It can be so tempting dieting and working from home while dealing with the everyday stresses of life. The temptation is there. Your desk is 2 feet away from the kitchen, and one more cookie never hurt anyone right?
The answer is wrong! Having such easily accessible food at home and limited self-control is a recipe for not meeting your fitness goals and unnecessary weight gain. I wanted to share some tips and tricks that can be implemented by anyone to help your cravings and keep those extra pounds at bay.
Eat Foods that Actually Fill you Up!
Sometimes it's not quantity, but quality. If you find yourself feeling hungry right after eating breakfast, you may want to change your diet and include protein filled options or complex carbohydrates. Eggs and Oatmeal are two essential foods to help you feel full longer. They are healthy and easy to make too. Boil some eggs the night before, or opt for a quick omelet with veggies to incorporate those into your diet. Knowing what foods have empty calories or are high in refined sugars can also help you avoid those options. These are the sugary cereals or bagels that initially fill you up, but do not sustain that level of fullness in the day and cause you to eat more.
Know the difference between Hunger and Thirst
If you constantly feel hungry, you may want to ask yourself if you are thirsty. Both sensations can feel very similar, but you are actually not consuming calories by drinking water, and you can keep your body in its optimal state of hydration. By drinking water, your body will feel the "full" sensation without actually consuming the calories or eating unnecessary, unhealthy foods.
Think about it for a few minutes - before automatically going to eat or search for a treat, instead try drinking a cold glass of water, and you will be surprised at the filling effects it can have. Squeezing a lemon or adding mint/basil leaves to your water can have a surprisingly tasty effect, too, and actually encourage you to drink even more than you would have otherwise.
Stop Buying Treats Altogether
The best and easiest way to avoid eating unhealthy foods is not to buy them at all. This may seem ridiculous to some, but if you are serious about your diet and health, you must make serious choices. If you choose to buy a treat, make sure it is a smaller portion that won't stay in your house for long and usually is for one or two servings only. By not having easy access to treats, you will be forced to eat healthier items or skip that snack and fuel up on a healthy meal. Pre-packaged food is usually never healthy, and the foods that market themselves as "low calorie" are generally high in other unhealthy areas.
Make it a Rule to Reduce your Weekly Amount of Take Out/ Pre made Food Intake
Ordering in or buying pre-packages/made foods are usually unhealthy as they are saturated with oils and high sodium content. Shopping can be tough, but sometimes always eating prepared food will show in the long run. Try to order less take-out and cook healthy recipes at home more. Try limiting to only one meal per week to a pre-made option and stick to your goals. Choose a day where you know you will be busier and unable to meal prep or treat yourself to a Saturday night with your loved ones. Consistency will show, and you can reward yourself on one day. That will make the treat more meaningful.
After eating your meal, there is always room for dessert? Am I right? Sweet cravings can be curbed instead of reaching for that extra piece of chocolate or piece of cake. Try eating dried fruit ( I personally love dates and dried mangos), or frozen fruit over yogurt as a healthy alternative to a traditional sweet dessert. If you want to really cut out calories, try a sweet tea. You will taste the flavor and also feel fuller.
Some like it sweet, but some like it salty. When you want to reach for a quick snack to tie you over until your next meal, try to make air-popped popcorn and salt it yourself rather than opening a bag of chips that can be highly addictive. Another suggestion is to eat fresh vegetables with a crunch to them like carrots, celery sticks, or cucumbers with a low-fat ranch dressing or hummus.
Making healthy choices can seem hard or not worth it, but the benefits will pay off in the long run if you invest in your health.
Can you think of anything in your day to day life that can change by reading this article?