I’ve been re-acquainting myself with the tools and behaviors I use to stave off hunger and avoid straying when I’m on a diet.
First, let me define some terms: I draw a sharp distinction between maintaining and dieting. For me, when I’m maintaining I stick to some guidelines but what I can eat is not strictly limited. When I’m dieting, I have a specific weight loss goal I’m working towards and I have significantly limited the universe of food I allow myself to consume, in order to meet that goal.
Ok, with that understanding, I’m definitely in a dieting mode right now, and so I need stronger guardrails on my eating behaviors. I put these in place by controlling my environment – making sure that I have plenty of the foods I can have on hand and removing foods that might cause a lapse or temptation – and by having tools on hand to help me through the tough spots: hunger or mouth cravings.
1. Gum. Great for giving me something to work on and when I’m chewing gum I’m less susceptible to temptation because my mouth is already busy – idly popping something into my mouth is harder to do when I’m chewing gum already.
2. Big plastic water cup, which doubles as a big plastic Crystal Light cup. To bulk up my portion-controlled lunch entree I’ll make up a big cup of CrystalLight (I love the little single-serving packets they sell them in now – so convenient!) drink the whole thing with lunch, and that will help to fill up my stomach and make it feel satisfied that we’ve eaten lunch. Also, this cup sits on my desk all day with water so I can sip throughout the day.
3. Shaker bottle. Invaluable for making up shakes. Cleanup in the break room is pretty simple too- just throw some water and dish soap in and shake, then rinse.
4. Red lunch box in back, full of all my approved foods. More than I need for a day, even, because I never know when a long day may strike, or a day when my hunger spikes, so a bit of extra is always a good idea.
5. Coffee cup for hot tea (not pictured, but you know what a coffee cup looks like).
This week has been surprisingly easy. Once I’m in the mode, I’m in the mode and workdays are simple and straightforward. Weekends and social activities are another matter, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it…
Today’s exercise: 50 minute run this morning before work. All is on target this week.