• Mercedes Benstock

How To Have Self Control When Dieting

Not to harp on about how badly I ate and slept yesterday but jeez. I’ve already baked 8 Hot Cross Buns, had 2 cups of Coffee, and done an Easter Egg hunt by 6am. Fair to say I have a (very) long day ahead. So let’s talk about holidays when you’re trying to incorporate a healthy diet/lifestyle. They give me extreme anxiety, and I’m sure that I’m not alone. Once you have kids theres no avoiding it. Theres always going to be sweets or treats lingering in the pantry or on the kitchen counter and having self control is difficult. Personally I don’t feel tempted to dig into the Pop Tarts or Chips Ahoy because I always have “healthy” alternatives on hand and within sight-BUT of course I have moments where I eat Aspens left overs or want a spoonful of ice cream. These little things all add up and one spoonful leads to another, and before you know it you’ve eaten half a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

So of course I’m not going to lead you into a rabbit hole and not offer you my tips/tricks

1) Have healthy alternatives at eye-level

If I open the fridge/freezer and the first thing I see is cake-I'm going to want the cake. I read about this trick somewhere a while ago and it really resonated and worked for me. Have fruit/veggies at eye-level rather than the ice cream or bread

2) Eat at meal times (hungry or not)

I've learnt this the hard way (and keep making the same mistake!) Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. If sustainable weight loss/management is your goal, skipping meals won’t get you far! When you skip meals and your body is deprived of food, it thinks that it’s fasting and starts conserving fuel and burning fewer calories to protect itself from starving.

3) Plan ahead

If I'm going somewhere unfamiliar - I always plan ahead! I keep my favorite protein bars in my car, and never feel embarrassed to pack a bag of carrots, cereal, or granola to throw in my bag! Also a benefit? That you don't have to pay over the odds. JFK Airport I'm talking to you!

4) Don't force a workout

Spending hours at the gym is going to lead to extreme hunger/binges. I've found it much more effective to plan a 20-40 minute workout. If I'm not in the mood to workout - I never force it anymore. Added benefit? I'm less hungry/peckish when I don't have a vigorous workout!

5) Don't deny cravings. Swap them!

F-factor has a three bite rule and Tanya frequently discusses " Mindful indulgences". The problem is that I cant eat three bites of a muffin without eating the entire muffin - that's why it's important to modify every now and then! The longer you deny yourself or "forbid" a certain food/treat the more appealing it becomes.

Here are some of my favorite swaps:

Chocolate --> Protein bar OR 5 squares of Lily's dark chocolate (salted caramel)

Chips --> Seaweed (sometimes I even eat this to replace wraps!)

Muffins --> F-Factor 20/20 pancakes or muffins

Frozen yogurt --> Greek Yogurt (frozen). My favorite brand is Two Good. I mix it with a little bit of stevia and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. It has a little bit of fat which makes it creamy and delicious! You can also mix skinny syrups or sugar free Torani's syrup for added flavor (and zero calories).