You’re a well fed servant. It’s not a bad life, but most of the time, you’re doing what food tells you to do. Tell me if it sounds familiar: someone is having a party, and all around the house are indulgent snacks. They’re everywhere. You know you don’t “want” them. You know the consequences—you’ll feel fat, tired, guilty. Then you feel the chains tighten; they pull you in. It’s overwhelming and once again, food is your master.
There is a way out. It’s a way about being mindful of your actions, recognizing triggers, and creating a new “gut” reaction to this type of reality. Rather than digging in, you can automate your response to be something infinitely healthier. You can wield the whip. You can become the master.
Parties are tough, especially the “potluck.” Everyone brings something for everyone to enjoy. Most of the time it’s a “fave” and often “healthy” is not a consideration. Nobody considers the collective madness. What’s more, just “snacking” is misleading and tricky. “Just a few bites” here and there won’t hurt but the reality is that those “few bites” can add up to a lot of calories, sugar and other things that make a mess of your health and well-being.
Motivation and willpower have less to do with it than you think. The real trick is to be aware of your own mind and design behaviors around it to prevent binging on snacks.
Here’s a list of tips to help you the next time you feel the chains beginning to tighten:
Be More Mindful—Treat Your Snack Like a Meal
Snack mode can be a disaster for even the most disciplined eaters. It implies eating without thinking. By changing the behaviors—setting aside a time to eat, consciously sitting down to eat and avoiding mindlessness, you increase your accountability—to yourself and others. This applies inside and outside of parties.
Control Your Environment
Everyone has that one treat that’s irresistible—you don’t have to become a slave to the chains and whips of junk food! If your kryptonite makes an appearance at the party you’re attending—avoid it. Eat the healthiest thing you can right away—almost every party has cut veggies. Fill up. And tell a friend you’re trying to go light on the snacks and partner up. Be accountable to another person.
Eat Before You Go to a Party
Eating a healthy snack before you go to a party or event can curb your appetite for the whole evening. Better yet, plan your entire day right and you’ll be in good shape before you even set foot in the door. Bringing sugar-free mints to the party can help curb your appetite once you’re there—refreshing your palate can suppress additional noshing.
Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
Nobody is perfect all the time. And sometimes you actually want a treat. The fact that you’re reading this means you’ve already taken step in the right direction—you’re willing to make some changes. Progress is key and you can’t make healthy progress if you’re down on yourself about not being perfect. Even if you have a bite, remember, last time you were there, you probably had five.
Breaking free from the chains of unhealthy snacking is as easy as being more mindful of your eating. Playing the Whole Life Challenge, opening your eyes to your unconscious actions, and making a few small changes to existing habits can result in long-term, positive impacts down the line.
Being accountable, making changes where you can, having a backup plan and staying positive can keep you on track and reaching your goals in a simple, realistic way.