Social expectations can be huge pitfalls to healthy eating. It feels wrong to skip the cake at a friend’s birthday or a cocktail when celebrating your co-worker’s promotion. How do we get out of these situations without being a wet blanket? We’ve got solutions for some common food temptations.
Temptation: Office Birthday
Solution: Bring your own mug of coffee or tea, which will keep your co-workers from offering you soda, plus hot liquids can help you feel full. It is probably obligatory to eat a few bits of that store-bought cake, but don’t feel bad asking for a thin slice or ditching your portion at an appropriate moment.
Temptation: Meeting a Friend at Starbucks
Solution: It’s easy for us criticize a company that offers drinks with as much sugar as a scoop of ice cream and lays out the baked goods as prominently as possible. Remember, as delicious as that frappuccino is, there are plenty of calorie-free options at any coffee shop. Order your coffee black with skim milk or get any unsweetened tea. If you want a little sugar, add it yourself so you’ll know just how much you’re consuming.
Temptation: You’re Starving, and Your Only Option Is Fast Food
Solution: You may be on a road trip, at the mall or simply in too much of a rush. As a rule, try to order the simplest burger or sandwich and skip the sauces. Also be sure to check out our handy guides to the healthiest menu choices at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway and Taco Bell.
Temptation: Happy Hour
Solution: There’s some evidence that a glass of red wine has health benefits, but it’s always important to keep in mind that alcohol is a form of calories. If you’re looking for a cocktail, order something with a low-calorie mixer, like a vodka tonic or a gin and tonic. If your friends go for a second round, stick to seltzer or water.
Temptation: Mid-Afternoon Hunger
Solution: There are many potential causes of that gnawing feeling about 3:30. It could be fatigue, a caffeine crash, or maybe you just ate too light a lunch. In any case, try drinking a glass of cold water before you hit up the vending machine for a candy bar. If that doesn’t do the trick, look for a snack that has some healthy carbs and maybe even a little fat. Consider fruit, almonds or cashews. Popcorn (without butter) is also a great way to satisfy a carb craving without packing in the calories.
February 25th, 2011