If there is one thing that I can promise you, it’s that you are going to get hungry. Every day. Many times a day. Over and over again. And, while daily hunger isn’t exactly news, many of us act truly surprised when our stomach starts to grumble. Half the time, we even pretend that it will go away because we are just too busy to deal with it.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it grows until it completely takes over – your head starts pounding, you can’t see straight and you’re snapping at everyone around you.
Let’s face it, when you’re that hungry, you don’t crave a spinach salad with lean protein. You want something big and crunchy or sweet and gooey – and fast. At that point, it’s not an issue of willpower. It’s a battle between you and your hunger… and hunger will always win. So, instead of waiting around for your hunger to take over, take back control. Plan for your hunger instead of reacting to it!
Now that we’ve established that you are going to need to eat every day, why not take a few minutes and plan out your meals for the week? Ask yourself questions like “What do I have going on at work this week?” “Will I be chauffeuring the kids around?” “Do I have any dinners planned with friends?”
Based on this information, decide what you will eat for the week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and make your grocery list. It’s important to note that the meals need to be realistic. Are you really going to eat steamed veggies and rice every day for lunch? The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of money at the grocery store on food that you aren’t going to eat.
To make eating nutritiously a little easier, use the groceries to make a large batch of your favorite meals and freeze single-serving portions so you always have healthy food on hand. If the meal is something you’ll look forward to, it will be even easier to forgo the drive through and go straight home.
Check out this video of Salada’s Vegetable Soup with a Green Tea Twist. It’s an easy-to-make recipe with common ingredients, and the green tea gives it an all-natural boost.
You can apply the same “big batch” philosophy to beverages. Sometimes we get sick of just plain water and want a drink with a little flavor. Unfortunately, our only alternatives are often sugary sodas, bottled teas and juices. This week, try brewing a big pitcher of zero-calorie iced tea to have ready each time you’re thirsty for a little flavor. To help keep you away from the office soda machine, pour your iced tea into a reusable bottle with ice and stash it in your office fridge to sip throughout the day. If you’re looking to add a little more flavor, I like Salada’s Pomegranate Berry Green Tea.
All of us are going to indulge from time to time. However, there’s a big difference between enjoying a piece of birthday cake and downing a full bag of chocolate candy from the vending machine because you skipped lunch. If you take a little time at the beginning of each week to create a meal plan and shop for groceries, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. You can take back control from your hunger and feel great doing it!
And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.