Generally speaking, I am not a fan of “dieting.” Food and cooking are a passion in my life and I am a firm believer of everything in moderation. Two of the biggest issues with the American diet are the amount of processed, high fat foods we are eating and most importantly the quantity of food. We live in a society where on any given day, we are eating at so called “salad bars and buffets”, pilling our plates with mounds of food or eating out in restaurants where the portion size is equivalent to almost a full days caloric intake.
Maintaining and losing weight is not rocket science. We must burn more than we take in, plain and simple. By depriving ourselves constantly of foods and treats we love, we wind up binging on these foods in a way to satisfy our cravings.
Here are some simple tricks to help manage weight and reduce cravings.
For many, myself included, we do not feel hungry first thing in the morning. Start with a small breakfast high in protein to help you feel less hungry later in the day.
Smart options are:
- Keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge and eat 2 skipping the yolks
- Oatmeal is a great way to start, high in fiber and filling
Bring your lunch and snacks to work
This way you are less likely to grab a quick unhealthy alternative and you are better able to control your portion size and save money!
Why not try:
- Roll up turkey with avocado
- Yogurt with granola and a handful of raw almonds
- Bring a piece of fruit or healthy protein bar for a mid afternoon snack, this also keeps you from getting home famished
- Cut up carrots, peppers, and cucumbers and keep it in your fridge. You are more likely to grab it for a snack if it is there in front of you
- Cook up some hard-boiled eggs and leave them in your fridge. Great for that quick breakfast or lunch on the go
- Prepare grilled chicken for the week. Great to have on hand for lunch or a healthy dinner
Tips for eating out:
- Say no to the breadbasket.
- Share!! Restaurant portion sizes are enough for 2 people. Order an extra vegetable or side salad. You will also save some money!!
- Make smarter choices. Go for grilled or broiled. If it’s crispy or creamy, chances are it’s high in fat
- Say no to dessert or have a nonfat decaf cappuccino or a flavored herbal tea with some raw sugar to satisfy your cravings
- Berries with a little cream or sorbet are also great options
- If you must have the chocolate or cheesecake, do it! BUT cut it in half and share with a friend.
Getting our 8 glasses of water
- Start each meal with a glass of water with lemon. It will help fill you up and eat less
- Keep a water bottle on your desk and refill it at least once a day. You will be more likely to drink it if it’s in front of you
Stop buying the stuff you know you have a weakness for!
- Skip the chips and cookie aisle all together. If you must, go small and walk away.
- Great alternatives are frozen fruit bars or sorbet. They even make a delicious chocolate sorbet for chocolate cravings.
- Dark chocolate has tons of health benefits. It is high in antioxidants, which reduces inflammation.
If you do fall off the wagon on those special days, don’t beat yourself up or make it an excuse for the rest of the week. Learn to enjoy the moment and forgive yourself but get back on track the next day.