1. MAKE A GROCERY LIST AND STICK TO IT
Making a grocery list is a must. It’s so important that you have foods in your house, that you would want to fuel your body with, at all times. Otherwise, you are more likely to call to have a pizza delivered or pick up some take out. It’s helpful for me to not only pick up foods that I know are good but rather plan meals for each day to ensure that I don’t end up swinging by McDonalds. Without planning meals, I just end up with a bunch of food that, while they might be healthy, do not compliment each other, leaving me to I go out and get food anyways.
So take a second, sit down, and carefully plan out your meals for the span of time that you are shopping for, and then DON’T deviate from your list. Some grocery stores even offer the option of ordering your groceries online and then picking them up from the store, you don’t even have to go inside. This is ideal because you don’t get suckered by your kids, or your stomach into buying things that you don’t need.
2. DO NOT SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
I don’t know about you, but I’m 99% (okay who am I kidding… more like 250%) more likely likely to buy things that look irresistible when I go to the store with a grumbling stomach. Not only is this not good for your wallet, it also makes it near impossible to pass up the new Oreo flavor that just came out and those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies you’ve been craving all week.
3. BUY YOUR CHEAT SNACKS OR MEALS WHEN IT’S TIME TO HAVE THEM, NOT WHILE YOU’RE GROCERY SHOPPING
Sometimes, being mom is rough, and it’s easy to want to curl up with a bowl of ice cream after a particularly long day, that you thought would never end, and binge watch Netflix. Or, after those horrible days at work, when you felt like everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you of course want to dive into that bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. It’s those nights that I find myself caving into my cravings, but only if I make them available to me. I know it’s easy to pick up some brownies at the store with the intention of waiting until your cheat day or meal to devour them, but when they are available to you, it’s easier to lose your self–control.
This is why, we have switched to picking up our pasta and bread sticks ON our cheat day. Or swinging by and getting some ice cream ON the night that we have selected to have our cheat dessert. You’re still spending the money, but now it’s not available for stress or binge eating at midnight.
4. AVOID FALLING FOR THE “I’LL JUST TAKE ONE BITE” TRICK
Sometimes, when you’re trying to eat healthy, other people who are respecting your eating habits will say things like “this is amazing, you just need to take one bite.” Or sometimes it’s me telling myself that something delicious is needing me to eat it, but since it’s not our cheat day I’ll just take a small taste. Friends, this is the road to disaster.
It never ends up being one bite or a small taste but rather 5 donuts or an entire Whopper Hamburger, the fries, and maybe the shake. This includes our children’s meals. Sometimes while feeding our kids a Nutella sandwich, licking it off of my finger can send me straight to the jar with a spoon.
5. DON’T START YOUR DAY WITH SUGAR
Every day that I kick start with sugar is miserable. I spend the whole day suffering because I just can’t stop thinking about it. This is because of how I introduced my body to the day. Be sure to start your day with hearty meals that will fill you up and not leave your body craving sweets until your head hits the pillow and you fall asleep. Leaving sugarplums, or Reese’s, dancing in your heads all night.
6. PACK SNACKS WHEN ON THE MOVE
Whenever I’m out and about, I make a point to bring a snack. Even when I think it’s only going to be a short trip. This comes in extra handy when I find myself caught up at the car repair shop for hours longer than expected and spend my time staring at the inevitable, the dreaded vending machine. I know that the longer I stay, the more likely I am to purchase those Cheetos and a Diet Coke to satisfy my hunger.
It’s important to always carry snacks. Whether you choose to carry beef jerky, almonds, a protein bar or string cheese, having food is ALWAYS in your best interest for when you stomach says “I’m hungry” but your situation isn’t ideal for good food options.
7. DON’T LET YOURSELF GET TOO HUNGRY
Ever feel like you haven’t eaten for weeks? Me too. Frequently. So OF COURSE it makes sense that I would need to eat until I feel sick. That seems like the only possible solution. The best way to combat this problem is to make sure that you never get to the point of starvation. Eat a healthy breakfast, if you feel hunger start to move in and it’s not lunch time, eat a snack to hold you over until then.
8. FIGHT STRESS IN OTHER WAYS THAN EATING
I am a stress eater. And a bored eater. I’m also a “I don’t even know how this bag of chips got here” eater. It’s so important that you establish why you’re eating. Are you really hungry?
If you are a stress eater, find a different way to conquer your stress that doesn’t include eating. Workout, listen to music, clean, or play with your kids (unless they are causing your stress which is likely). Do something that is going to help you relax without needing food.
9. PLAN MEALS OUT ON DAYS THAT YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHEAT
Your friend wants to meet up for lunch, GREAT! You haven’t seen her for a while and it sure would be good to catch up. We all know it’s not always easy to find options that will meet your daily criteria for calories or protein, fat and carb intake while eating out.
If you know for sure that you can find something to eat that will meet your goals for that day, then by all means join her. But if you aren’t sure or are afraid that you might cave in to eating the chips and salsa that you KNOW she’s going to order, don’t tempt yourself and schedule your get together for a day that you can eat guilt free.
10. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
I always have a water bottle. I get frustrated when I forget it. Seems silly I know, but I’ve found that by drinking the recommended amount of water a day, I feel more full. I don’t crave sugary foods as often and I don’t find myself opening the same cupboard over and over looking for something to snack on.
Remember that meeting your health and fitness goals is mostly accomplished by what you choose to put in your body. If you implement these life hacks, you WILL find it much easier to consume healthy meals and you WON’T find yourself looking into the fridge longing for your cravings.