It’s bikini season yet again, which means we’re all looking to start eating a little bit healthier. Who else can relate to this: You tell yourself you’re going to start eating healthier, and the second you meet up with friends (who aren’t on the “summer diet”) and they are chowing down on the foods that you’re craving the most, you quit.
Yep! We’ve all been there, done that. When the people you spend the most time with aren’t concerned with watching what they’re eating, it can make it a lot easier to go down the rabbit hole of unhealthy eating yourself, so how can you prevent it?
1. Pick up food from different restaurants
Sometimes, agreeing on a place to pick up food isn’t realistic. If your friend or significant other wants to get burgers and fries but you want an açaí bowl, there isn’t a whole lot of room for compromise. Making two stops can ensure that both people are happy and that nobody is left feeling guilty for what they ate, and the extra time spent ordering is well worth it. I’ve been this girl and honestly I was way more happy with my meal choice and felt healthier after than just agreeing to eat at place I know I would cheat at.
2. Make different meals with similar ingredients
This is Nick and I almost every time we cook at home. The problem of eating unhealthy gets more difficult when someone you’re cooking for (or who’s cooking for you) doesn’t have the same preferences in food. Rather than cooking completely different meals, you can opt for different variations of foods with the same ingredients. For example, I will make chicken, salmon, or whatever protein Nick & I can both decide on, then we just prepare it how we want. Last week when we made salmon, Nick had his in a butter garlic sauce and had a pasta salad side dish. Where as I wanted something a little lighter, so I made salmon tacos with fresh cucumber slaw. Same ingredients - 2 different meals.
3. Keep unhealthy foods in a location you don’t use frequently
When the person you’re living with keeps food in the kitchen that you’re trying to avoid, constantly opening a cabinet to see exactly what you’re craving can make it impossible to resist. Rather than keeping those foods in a location that you’re constantly checking, having them kept in a different, less-frequented spot can help avoid the issue. I do use this trick every time I get back from the food store. All the “snacks” and such that Nick wants that I know I will catch myself eating way to much of, I put it in a bin on top of the refrigerator. That way I can’t reach it (I’m 5’1) let alone see up there and Nick has all of his sweet treats in one spot! It works like a charm!
4. Prep the fresh veggies & fruit you buy
This tip has helped me so much! When I would go to the store and stock up on all my favorite produce, I would have such a high hopes of all the delicious things I would make with it. Then a week later it would all be wilting in my fridge. PRO TIP: As soon as you come home from the food store chop it all up and put it in tupperware. Trust me. You will be more willing to eat a bowl of fruit in the morning when all you have to do is dump it in a bowl. It does take some time, but you will thank yourself later!
5. Keep healthy snacks in your bag
If you’re in the car with someone that’s going through a drive-thru, it’s nearly impossible to resist mooching a few fries. If you keep tasty, healthier snacks in your bag, you can still snack on something when you need to eat something, it just won’t break your healthy habits. I love to pack kind bars or protein bars in my bag just for everyday grab and go. If i know specifically I’m going to grab for that snack within a couple hours I will pack an apple or banana. While the Wendy’s drive thru sounds tempting, snacking on something small with actually curb the craving and make you feel much better.
6. Treat yourself once in a while
Girl, if you want that burger, fries, and a beer… you order it! Nobody can stick to healthy eating all the time. Treating yourself and indulging once in a while can make your every day choices a little easier. If friends are getting ice cream or stopping and getting tacos after work, sometimes saying yes is exactly what you need. Those one or two cheat meals are not going to make a difference. It’s when you keep having cheat meals that it becomes a problem. It’s all about balance!