Sticking to a good diet can be hard. Very hard. I find the temptation of treats and snacks particularly hard to resist. There is nothing I like more than indulging in chocolate, peanuts, crisps, biscuits, or the odd piece of rich cheesecake, particularly when I’m tired or bored in the evening.
And will power alone won’t take you very far – if you are completely cutting out sugary and fatty treats then you will likely fail after a couple of weeks relying upon will power alone. We also have a Tesco garage/mini-supermarket just around the corner that mainly sells snack food! It only takes two minutes to nip over there and stock up on crisps and chocolate – that’s a lot of will power required for a long time.
And working from home makes it doubly difficult. Every time I go to the kitchen it’s all there – all the food we have in the house! So if your work is tough or you’re having a bad day, a nice little snack can cheer you up, give you a little “hit” of positivity!
So, these are the techniques I’ve developed to help me stay on the right track:
1. Don’t have it in the cupboard
If you can, start by clearing out any foods you don’t want to eat, don’t have the biscuits, chocolate, or crisps in the house. At least then you have to make an effort to go out and buy them. You can’t always do this if your family or house-mates are not cutting out all of these foods. But if you can, clear it all out.
2. Eat good meals
Another benefit of working from home is that I can cook a proper meal for lunch. I usually have a large salad or stir fry with lots of vegetables and some fish or meat. It makes eating a pleasant experience that I look forward to, and all those vegs keep me full in the afternoon.
In the evening I’ll do the same, try to eat healthily, and have a proper cooked meal. Filling up on good food can help keep the snacking urges at bay.
3. Have a good supply of healthier snacks
This has been key for me. Even though I eat good meals twice a day I do still get hungry in between. And this is very likely to be the case if you are trying to lose weight, as you have to take in less calories than you use. I find that if I’m hungry before I eat my main meals then I’m usually on the right track for weight loss.
Later in the evening is usually the most difficult time for me. This is when I get tired and bored and start to crave a little something sweet. This is when I rely upon having a range of more healthy snacks in the cupboard.
I usually have a good collection of Nakd bars (these are just “smooshed” together fruit with no added sugar or other bad stuff), fruit – a good range – apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, and strawberries, and greek yoghurt (to add the berries to).
So with these snacks I can usually find a decent enough sugary hit. Even if I eat a Nakd bar, an orange, and a small bowl of greek yoghurt sweetened with a handful of blueberries it’s better than my previous evening snack outs of a bar of chocolate and a large packet of crisps.
It’s about stopping those cravings just enough to see you through. And yes the fruit and Naked bars do have a high carb content so they won’t suit everyone’s diet, but they are also high in fibre and vitamins and they are just wholefood fruit, and the greek yoghurt is unsweetened.
These are my preferred healthier snacks to see me through and they won’t suit everyone, you’ll have your own preferences. But having better alternatives around to see you through those more tricky times has worked well for me to help stay on a better diet and avoid snacking out on hundreds of empty calories.