After writing down what you eat and drink for a week, use these tips to help you keep sweets at bay. These are tips from a nutrition exchange newsletter combined with my own thoughts on what works for me.
Keep Your Tank Fueled
Eat three regular meals a day, plus healthy snacks. Aim to eat at least every four to five hours before a sugar craving sneaks up on you. I actually seem to be hungry every three hours or so and tend to eat small meals or snacks throughout the day. But I am also very active throughout the day which keeps my metabolism on the higher side. So, in essence, I am listening to my body to tell me when it's hungry. Except for breakfast, in my opinion, this is a great rule of thumb...eat when you're hungry and don't eat until you feel full. If you have a large appetite, I suggest gradually consuming smaller portions until you become satisfied with what is considered a healthy amount of food. I say, eat when you're hungry except for breakfast, because many of us aren't particularly hungry in the morning, myself included. But I know if I don't eat something light, I will be famished in about 45 minutes after leaving my home, just as I'm starting a session with a client. At this point, I will have been "fasting" since dinner the night before. And if I can't eat as soon as I get hungry, I always get a "hunger headache" and have low energy. That's not good for me or my clients!
Eat Both Protein and Carbs at Every Sitting
This helps slow down digestion so you will feel full longer and maintain a more steady blood sugar level. For example, eat cereal (carb) with milk (protein); fish (protein) with vegetables (carb); rice (carb) with beans (protein). Try to avoid eating single foods.
These snacks provide carbs and protein:
Apple with cheese or a handful of nuts (besides 'low-fat' cheese, hard cheeses are lower in fat than creamy ones)
Hard-boiled egg with a piece of fruit
Hummus on whole wheat pita bread
Peanut butter/Almond butter on whole grain crackers
Soy nuts, sunflower seeds and dried fruit trail mix
Yum! I'll talk more next time about which foods in particular that I look for and which ones I try to avoid, plus some tips that help me do that. Happy eating!