No, a confession. I am a potato chip, chocolate cookie, onion ring-loving dietitian. Okay, I feel better now. Yes, I know these are not healthy foods, but I still love them and I still eat them on occasion. I’m human. It’s the knowing and doing part that causes me stress.
Even though I know a food isn’t “healthy,” it is often a struggle to keep it from leaping into my mouth when we are in the same room. Do you feel my pain?
But here’s how I succeed in a world where high fat, high calorie foods surround me – without gaining 100 lbs, and it has little to do with that dreaded word… WILLLPOWER. Here’s my secret…
I’ve made my home a safe zone. For example, I love chocolate cookies–they call my name. Eric loves them, too. He wants me to buy those freshly made bags from Albertsons and keep them in the pantry. Oh please, like I can pretend they aren’t there?
If I relied on willpower to NOT eat these cookies, I’d go insane. Wouldn’t you? So here’s what I do– I practice what I call “environmental control.” I don’t keep them in the house. Oh, what about Eric you say? No, I still buy cookies now and then, plus ice cream too!
Just not the ones I love. Somehow I can forget about those plain sugar cookies. But he still likes them. How about you?
Next I control hunger….by eating snacks. Yes, Mom, I spoiled my appetite by snacking. Please forgive me. But I have found that snacking helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps me from overindulging at my next meal. I’ve found that pre-portioned snacks work best. Small tuna packs, hummus, crackers, string cheese, vegetable sticks, fruit and almonds are “regulars” in my house and at my desk.
And here is the revelation. At least it is for me…
Not every day is my birthday. I said this once to a client who was always telling me she always ate far too much because she rationalized that she “deserved” every course available when dining out—appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. So I asked her “would you eat the same amount at home?” Probably not! Is every day a cause for celebration? Of course not! Now I say to myself “is today my birthday?” Not today…and I walk away.