By Karrie Beck
This article is brought to you by: D&M Tree Services
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It happens to the best of us. The occasional binge where you savor a few too many calories. No matter how hard we try, it happens now and again. Whether it’s from a fabulous vacation, post-holiday party, or stress-induced fit, not to worry – these tips can help get you back on track and feeling better in no time!
- Don’t skip a meal.
- Plan ahead.
- Be kind to yourself.
First and foremost: Never skip a meal! Ever. Instead, force yourself to eat more high-volume foods throughout the day (every three hours); high-fiber foods = fruits, veggies, and beans.
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Second and furthermore: I plan my snacks and meals ahead of time. That fog that occurs following a sugar hiatus needs no extra help sabotaging your plans. At 11:00 PM the night before a re-start, we’re all invincible, we’re re-start rock stars to be exact. If unarmed and unprepared, by 11:00 AM the next morning you’ll be grabbing the easiest and quickest sure-to-be-failure food fix faster than you can say “FORGET THIS.” Be armed and ready. Plan and pack ahead. Water/lunch/snacks, etc…If you do, you might just make it to dinner.
Lastly and evermore: Be kind to yourself. Enjoy the memory of whatever it was that brought you to this place; a new destination restaurant, a great meal with a friend, or a piece of chocolate cake that even the strongest willpower in the world couldn’t fend off. Forgive yourself. Enjoying life trumps diet derailment any day! So, you had a few thousand extra calories…it’s over. I say, drink water and move on.
Here’s my plan of attack broken down and simply stated:
Breakfast: Glass of water first… then protein! I opt for natural peanut butter (without any added junk) served on a lite English muffin. I use half the PB I would normally use and if I have it on hand, I’ll swap the real stuff f for PB2-the powder peanut butter you mix with water. It actually tastes okay (thank you, Weight-Watchers for this great tip).
three hours later…
Snack: Glass of water first… then rice crackers, hummus, and celery. I eat this constantly. High-volume, salty, and the crackers come in a number of different flavors too. Tip: Only pack/eat a serving of each, and cut the celery on a diagonal – you’ll avoid that stringy texture (unless you’re into that kind of thing).
three hours later…
Lunch: Glass of water first… then a sandwich, a BIG one too! Consuming the bulk of my daily calories at this time during the day helps to get past that 3:00 afternoon dip. I load my sandwich with turkey and ham (two meats, you deserve it), cheese, lettuce, mustard (if you don’t like the yellow stuff try spreading avocado or hummus), tomato, cucumbers – load on the veggies! With that added weight, you’ll need a good bread to go the distance. I like Sarah Lee’s 45-calorie bread. It has great flavor and it’s not as wimpy as some of those other low-cal breads. I know you’re probably thinking, that bread’s a no-no. But seriously, if I’m going to succeed at this re-start, I need to eat what I like! Maybe by day ten I’ll try swapping my bread for a sweet potato, but just starting out again – no bread? Let’s be serious.
Three hours later…
Snack: Glass of water first… then the right combo: no combination at all! Eat a piece of fruit. Period. Food combinations can cause a multitude of problems and the science behind this line of thinking is fascinating. “Eat melon alone, or leave it alone, or your stomach will moan,” said Dr. Wayne Pickering. Basically, fruit doesn’t play nice with others. It needs to be consumed by itself. Especially melons. Eating fruit in conjunction with others things can cause digestive issues. Try it. You’ll see.
three hours later…
Dinner: Glass of water first… then high-volume spaghetti squash topped with tomato sauce. Meat, or meatless, your choice. Tomato sauce served over spaghetti squash is filling and satisfying.
three hours later…
Snack: You know what I’m going to say…but I’ll say it anyway, a glass of water first…then some kind of small treat, like a 1-ounce piece of dark chocolate, 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt, or if you’re like me and prefer the crunchy, salt option, try baked Cheetos (a serving size is ~40 pieces). These things seriously taste EXACTLY like the real deal.
That’s really all there is to it. If you’ve ever been through a re-start day, you know that the most important thing is to set your mind to it before you begin. Prayer helps. So does telling your thirteen year-old, “Mama might be a little grouchy tomorrow-go easy on her!” Holding yourself accountable for what you’re determined to do can make the difference. Especially at 4:30 in the afternoon, after a long day when what you really want to do is order a pizza and call it good. That tween of yours will certainly remind you what you’ve said you’re determined to do.
If you successfully make it through your intended meal plans for the day and managed to make it to your PM snack, go to bed after! According to Ruth M. Benca, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “…sleep deprivation has direct effects on eating behavior; sleep-deprived humans also show increased appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate, calorie-rich foods…mechanisms for these associations may be mediated in part by changes in hormones related to feeding.”
Sleep really is essential to overall good health. Give yourself the extra time to unwind and recharge to get up and do this all over again tomorrow. However, try and not think about day two until it arrives. Just get through that first day and you’ll feel so much better the second, third, and days beyond; it will all get much easier! Remember these wise words, “You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” Joyce Meyer
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References: Spiegel K, Tasali E, Penev P, Van Cauter E. Brief communication: Sleep curtailment in health young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin, and increased hunger and appetite. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:846-850. Fat For Fuel, Dr. Joseph Mercola
*The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.