleague. More, you will not be that hungry at lunch time and will make healthier choices at the canteen.
At home, alone
Oh yes! Whether you like it or not, it’s at home, in private, that many of us snack on junk food. It is bad for our bodies, but so tasty, we succomb to temptation more often than one would admit 😉
The best way to prevent compulsive snacking at home is leaving tempting foods out. Stop buying soft drinks, crisps, chocolate bars, ice-creams, cakes, dairy desserts, sausages, crackers and all kind of expensive, pre-packaged foods packed with fat, sugar and salt. As recommended at the beginning of the article, make a list when you go shopping, and stop wandering in the ailes with foods you want to ban on display. Replace them by healthy snacks: fresh and dried fruit, dark chocolate, nuts, yogurt, wholemeal biscuits… When you have the munchies at home, you will have enough to satisfy your appetite while bringing your body valuable nutrients.
No need to take your children or your man as an excuse to buy junk food: their bodies do not need it more than your own! Accustom the palate of your children to natural flavors, it will help them choosing a healthier diet as adults. About your man, he will be happy to lose weight off his stomach, even if he does not tell it to you 😉 Not only you will save money but also your entire household will feel better!
At home with guests
The rules that apply at home when you are alone are also valid when you have guests. Do not feed them with food you do not want yourself. Get rid of crackers and salted peanuts. Buy good quality olives and mixes of unroasted and unsalted nuts as appetizers. Prepare a couple of sauces that you can serve with vegetable sticks, such as guacamole, tzatziki or lentil hummus. I make it clear: prepare, because the pre-packaged products from stores have as little taste as nutritional value. Of course, it will require more work than opening a pack of crisps, but your guests will appreciate your effort and will thank you. Once you get into the habit, you will never be able to eat salted peanuts again!
At home, with you partner or family
You get home late and you are exhausted. You do not have time to buy food, nor your darling. This is when you find the coupon code from your favorite junk-food delivery company, the one that mischievously slipped into your mailbox a few days earlier. Your fatigue and appetite are too strong, the photos of the coupon look too good. Your man is so enthusiastic about it that you grab you phone to place an order.
There is no harm in treating yourself a few times a year with a pizza or a Chinese home delivery, but you must not make this a routine. Get in the habit, when cooking a stew, to systematically prepare the double. Eat half of it on the same day, freeze the rest for a night of laziness or fatigue. It’s so nice to be able to choose between a delicious eggplant lasagna, a good lentil soup, or a delicious homemade chicken tagine, without having to cook! You will kill two birds with one stone and save money and calories 😉
Are there other places where you get tempted easily? Feel free to tell me about your experiences, your questions and your own tips!