We get it, it’s hard to eat healthy all the time. Especially when we’re confronted with delicious, tempting, maybe not-so-healthy food all the time! While it’s good to enjoy a treat occasionally, to successfully lose weight and feel awesome you’re also going to need some strategies to help you overcome dietary temptation. Let’s run through our best tips and tricks to make avoiding temptation a breeze.
Drink enough water. We know we say this a lot…but it’s so important! You’ve probably heard before that thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger — and it’s very true. A lot of feelings that we associate with hunger, like low energy levels or a rumbling stomach, can actually be signs that you’re thirsty. By staying one step ahead of this and drinking water regularly throughout the day, you’ll know that when you feel hungry, you’re actually hungry.
Avoid getting extremely hungry. Hopefully this one is obvious, but we know that falling into a ‘desperate times, desperate measures’ approach is danger-zone for your healthy eating plans. Keeping some healthy snacks on hand in your bag or car is the way to go here. Ideally they’ll be in single serve portions, because while a handful of almonds is great and will tide you over nicely, eating a whole large packet because you’re starving isn’t going to do you any favours!
Make sure you get enough protein. Keeping your protein levels up is particularly useful for avoiding dietary temptation. Protein takes longer to digest than other macronutrients, making you feel fuller for longer. It also keeps your blood-sugar levels stable, and your metabolism fired up. By including around 10–15 grams of protein in your breakfast, as well as some good fibre such as oats, fruit or grainy bread, you’ll coast through to lunchtime feeling awesome and won’t be fossicking around in the snack cupboard at 10am.
Out of sight, out of mind. You’re going to be much more tempted by unhealthy food if you have to keep looking at it. Simply putting it in a cupboard/fridge could be enough to curb the craving.
Plan your weekend meals. We often hear about people that eat super healthy over the week (thanks to Fresh Start 😊), but then completely fall off the bandwagon over the weekend. If you’re trying to lose weight, a two day binge each week isn’t going to help unfortunately. Having a loose plan of what you’ll eat over the weekend can really help if this is an issue for you. This way you can make sure you’re still getting a balanced, healthy day of eating in. Be sure to check out our Takeaways and Treat Meals blog to see how incorporating a delicious treat meal can be part of your weight loss regime.
Get enough sleep. It’s truly fascinating the effect sleep has on our food cravings and ability to fight off temptation. We’re touching on it in more detail here, but the short of it is that less sleep means our decision making and impulses aren’t as sharp as they could be, and unhealthy food like sweet treats look like a great option. When you’re tired, your body is producing lots of ghrelin (the hungry hormone) and almost stops producing leptin (the fullness hormone). Basically, your hormones are all over the show and your stomach turns into a bottomless pit that (you think) needs constant filling.
Finally, don’t forget that a less-healthy bite or taste here isn’t going to ruin your diet — just be sure to appreciate the taste rather than needing to fill up on it . It’s all about quality over quantity!