Feeling a bit yucky after the weekend’s festivities? I know that I am. Although the sangria was delicious, the margaritas were fabulous and the ice cream and chips tasted great…my body is now paying the price. The fact is that if you normally eat well then your body rejects crappy food when you eat it en masse…and, really, that is a good thing. So how do you get yourself back to eating mindfully? You just have to do it. Yes, it is hard but the longer that you stave it off, the harder it becomes. Here are a few strategies:
- Get the “junk food” out of your house. Begin by ridding your home of temptation. There are several ways to go about this: eating your leftovers (not ideal), bringing them to work, donating unopened processed foods to the local food bank or simply throwing your junk food out.
- Stock up on the good stuff! Fill your fridge with lots of healthy choices such as: fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. Be sure that the healthy options are front and center in your fridge so that you are more likely to reach for these first. Although it is a bit more expensive, if buying fruits and veggies which are already cut-up will encourage you to eat them, then so be it.
- Pre-plan your food for each day. Sit down tonight and plan out a healthy menu for tomorrow, then stick to it! Be sure to load up on veggies, fruits, legumes and lean proteins.
- Prepare several meals which can be portioned and eaten throughout the week; some good options include: soups, salads, chicken cutlets (baked or grilled, not fried), rice, etc. Portion size is of key import. A serving of meat should be roughly the size of a deck of cards. A serving of pasta, rice or any other grain is typically one cup. Non-starchy vegetables can be eaten in large quantities.
- Pre-portion some snacks for yourself. If you tend to find yourself ravenously hungry then having a pre-portioned snack can be a life saver! Some great snacking options include: raw almonds, string cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola bars, etc.
- Allow yourself a daily “treat”. Dessert is good and we should all enjoy it. The issue is that many of us eat more “treats” than real live food. If you truly take the time to plan out and stick to your daily menu…which includes reasonably portioned meals comprised of fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, etc., then you can absolutely treat yourself to something decadent at the end of the day. It is important to be mindful of portion size…a serving of regular chips is about 11 chips, whereas a serving of baked chips is about 18 chips. A 1/4 cup serving of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has about 13 grams of fat versus the 4.5 grams of fat in a 1/4 cup serving of Ben & Jerry’s frozen yogurt; neither of these is a “healthy” option but you can see that one is clearly a better bet than the other. Also, if you are eating well the majority of the time, then a small daily indulgence is acceptable. You can have your cake and eat it too…you just need to make smart choices!
Getting back on the healthy eating wagon is difficult; however, once you get through the first few days you will be comfortable with eating mindfully again. Need a buddy? I’ll be suffering with you! 😉