Variety is key, possibly the biggest reason why people fall of the diet wagon is boredom. Think spices, and spice blends, think sauces and marinades, and think internationally. Chicken and veggies are totally different in a Thai curry, a Moroccan tagine or a hearty French-style stew, and more exciting than plain grilled and steamed.
Never be hungry, people rarely make good decisions when they’re hungry. If your diet requires you to be hungry, you probably shouldn’t be on it anyway. Load your plate with veggies or extra protein, carry an emergency snack around with you so you never fall to the temptation of food. Before any social event, eat something. Have a proper meal before you go to a party so you won’t load up on canapés, and even have a decent snack before going out for dinner, that way you won’t be tempted to inhale the bread basket.
Stress Less. Stress hormones lead to all kinds of cravings, especially ones involving creamy pasta, Death by Chocolate Fudge Cake, a sneaky ciggy or a glass of wine. Reducing stress hormones via diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing) and making sure you are eating enough protein and healthy fat, will help to reduce cravings and strengthen your fortitude.
Don’t do it alone! Having someone to share and plan with and be accountable to can make the difference between success and failure. It’s much more difficult to resist temptation if the only person affected is you. This person can also serve to support and encourage you when you need someone to say “you can do this”.
Plan ahead and problem solve. If you know you have a social event or situation coming up that could tempt you to stray or really test your will power, sit down and write a list of strategies for success in this situation. Think of it as an undertaking to be overcome, not a chance at failure.
Listen to your body. When you are having a craving or a weak moment, think HALT!? Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? If you are one of these things, address that. Call a friend or family member on the phone, have a long soak in the tub and a nap or go to bed early that night. Instead of eating your anger, vent it in a constructive way, for example by writing a letter or boxing at the gym.
Stay hydrated. We misread many of our body’s cries for water as hunger for other things. Load up on water and herbal teas regularly during the day.
Seek professional help if you need it. Did you know that certain nutritional supplements, like the amino-acid L-glutamine, may significantly reduce cravings for cigarettes, sweets or alcohol? Balancing your body’s biochemistry may be the key to your success that was missing before.
For further information and advice Robyn can be contacted at Flourish Health, 48 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8SF on 020 7 224 2247 or online at http://www.flourish-health.co.uk
Eat healthy with this recipe for a Welsh lamb and vegetable spring broth.
SEE ALSO: Vitamin supplements