It’s 8:00PM on a weeknight, usually I’m cleaning up dinner after getting home from working my last client at 7:00PM. That was before the mass shutdown, now at 8:00PM dinner was done two hours ago and I’m hunting around for a snack or fighting off the urge to have a beer. Does this sound familiar?
It takes just over 60 days to cement in a new habit, good or bad. The shutdown is quickly reaching that magical number. Are you like me and sifting through the pantry and fridge at odd times during this zombie apocalypse? The answer is probably yes, you are. And how do you stop yourself?
Being a personal trainer also means being a billboard for healthy, active lifestyle. Some people think personal trainers aren’t human and can say no to sweets, salty treats, or booze without a problem. We don’t workout much and just appear looking like Greek gods. Sadly, we are human also and experience the same emotions and require the same amount of hard work to reach and maintain our fitness levels. Struggling through these odd couple months to not become a drunken sloth is difficult. I like having cocktails much as the next guy and sneaking in chips or other unhealthy foods. The accountability isn’t there with seeing clients regularly and keeping a set schedule. Plus, physical activity levels are not where they used to be. All of these ingredients can make a fit person fluffy!
How do we fight the fluffy? The origins begin the same way they did before the shutdown, at the grocery store. What you buy you eat, simple enough. The problem is a mindset of using this time like it’s a weeklong vacation. Sure, you buy more sweets and unhealthy snacks because it’s only a week and you want to enjoy life without the regular hassles. Unfortunately, this vacation is dragging into months and your shopping habits are still in vacation mode. IF you purchase regular items on a regular schedule, there aren’t poor choices to make when you rummage around.
Weight gain and weight loss are still math equations, yes math is hard. To do the math on proteins, carbs, and fats, click my website for more info. You can eat to much of healthy foods because they have calories, just more nutrient dense than a bag of chips and cookies. Sometimes when we’re hungry, it really is dehydration and we need a few glasses of water. Drinking a few glasses of water gives you a fuller feeling without the calories. Try that strategy when you’re bored and looking for snacks. Buy some flavored mineral water to give you a different taste and carbonation like a soda. These also have zero or little calories and do the job well, I know from experience!
The best strategy for later at night snacking is going to bed. Gastric emptying is a fact and happens 3-4 hours after a meal. If it’s 10:00PM and you ate dinner at 6:30PM, getting hungry again is natural. Likely you don’t have any specific reason to be awake longer and are watching shows that will be around for decades to come or reading a book that will be on your nightstand in the morning. Save yourself the hassle and boredom, turn off the lights and go to sleep! Wake up tomorrow hungry and eat breakfast. Eat a bigger breakfast if you like because you have all day to use those calories. Taper off the portion sizes as the day goes on.
The last strategy is forgiveness. When you have a bad eating day, no problem. It’s just ONE day not a lifetime! Make sure one day doesn’t lead into multiple days, that’s where you get in trouble. Forgive yourself for one day and make tomorrow normal, not excessive in making up for past sins. The body evens out, I promise. It’s easy to let our minds run away with crazy thoughts. Reign it in and dedicate to change tomorrow, then repeat the process. 20 pounds isn’t gained or lost in a day!