I was walking through the aisles of my local CVS a few days ago to pick up some much-needed lip balm and mascara when I saw massive amounts of 50% off discounted Christmas candy. There were bags of green and red M&M’s, chocolate Santa’s of all sizes and milk chocolate covered jingle bells along with candy canes and reindeer cookies. Another shopper was smitten with the discount on the post-Christmas cookies and starting grabbing bags of sugary treats. I overheard her say,
“I really shouldn’t buy all of this candy. But, I can’t help it. I’m going to get a shopping cart to hold it all. I can’t balance everything in my hands. Wow, I really shouldn’t bring all of this home.”
I should point out that she was speaking out loud, but to herself. I didn’t stay long enough to see if she bought enough to fill up her cart or if she decided to leave the candy behind. But I know the feeling of temptation all too well.
Although I’m a nutritionist, I enjoy treats from time to time. Who doesn’t? Most people have some type of indulgent food preference. Do you enjoy salty snacks, or creamy dips or chocolate candy every now and again? I know I do. Here are some tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy weight and enjoying an occasional treat:
Plan your meals
Plan and prepare your meals for the week ahead. Try to keep a written shopping list. That way you’ll purchase the foods that you need to prepare the foods you need for the week ahead. You’ll be more likely to eat healthy meals and stay within your calorie and financial budgets.
Portion control is key for calorie control. If you eat huge portions of food, you are likely to gain weight! You might benefit from weighing and measuring your food portions for a few weeks so that you can become more familiar with correct serving sizes. Try to eat more vegetables, as they are low in calories and high in fiber. Eat a rainbow of colorful vegetables (orange carrots, red peppers, and green broccoli).
Eat Treats Mindfully
If you want to eat a treat, please enjoy it! Try not to buy bags of candy or big box store sized bags of chips. Purchase an individual size of the snack or food you might enjoy. Remember, there is a difference between eating a huge slice of cheesecake because you had a fight with your boss vs eating a slice of Aunt Maltida’s famous cheesecake when you visit her for a family gathering. See the difference?
Don’t Buy on the Fly
Have you noticed that there is an abundance of candy at the checkout line at your local supermarket? Have you ever grabbed something at the last minute before you checked out your groceries? Most of us have done that. Remember to stay to your planned shopping list to avoid those type of temptations.
If you still have holiday treats at home that you really don’t want, please give them to someone who wants them or “toss them out”. You’ll be glad you did!
What tips and tricks do you have for avoiding temptations?
Suggested next post: Habits that Lead to Emotional Eating & Over-Eating.