Habits are hard to break, but with some thought and planning, you can do it. Grazing on snack foods is one habit that can be tricky to break. When you are experiencing stress, you can’t make a reasonable decision in the moment, you’ll likely go into auto-pilot and summon up your old trusty habits. In order to create lifestyle changes you have to have some strategies thought out ahead of time.
I used to have an M&M dispenser in my office (yes some dietitians are chocoholics). Well, that was a bad idea for me! I’d eat them during those stressed out times at my desk, without thought and with no idea as to how many I was eating (300, 500 calories!?). So, I removed them. The dispenser still sits on the shelf, but it’s empty.
Did I remove all of the stress from my life? No. I came up with a few alternatives. Now, if I have a deadline, I get a small bowl of mini pretzels or animal crackers and put them on my desk to munch on. When they’re gone, they’re gone. I also go to the effort of filling a pint glass with ice water to have nearby.
This kind of plan can work for you too. Here are some steps you can take:
- It may sound simple but: Just think. Think about the situations, places and times, when snacking or overeating is a challenge for you, then plan ahead to deal with it.
- Have healthy snacks around. Substitute a healthier food or another activity.
- Remove the not so healthy foods (from the pantry, from the car, wherever).
- Take a short walk. Move to a different part of the house. Whatever you have to do to get away from the foods or situations that sabotage you.
- If you have a “partner in crime”, consider speaking to him or her about working together to break a bad habit.
- Put your children’s food down! Food waste is tough in a household with kids. Instead of eating what they don’t, wrap it up and store it for later.
Spend a little time thinking about your challenging situations or foods, and then put a plan into place to tackle it. These simple steps will help you create balance and can lead you down the right path toward your weight loss goals.
About the Blogger:
Rosanne Rust is a Registered Dietitian and co-author of The Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies, The Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, The Calorie Counter Journal for Dummies and The Restaurant Calorie Counter for Dummies. Learn more about Rosanne and how you can work with her on your own nutrition goals.