So most of you saw that post the other day where I lost my mind and binged on chili. Let me be clear that chili is not the only thing I’ve binged on before. You name it, I’ll eat it. What’s most important when dieting is to learn what triggers you and make a plan to combat it. In business we do it all the time; we look at competitive threats and make plans to get around them. Same concept here.
To be honest, a lot of my binges happen after drinking. When we drink our inhibitions go down, and desire to eat like crap go up. There’s also a lot of scienc-ey stuff involved here, but we’re not going to get into that. If I have two glasses of wine, by the second I’m already scheming about who will drive me to get tacos. So really, what causes you to binge? Think hard. Is it having a few cocktails? Is it stress? Boredom?
I’m also notorious for what I like to call “the ambien effect.” Remember those stories about people who took ambien and would literally drive places not knowing they were going? I do the same thing with food/stress. Sometimes I’ll be eating and not even know it! I’ll be on a conference call and realize I’m halfway through a bag of chips. When I started my competition prep, I really had to learn what made me tick. Nothing will make you face down demons like a bikini competition.
Remember that diets are made up of small changes. My old boss used to say that life is much like a compass, you can change a few degrees and end up in an entirely different place. Take this approach. Take small, gradual changes and you will soon be in an entirely different body!
Here are a few strategies you can take to address binging:
*If you’re stressed at home: Keep healthy snacks nearby. If you crave sweets, swap out the sugary treats for sliced apples or fruit with fat free whipped cream on top. You can also make bomb smoothies with vanilla protein powder and fruits. If you crave salt, try zucchini chips with popcorn seasoning on them. Make your body think it’s getting a treat.
*If you’re drinking: Make sure you’ve eaten before you go out. Eat plenty of fibrous foods (veggies with chicken for example) and drink water in between drinks. Really know your limits and hold yourself accountable. Try to avoid sugary drinks, and if you must drink, stick to a vodka soda or red wine. Beer is a surefire way to bloat.
*If you’re hungover: So you didn’t listen to the above? I get it. The important thing about this is not to give into the little demon that’s telling you to order a Papa John’s Pizza RIGHT MEOW. In fact, a lot of bodybuilders believe it’s not necessarily alcohol that hurts diets, but what people do during/after. Swap out the pizza for toast and egg whites AND HYDRATE. Thank me later.
*If you’re bored: Anyone else a boredom snacker? I seriously love snacking while I watch TV. Swap out chips and popcorn for baked cauliflower. Make zuch. chips! The important thing is to measure things and put them in a bowl. A bag of chips is a recipe for disaster in our house.
*If you’re strapped for time: This is my all time screw up. I think I am going to an hour long meeting and end up out all day. This is a surefire guarantee I’m driving through Chick-fil-a. Keep snacks on you. Seriously, and not like sugar loaded Clif bars. Some of my favorite snacks are Quest Bars, Ostrim Jerky, or a Protein Shake. Even if you’re going to a short meeting, pack something in your purse.
Look, these are just a few triggers that I’ve had to combat in this long process we call dieting. You might screw up, but the important thing is to get back on track. Don’t keep pushing it until tomorrow. Learn from your mistakes, drink water, and lift heavy. Got any other strategies? Drop them below!