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5 Tips on how to Avoid Tempting Treats
We’ve all been there: at a party, at a co-worker’s birthday celebration in the break room, at restaurants, and even up and down the grocery aisles.  Tempting treats can not only sabotage weight loss/maintenance goals, they can wreak havoc on moods, hormone balance, blood sugar balance, and your immune system.  It’s really not a matter of willpower or strength vs. weakness on your part, it is a biochemical response to highly addictive (therefore, seductive!) ingredients in many sweet, salty, and overly processed but always tasty and tempting treats.  Most name-brand-mass food manufacturers use the least expensive ingredients in packaged food. They also hide sugar, fat, and additives in various forms, which may make our taste buds happy temporarily, but ultimately affect our “bottom” line and tummies in an undesirable way. These tempting treats drastically affect our blood sugar balance and body’s ability to regulate hormones, which affect our brain’s ability to function optimally, resulting in fatigue, irritability, inability to make clear decisions, and memory problems.
Here are 5 tips to consider to keep control and balance when tempting treats come your way:
1. Do not attend a social function, or grocery shop on an empty stomach.  Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, and eat a small serving of healthy protein (i.e., hard-boiled egg, 1/4 cup raw nuts, a protein shake) at least 30 minutes before you go to an event or the store. If protein isn’t handy, eat an apple or orange, or some raw veggies. Fiber and protein stave cravings, and are filling and nutrient-dense to the body, so you won’t biochemically be as crazed for sugar/salt.
2. Stay hydrated.   Many times our “hunger pains” are actually our body’s way of telling us we are thirsty, and possibly dehydrated. Water is by far the best way to hydrate. It also naturally energizes the body, and it fills us, while helping absorb good nutrients from our food and eliminate toxins from the body. If you’re at a social function, and you know that alcohol may sway you to the tempting treats, stay away from alcohol or make sure you have one full glass of water between cocktails. Club soda or sparkling water with a “splash” of fresh juice or squeezed lemon/lime can really provide satiety and a means of “clean control” at a social gathering, staving the munchies and over-drinking.  Although green tea is not hydrating, this is also a nice energizing and anti-oxidant-filled beverage to have instead of munching on unnecessary treats.
3. Have shopping boundaries.  When going to the grocery store, shop the outer perimeters (produce, meat) vs. the inner aisles and bakery section. If you have a special occasion or company to buy for that you think warrants the extra “treats”, i.e., chips/dip, cakes, cookies, etc., then have a plan before you get to the store. Budget a small amount of money and quantities of those things you’ll buy “especially for them” and then leave the aisle. Put it in a special part of your pantry that you’ll access only when providing those items for them, so they are not out in the open on a counter or platter. Make a grocery list with only one-two maximum “treats”, and stick strictly to that list. Eventually make a list with no treats so those foods are not even in the home to tempt you.
4. Fresh vs. Fad.  We eat what is available and convenient. So make fresh available! Food that is fresh, from the earth, and prepared at home, will always win over the chain restaurant dishes, fast food, and food in wrappers/cans/packages. Challenge yourself to surround your workspace and home with easy-access fresh food. Raw carrots, avocado, fruit, sliced zucchini/cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, nuts, cold chicken leftover from the night before… all in place of the 100-calorie pack pretzels, chex mix, popcorn, cookies, etc.  If you eat a cup of veggies dipped in hummus or guacamole or salsa, you’ll be more satisfied than eating a cup of corn chips, cheese puffs, or candy. The more fresh you eat vs. fad/fat, you’ll start to want that and shift your habits to healthier ones. Experiment and have fun with being creative with fresher foods–you’ll be surprised how easy and quick they can be.
5. Slow down and “think before you eat”.  Our culture is all about faster, better, and more….  Slow down when it comes to food. What this means is, don’t make your meals or snacks an after-thought—something you do “on the go”, “whatever you can grab”.  If you can make a conscious (not complicated) gameplan each day or week about the kinds of foods you will eat, and stick to the plan, you will be armed and in control. Have nuts or an apple in your purse or car, so when you’re commuting to/from activities, the drive-thru window doesn’t have to be your only option. Pack your lunch, and then set aside one day a week to eat out if that’s what you like to do, but know what you’re ordering before you get there. Think to yourself before just sub-consciously ordering a sandwich, fries, or something from the vending machine: “am I hungry, do I want this, is it going to serve me?” Stop and consider “why” you’re grabbing something. Lastly, once you are sticking to your plan and slowing down enough to “think before you eat”, chew your food slowly and deliberately. Savor every bite. When you eat slower, you won’t “need” as much food to be satisfied.

Eating habits is considered as a learned behavior. This means that training your kids to eat healthier foods early in life will help them to stick to a healthy diet through their adult years.

Today, more and more people rely on fast foods and instant meals just because it is faster and easier than cooking meals from scratch. Being busy is not enough reason to sacrifice your child’s nutrition. Teach your kids to eat healthier meals with the use of the following tips.

Ways To Get The Kids To Eat Healthier Foods

Make meal time special

Take time to savor your meals and treat each meal time as a special time to sit down and talk to each member of your family. We understand that a lot of people may find it difficult to go home in time for dinner, but it’s possible.

Be a good role model

Most parents would complain about their kids refusing to eat healthy meals, but the real problem usually lies on the parents, not the kids.

A lot of people are so accustomed in buying prepared foods or eating out that they no longer know what healthy meals are anymore. You can’t stock the pantry with chips, soda and cereals and expect the kids to eat their veggies. You have to be a good role model first and be sure to practice what you preach.

Be flexible

As much as we would like the kids to eat healthier meals, allowing them to enjoy treats like doughnuts or chips once a week won’t do any damage. Moderation is the key. You can allow the kids to eat a cookie everyday but make sure to balance it with healthy foods.

Don’t use foods as bribe, reward or punishment

There is nothing wrong with taking kids out for ice cream after their soccer game, but make sure not to use it as an incentive for playing a good game. On the other hand, don’t punish your child for not eating their food. This may result to a negative relationship between the child and food, not to mention your relationship with your child.