Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Prepare for Temptation

Let's face it: we all have moments of weakness when trying adhere to a new way of eating. Thankfully, weak moments don't happen to me very often anymore. I've been at this low-carb thing on and off for nearly ten years.

But I still have them. In fact, I had one just yesterday. That little voice in my head managed to convince me that I deserved to stray from my plan and I set about locating a treat in my kitchen.

It wasn't so long ago that I brought stuff like this into our home

But I was ready for this weak moment. You see, I have learned over the years that I must prepare for temptation. If you are following a low-carb plan, you may want to prepare yourself, too. Here's how:

1) This one is number 1 for a reason. Make your home as temptation-proof as possible. Don't bring items that tempt you into your home. If you have residual foods leftover from your carby, sugary days, donate them, give them away or toss them.

If you live with someone who likes to have sugary and high-carbohydrate foods in the house, ask him or her if you can move them all to one section of the kitchen, preferably out of your sight (like to the garage). Make a special place in your refrigerator and your pantry for "your" foods and make that special place visible and easy to access.

2) Eat before you leave the house for a social event. Whether you're attending a cocktail or dinner party, going out with friends to clubs or bars or even out to dinner when the location is unfamiliar to you, eat a little something sensible. You'll be less likely to eat those french fries your girlfriend ordered at the pub or pick at the bread basket at the Italian restaurant your in-laws chose for their wedding anniversary celebration if you've got half a roasted chicken breast and some fresh vegetables on board. 

3) Prepare ahead of time. Take 30 minutes every couple of days to wash and slice vegetables, making them easier to grab than those Cheez-Its your kids love to eat. Keep your home well-stocked with your favorite low-carb snacks like olives, nitrate-free deli meats, nuts, and cheeses. And always have a small stash of sugarless candy on hand for emergencies but please don't get into the habit of eating candy everyday.  

4) Know where to find low-carb meals when you're on the go. Last month, I wrote a post about staying the course when out and about in our high-carb world. You can read it here.  

5) Distract yourself. In a moment of weakness, try doing any or all of the following: 

~ Journal about it. What's bothering you? Are you bored? Upset? Happy? Stop and ask yourself. 
~ Go for a walk. 
~ Call a friend.
~ Make a pot of tea.
~ Wait it out. Chances are you won't be tempted and will have gone onto something else by the time ten minutes have passed. 

Weak moments will happen to you. We are only human after all. But taking the time to prepare for temptation will make them happen with less frequency and with less damage. For instance, my weak moment yesterday consisted of a container of frozen raspberries*, one too many string cheeses and a sugar-free cherry Jell-O with whipped cream. Not too bad! 


*Raspberries are okay on the Atkins diet once you have lost the bulk of your weight. I am not there yet, so I avoid fruit. My hope is that by summertime, fruits such as berries and melons will be part of my regimen. 


Anonymous said...

Great tips!

Stephanie said...

I always feel the need to have terrible stuff after a bad day at work which usually ends up being 3x weekly :(. I'm definitely going to try the tips you mentioned and get myself some nuts.

On a sugar note, i always eat red grapes when i'm low. Are any fruits allowed while i'm still trying to lose weight?

xo Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Great tips, Adrienne! I know that when off-limits foods are in the house (from well-meaning foods over the holidays), I actually get the shakes -- just like a sugar junkie. And it's so, so true about having a good mini-meal before you join non-low carber's for dinner.