One thing I emphasize to my clients right off the bat are ways they can set themselves up for success in their everyday life. Really, healthy eating is not about willpower, it’s about making conscious decisions that help make it EASIER for you to make good choices. For example, if your idea of an afternoon snack is three Hershey’s kisses from your co-worker’s candy jar, don’t rely on on willpower to help you resist the bread basket when you’re out to eat with friends four hours later. Ain’t.gonna.happen. Have the chocolate if you really want it, but eat an apple with it, too. Water-dense fruit with fibrous skins help sustain your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling satiated for longer.
One of the most important ways you can set yourself up for success is by keeping healthy foods in your home. Do you really need that box of Wheat Thins in your cabinet? Can you trust yourself to keep Thin Mints in the freezer and not eat a whole sleeve when you’re feeling down or bored? If the answer is yes, then good for you. I truly envy you because I’m at a point where I just can’t keep any snack foods or sweets in my apartment. And actually, I’m OK with that because like I said, it makes it easier for me to make good choices. Sometimes I’ll be home when a salty or sweet craving hits and I’ll think, Man I really wish I had something to satisfy it. But, if it’s not there you can’t have it, and 99 percent of the time I realize that my impulsive craving was just that—impulsive and fleeting. But, if I realllly want something, I’ll go out to get it. I live on the fifth floor of a walk-up building, so at least I’m getting a little extra exercise to boot!
So after I slowy weened myself off of my nightly ice cream habit, I still had one “trigger” food that always managed to find its way into my kitchen: Tortilla Chips. Sure, I’d get the healthier brands like Garden of Eatin’, but I could never, ever stop at one serving. I’d usually start snacking on the chips as I decided what to make for dinner, and then— Oopsie!—500 calories later, I was still hungry for a real meal.
After several experiences like this, I decided that I just couldn’t trust myself around tortilla chips, so I no longer keep them in the apartment. The only time I have bought a bag of chips since then is when I’ve had guests come into town to stay the weekend. Honestly, I wish I didn’t feel the need to buy foods for others that I normally don’t keep in my apartment, but I also want to be a good hostess and be sensitive to other people’s needs. (What do you think about this dilemma?)
HOWEVER, if you like nachos and can trust yourself to keep a bag in your apartment without eating eight servings in one sitting, then try this healthy(ish) version: Blue Corn Garden of Eatin’ Tortilla Chips topped with brown rice, black beans, lemon-flavored Sabra hummus, tomatoes, Brad’s Organic corn salsa, shredded cheddar cheese and onions. Phew, what a combo! It’s really tasty and actually, pretty healthy—if you can manage to stick to just one serving of chips!
How do you set yourself up for success in your home? Do you have any foods that you don’t “trust” yourself around?