When you’re trying to reach your goal weight, it can sometimes feel like booby traps are around every corner: TV ads for big burgers, easy-to-grab snacks at checkout, and birthday cake after birthday cake at work. It’s time to fight back. Use these five tips to turn your whole world into a willpower-generating super machine and keep flying toward your goals.
In the kitchen: STOCK UP
Part of what makes bad-for-you foods easy to grab is that they’re, well, so easy to grab — just unwrap it or dig your hand in a bag, and you’re satisfying your hunger faster than you realise what you’re eating. The solution: Make “unlimited” foods just as easy to eat in a hurry. Chop celery, broccoli, cucumbers and other no-guilt options long before you’re hungry so when you want a quick snack, they’re as handy as a handful of chips.
“Healthy snacks will keep you on-track without sabotaging your progress,” says Courtney McCormick, manager of clinical research and nutrition at Nutrisystem based in the US. “Vegetables are high in fibre and will keep you full longer than unhealthier options.”
In the car: GET PACKED
Have you ever come home from work planning to go to the gym... and then you don’t? The couch feels a little too comfortable or the pile of mail distracts you and you wind up skipping your sweat session? A little preparation can shut down this excuse: Keep a fully-packed gym bag in your car or at work. You won’t even need to come home before heading to your class, run, swim or strength session.
Around town: ARM YOURSELF
You can’t always sit down to a fresh meal or snack. But you can be ready when cravings strike: Carry a packet of shakes, a sandwich bag of raw almonds or homemade trail mix.
This way, when you need a little blood sugar spike, you’re ready with options that you control, rather than letting hunger pangs steer you toward something you regret.
On your phone: PICTURE ACHIEVEMENT
People check their phones on average 52 times a day, according to a recent Deloitte study. Let each instance push you toward your goals. Change the background on your lock screen to an image that inspires you to stick with your plan. They’re easy to find: Fire up Pinterest and search for “inspiration,” “motivation” or other keywords that you like.
At work: MOVE AWAY FROM THE DISH
Few things in life sabotage the best diet plans faster than the workplace candy dish. You’re working on something, hit a wall, get up for a walk and there it is, right in the breakroom: a huge bowl of gum drops. Decrease your tendency to grab from the communal bowl by moving away from it. Scientists found that subjects ate 1.8 more pieces of candy daily when the bowl was placed on their desk versus two metres away. Don’t get derailed. A few smart habits can help you avoid temptation and remember your long-term goals.