Walk around the block at work or at home. It takes about 15 minutes if you really move it like you’ve got somewhere to be.
Are you really busy, and when you get home you know life will be too chaotic? Walk around the block after work or take a quick break. Make it part of your lunch hour. Grab a co worker and make him or her do it too. Or strap an iSomething to your head and pop some tags or admit you knew he was trouble when he walked in or whatever. Walking will burn off steam and get your body ready for dinner.
Or go home and grab that dog and those kids and make them go around the block and find out about their day. (The dog will always say: “It was good! It was good! Wee! You’re home and we’re walking! Awesome!”)
Think of it as 15 minutes that will improve your mental state and leave your cells hungry. Which means you will respond to insulin better. Which means you will have lower cholesterol and lower risk of diabetes (or better glucose control if you already have diabetes). Walking daily: It’s a pretty good bargain for the time investment, I’d say.
Don’t skip breakfast.
I hate eating breakfast. I have a 0% fat greek yogurt (high in protein low in sugar) just about every day with a nice cup of tea. It makes me human. I highly recommend it.
200 calories will do ya, with another 150 or so at 10 am so your blood sugar doesn’t fall through the floor waiting on lunch. And obviously more if you’re not a short little middle aged woman such as myself!
Breakfast meeting? Egg white omelette, a bready item that is NOT a muffin, or half a muffin if it cannot be helped (and sometimes, let’s face it, it cannot be helped!), and fruit, though it always pains me just a little when I order not to say Potatoes! When possible, I poach a couple of breakfast potatoes off someone else’s plate (um, don’t do this at a meeting — but with the spouse, it’s on!). Keep it light. I don’t recommend a Grand Slam or anything that slams in the morning, particularly if you are already worried about over doing it.
In a couple of hours, there must be a snack! See below for some good options: 25_Healthy_Snacks_Kids_2012_Tearpad
Bring a container to work for free dessert food windfalls. Keep the container in a desk drawer.
I used to have a rule: If it’s fruit, go ahead and eat it. If it’s plain salad or veggies, without dressing, go ahead. If it’s anything else, it has to come home. Delicious brownies or cookies from that great bakery they got for the meeting even though all the executives say they’re off sugar for life, I’m talking to you.
If the treat is good enough to eat, it’s good enough to bring home later to have with a nice cup of tea after dinner instead of snorfeling it/them down in front of the computer. This will prevent you from having another dessert later on top of the one you ate at work, while still reaping the rewards of free and delicious dessert.
What about the kids and mate? There’s always someone with a candy dish on their desk. Poach a few for them and you’re good to go. All of it goes in the back seat, nowhere near your hands while you are driving. Not that I don’t trust you, but I’ve been there myself.
If the treat is just so-so? Don’t eat it at work or at home, because you are not a human garbage can!!
Eat less of one thing you normally eat but feel you probably shouldn’t.
If you go to the movies, get a small popcorn instead of a medium or a medium instead of the large you normally buy. You can pocket the quarter that makes up the difference — I know it seems like a bargain to get the bigger one. It isn’t in terms of your health. If you like candy at the movies, buy a small bag of candy from a store before attending, rather than a giant box. If you just can’t stand not “saving money” bring plastic bags to divide the candy among you and your friends, and likewise the popcorn. It’s only a bargain if you exit as healthy as you came in.
If you eat french fries, order a size smaller than the one you usually get. If you normally eat two doughnuts, just eat one. If you normally order a burger with two patties and 2 slices of cheese, and 2 slices of bacon, try it with just one of each. And if that is too much and makes your face look like a sad puppy just thinking about it, just take off ONE thing. Even that will help, really!
In place of the food you have given up, feed yourself something from the low-calorie category — like a piece of fruit (not dried, not juiced — the real 3-D McCoy). If you are eating fast food and trying to cut back, order a side salad and eat that ahead of the meal. I know it’s more expensive than the dollar burger. You’re totally worth it. Ditch the dressing or measure 1 tsp. onto a spoon and then add it. If that’s not palatable, ditch the salad altogether and get fresh apple — or bring your own.
Then think about the experience later in the day. Was it enough? Sometimes the answer will be an easy yes. If it’s a no — and you can judge this by honestly asking yourself if you felt deprived — then make adjustments. Will 1.5 doughnuts do the trick? If you can find the sweet spot, you might be able to shave off just enough to enjoy the food without giving it up altogether. Start with a bite less, if that’s what you can manage.
Don’t white-knuckle your way through it. If the only amount of that food that will do is the amount you normally consume — change something else!
Small change #3: Eat a meal without doing anything else at the same time. Don’t read. Don’t watch TV. Don’t play video games. Sit quietly and eat and pay attention — just for five minutes if you can’t manage more. See why kids eat just enough, then leave half on the plate so they can go play?
Small change #2: Store less healthy foods out of sight. When you come into your kitchen or dining room, you should not be able to spy chips, candy, cake, etc. Store them in the pantry, drawers, etc. Instead, place healthier choices — such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains (bread, not too fatty, not too sugary crackers or bars), etc. out on the counter or in the front of the fridge. You’re more likely to eat what you see first.
The other day I was thinking about the importance of small change. We like to think big, and I like that. But we make the mistake of thinking that big changes will get us there faster. That may be true of some things, but when you’re changing your diet and/or exercise and your health, you are trying to change your habits — and that takes time. Little things make a large impact over time, but they don’t challenge us so severely that we throw up our hands and go face down into a cake using one fork.
I think I may try suggesting one small change a day for as long as I can think of some little ones and see what happens.
If one doesn’t sound good, just wait and see if another tip feels right. Maybe try one a week, or just one of the suggestions one time. See how it feels.
If something works for you, feel free to comment!
Small change #1: Brush your teeth after dinner so you don’t come back to eat later. Don’t cheat. Act like a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Floss completely, then do a really good job — you know, like the day you’re going to the dentist and you take all that time to get it just right after 6 months of gummy bear consumption? Like that. When you feel like hitting the fridge you might find that you’re just too lazy to go back brush all over again.
You may also need less in the way of dentistry, leaving more money for new clothes, or a trip!