So now that we’re about two weeks into healthy eating month, reality is setting in. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ALL good intentions until I become pre-menstrual and mean old ladies start giving my loud children and I dirty looks at church and then I become a snivelling ball of chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-craving baby. Let’s face it–the daily grind can wear you down, January is a rough month for a lot of people, and the economy right now could drive anyone straight into the arms of Ben and Jerry. So we have some tips that we hope will help keep you on track, even when times get tough.
This is the #1 thing for me–I’m a stress eater and I eat when I’m bored. And sometimes when I’m bored, I’m stressed, which, as I’m sure you can all imagine, is a fabulous situation. You’d think that when you’re trying to eat right and lose weight, you should rid your cupboards of anything easy and tasty, but I’ve found the opposite to be the case: when I throw out all the snacky foods, the mid-afternoon blahs find me with a spoonful of Nutella watching Full House re-runs, not completely sure how I got there. What are some of our favorite snacks? Glad you asked!
–Low-fat yogurt; I love the tanginess of low-fat Dannon Activia and usually just get a big container of vanilla just for its versatility. I eat it plain or, if I’m feeling particularly wild and crazy, mix it with a little Kashi Go-Lean Crunch and some frozen berries (think along the lines of a McDonald’s parfait, which, by the way, is a GREAT snack when you’re out and about!)
–Turkey, ham, and roast beef slices
–Keep fresh veggies chopped and in a little ice water in your fridge; you can dip in hummus or low-fat Ranch
–Fat-free Jello pudding topped with a mixture of fat-free Cool Whip and peanut butter
–Apple slices and peanut butter
–Half a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, hummus and veggies (like lettuce or spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.), etc. I also LOVE the combo of a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter.
–100 calorie packs
–Sugar-free gum (keeps my mouth busy when I stop talking…)
–Juice or sugar-free Popsicles
–Dreyer’s or Edy’s Slow-Churned ice cream
2. Don’t deprive yourself
Okay, I’m not giving you license to go out and unwrap this beauty single-forkedly. But there’s something to be said for having a little bit of the real thing. Honestly, I would rather have a tiny piece of real cheesecake than a giant piece of sugar-free, fat-free chemical-laden junk.
Along those lines, a little bit of a great thing goes a long way. For example…
–Use mini chocolate chips so they go further; finely chop a smaller amount of nuts to more evenly distribute the flavor. Etc., etc.
–Instead of using a lot of milder cheese, use a smaller amount of a sharper, more flavorful cheese.
–Personally, I only like scrambled eggs in a pan that’s been coated in butter, so if I use a little non-stick cooking spray and a little butter, I can still get that butter flavor without contributing to my early demise.
–Bacon is very flavorful and a little goes a long way and actually isn’t really THAT bad in moderation. Just be sure and drain it well.
3. Choose your products carefully
There are some light products that taste almost identical to their full-fat versions. Paul Newman light salad dressings are amazing. Also, I can’t tell a difference between light and regular mayonnaise; light and regular cream cheese are pretty darn close! And to be honest, I actually prefer light sour cream to it’s chubbier older brother. However, I can pretty much say that I don’t love any fat-free versions of products like this–I would honestly rather eat my bagel plain than use fat-free cream cheese. Additionally, many times the fat-free versions contain more sugar than the original or low-fat varieties; they have to make up for that flavor somewhere! So just compare the nutritional labels and enjoy the better-tasting option in moderation.
So there’s a round-up of some of our favorite tips! What are your ideas for staying on track? And we’re not trolling for comments here–we seriously need to know, lest the mean church lady give me the evil eye again and send me home crying into my cupboards…