Avoid temptation with these simple tips.
After too many, “I’ll start next Mondays” you finally started your clean eating plan. And, you were doing so well. You even picked up the latest copy of fitness magazine during your lunchtime. You return to the office and immediately smell the scent of pizza. Your colleague offers you a slice and before you know it, you’ve eaten three! You look at the model on the cover of fitness and wonder how she managed to resist temptation. Well, here are some top tips to help you beat your cravings next time.
1. Keep your goal in mind
Some people go as far as to recommend sticking a picture of your ideal body on your fridge. If that can work for you, go ahead. However, you don’t have to be as drastic. Just remember why you started. Keep your goal in mind. Remember that the choices you make today will affect how your body looks and feels.
2. Reward yourself
This doesn’t mean eating a cheat meal or the chocolate you’ve been craving. Try associating rewards with non-food items rather than junk food. You can still eat a cheat meal if that approach works for you (it’s impossible to eat clean every single day) but it is better not to see it as a reward. Successful lifestyle changes, diets, or exercise plans requires a change in mindset. Rather reward your diligent sweat sessions and clean eating with massages, manicures, pedicures, or new jeans to go with your new figure.
3. Start small
We’ve heard how to skin an elephant, that Rome wasn’t built in a day and we advise our children to take one step at a time. Yet, we don’t follow the same principles where it comes to dropping weight or eating clean. We think we can reverse years of bad eating habits in one day. Rather start by making one simple small change every week or two. By the end of the year, you would of made around fifty small changes – that’s more than enough to equate to big results.
Nutritionists, doctors, fitness professionals, and athletes cannot stress the importance of water. Make sure you get your daily fill. It will help keep hunger at bay. Also, when we feel hungry it can sometimes be due to dehydration not actual hunger. So, when the craving hits you, try reaching for two glasses of cold water.
5. Carry healthy snacks
Many-a-good-diets have been broken due to the vending machine. That’s because you had uncontrollable hunger pangs. Resist the temptation by always being prepared. Have healthy snacks such as a small tub of blueberries, nuts, apple slices with nut butter, julienne carrots, or other vegetables within easy reach.
6. Eat first
If you are going to a party or braai, rather eat before hand. You might think that it will defeat the purpose, but that way, you are not tempted to snack on chips or sweets while you dance, socialise or wait for the meat to be ready. On that note, if you are heading out for dinner, remember to ask the waitron to bring your dressing on the side. Salad dressings can have loads of calories, so use it sparingly.
7. Avoid alcohol
Speaking of socialising, have you noticed how much more you eat and snack while holding a glass of wine? Avoiding alcohol might help you consume less food, appetizers, and pre- meal snacks. There are also many calories in alcohol, especially the creamy cocktails, so be mindful of which drinks you choose. Rather opt for low calorie alcoholic beverages.
A squeaky clean diet is highly unlikely. And you will possibly be very unhappy most of the time. That’s why many people find that the 80/20 (clean eating 80 per cent of the time) way of eating works best from them. They know that they are a few days away from their next treat or cheat meal. Despite what you may think, top bikini athletes don’t eat broccoli and chicken all day, everyday.
“One of the ways I’ve been able to stay so focused and balanced year round is because nothing is ever off limits. If I want a burger and fries on the weekend, I have it. Having a meal out on weekends and some type of mid-week dessert ensures that I’m never more than a couple of days away from my next “indulgent” meal,” says Jen Jewell. Read more about Jen’s nutritional tips here.
9. Steer clear
You don’t have to get caught up in a late night tug of war with a bag of crisps if you don’t have any in the cupboard. Make sure that you are set up for success by cleaning your fridge and cupboards of any luxuries or unhealthy food. With that said, if your eating plan advocates a cheat meal or cheat day, make sure to remove the temptation as you wouldn’t want your cheat meal or day to become two.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.