Taking Charge in Tough Situations

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on October 29, 2005 · 0 comments

All dieters encounter situations that test their resolve. But you can eliminate or find a way around trouble spots.

Whenever I fight with my husband, I bury my sorrow in bag of potato chips. It destroys all my dieting efforts. Any suggestions?

Fights with people we love are tough to deal with, and often we bury our emotions in food. Though we don’t suggest overeating in response to an emotionally tough time, if you find yourself in that spot, pretzels or popcorn are less calorie dense.

If it’s too late and you’ve already eaten the chips, let’s do the math. A 6-ounce bag of potato chips has 900 calories. To use up the extra calories, cut 200 calories a day from your eating plan for the next 3 days, and add 10 to 20 minutes of extra activity each day. This will compensate for the “oops!”.

Even after I’m full, I often have an overwhelming urge to keep chewing. Why?

Eating is one of the most basic pleasurable experiences. You simply don’t want to stop the fun. But, you are able to recognize you’re full, which is great. To satisfy the urge to keep chewing, try a piece of gum, Or, sip on a large glass of flavored water and chopped ice. Ice has crunch without calories, and cold blunts taste. Both may help subdue the urge to chew.

Whenever I go to the bakery I wind up buying and eating something I shouldn’t. How do I control this?

Stay out of the bakery. Sounds simple, but you may be using those trips to sabotage yourself. It happens more often then you may realize. People fear success – in this case, weight loss — much more than failure. Push that scared feeling aside and stay on track. You deserve to be slimmer and fitter.

Or, the bakery may be the place your grandfather took you for a special treat. If the bakery trip is connected to loving feelings from your past, you need to re-script your memory. The best part of the trip to the bakery was the love you felt from your grandfather. The eclair he bought for you didn’t love you. Separating food and love is a delicate maneuver.

Our family is dealing with some serious problems at the moment. How can I stick with my diet plan?

Everyone’s life gets complicated now and then. If you wait for life to be calm before you try to lose weight, you might be waiting a long time. Real life is rarely calm!

You can, however, cut yourself some slack. Instead of worrying about losing weight right now, concentrate, on eating well and staying active. You may lose more slowly or you may stay where you are, but you won’t backslide and put on extra pounds.

Sometimes when life is chaotic, an eating plan can add structure to life in general. Try it.

A large part of how you interact with food has to do with your background and emotions. When you make an effort to modify your behavior toward food, you do two things: You stop eating habits that caused you to gain weight, and you begin to identify your own “personal triggers” to overeating.

Everyone resists change, and everyone underestimates their ability to change.

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