Food excuses and how to beat them

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Behind every intention to lose weight or eat right, there always lurks an excuse. In order to resist “cracking” at the first temptation, find a balance in what food habits work for you and determine what is right for you. This involves a reappraisal, both psychological and physical, a review of one’s mindset, lifestyle and eating habits. Now’s the time to banish all excuses and get over setbacks standing in the way of achieving an ideal bodyweight for oneself.

Meal times must be pleasurable--Low fat cooking takes away the joy from enjoying meals

Learn to be creative when you prepare meals. Low fat cooking can be enjoyable if you apply your mind and make the food taste and look good.
For instance, bake, steam, grill or stir-fry foods instead of deep-frying them. Add herbs (basil, oregano, mint leaves) and spices (pepper, chili, garlic) to dishes and go easy on butter, oils and cream-based sauces. Trim off the skin and fat from the meats, so that they are more nutritious and heart-healthy.

Food is a comforter: it helps deal with stress

Food is often consumed to help deal with stress, depression and disappointment. But you need to realize that there are smarter ways of comforting yourself. Eating mindlessly will only add to stress because you then get into a habit of consuming unnecessary calories. Identify events and emotions that are most likely to prompt you to use food as a comforter. Once you recognize these, find other ways to deal with stress. Write a list of distracting activities - you could instead choose to meet a friend, read a book, hear music, exercise, shop, soak in a bubble bath or watch your favorite film. Plan in advance what to do and decide how to beat the blues successfully without adding extra calories.

Eating at restaurants implies putting on weight

When you eat out, make special requests to get what you want. For example, you can request for baked potatoes instead of French fries, honey and lemon dressing instead of mayonnaise, mustard instead of butter, salsa instead of creamy sauces, tandoori food instead of rich gravy dishes, roti instead of buttery naan, low fat cottage cheese instead of regular cheese.

Skipping meals compensates for the previous day’s overindulgence

You must eat regularly. Skipping meals just simply doesn’t work. Starving the body can, of course, be set off against any excesses from the previous meal. But this offset is illusory. Deprived of regular nourishment, the body gets in the habit of functioning to a minimum, slowing down its metabolism. When you feel you need to take a break after an overindulged meal, stick to eating light for the next meal. Cut back… but don’t cut out!

It is impossible to plan for hunger pangs

Sudden, overpowering hunger is one of the surest ways to eat more than what you need. When food craving grips, you tend to make a dash for the fridge or eat whatever you find accessible. More often than not, you end up eating things you regret, a piece of cake, cheese, chips or chocolate. Avoid giving in to temptation by planning ahead. Keep some ready-to-eat foods such as fruits, cut vegetables, sprouts, a sandwich or roasted savories, handy. Just make sure they are accessible when you need them.