Friday, May 24, 2013

Long Weekends = Big-time Triggers. Here's how to stay on track!

Holiday weekends can be major trigger times for emotional and distracted eating. I used to spend three-day weekends in a no-man's-land of food, not sure where my structure was and how to keep that wayward Monday from turning the whole week into a mish-mash of bad decisions.

Here are a few tips that have always helped me stay focused: 

1. Wear a bracelet or a watch to which you can assign magical protective powers. When you reach out for food you don't really want or need, you'll see it and remember your goal. It just might be enough to keep your hands by your side. Or in your pockets. Or in someone else's. Or wherever they need to be to NOT be filled with food.

2. Become the party historian and stay busy with a camera. It takes two hands to take a picture (at least a good one) so keeping your hands full with photography duties is a great way to avoid standing around with a plate! Plus, you'll capture some great memories as well.

3. Drink lots and lots of water. Like, a gallon. Seriously! Get a water bottle, assign magical powers to it (I hereby decree that this water bottle will protect me from potato salad, cheese and crackers, and the third beer!) and then fill 'er up. The water will do wonders for your body since most of us walk around dehydrated anyway, and you'll quench at least some of your appetite as well.

4. Use a mantra. Your brain is the biggest fitness tool you have, and mantras are incredibly powerful when used correctly. Some popular ones are, "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels," or "I am worth it," or "I deserve better." A mantra should be personal and meaningful, so think of something that will actually help you stop mindless munching. Don't worry if it sounds stupid, you don't need to tell it to anyone else!

Remember, the goal of these tips is not to prevent you from eating, but rather to keep you eating healthfully, which means eating healthy food in appropriate portions. So if you're going to a friend's house, bring something you can eat without stress. If you're hosting a party, use your power for good and not evil. You know your limits. Don't tempt yourself unless you want to wreck yourself.

Have a great weekend, and a great Monday! Get out there and get healthy, even on a weekend.

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