You’re trying to lose weight, but you still deserve a social life, so you start your night out with a plan — because fail to plan, plan to fail, right? You’ll have a low calorie cocktail or two, you’ll drink lots of water in between, and you’ll steer clear of those the appetizers you know your friends will order.
But before you know it, you’re having a great time and that plan goes right out the window. While your night is amazing, the next morning: not so much. You wake up feeling bloated, sick and remorseful. What the heck happened?
Drunk munchies are real. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people eat more calories and make unhealthier food decisions on days that they drink. Read: fried, greasy foods consumed well after dinner time.
It makes sense because, as we all know, alcohol lowers your inhibitions. We’ve all woken up thinking, “why did I do/say/eat/text that?”. It’s because alcohol causes us to focus on immediate gratification (yummy, fatty food) rather than long term goals (yummy, flat tummy). (more…)
After conquering obesity, losing over 100 lbs, and getting in the best shape of my life, I have learned that when I am taken out of my regular daily routine and environment I can easily fall prey to old eating habits. One of the most challenging situations for me has been while traveling.
This reminds me of a particular airplane trip that I took a few years ago. One that I would soon like to forget if it weren’t for the lessons that I learned.
As I prepared to leave on a three-day business trip, I made sure I had everything I needed. Or so I thought. I had the right clothing, toothbrush, shaving blades, deodorant, and all the necessary toiletries. (I even packed extra undies.) What I didn’t prepare for were my meals that I was so used to having ready during my regular weekly routine at home.
My first challenge was when my flight was delayed and I found myself at the airport for an unexpected extra 2 hours. I was starving. (Well, not literally, but I WAS very hungry.) Since I didn’t want to sit at a restaurant and order grilled chicken and veggies (which would have been the best choice), I grabbed what I THOUGHT was the next best choice. A prepackaged turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Healthy, right? WRONG! I later learned that this sandwich had more fat, more sugar and more carbs than if I had ordered a burger a a sit down restaurant. Big oops.
My next challenge was while in the air. I don’t know about you, but I get especially hungry while traveling. Perhaps its not “real” hunger, but it seems these instances awakens my inner “snack monster”. So, I snacked. The problem was that the only snacks available were potato chips, cookies, or honey roasted peanuts. So of course I chose the peanuts—they were obviously the best option, right? Probably, but the issue was that one little bag (ok FOUR little bags) of peanuts didn’t satisfy me. So since eating FIVE bags of peanuts would have been excessive, I had a bag of chips instead. After all that saltiness I got a major sweet craving, which made me reach for a bag of chocolate chip cookies! Talk about a binge!
Luckily, after this binge I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were ready to land. Thank goodness for that or I may have been charged an extra fee for excessive snacking on-board!
The good thing about this trip was that it forced me to think and prepare before embarking on any trip, whether on a plane, a road trip with the kids, or even my honeymoon cruise which I cannot wait to go on!
Here are some rules I learned from this experience, which you too can use to avoid a travel binge:
1) Calculate how many hours you will be traveling and pack adequate meals for that time frame. For instance, pack a healthy sandwich or two that you can take with you on a plane, train, or automobile. By eating real meals you’ll reduce your in-between meal cravings. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
I generally practice what I preach: My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, pretty much all my grains are whole, fish is my primary high-protein food… you get the picture. Fortunately, I like these healthy foods, so none of this is a sacrifice, but I also like some very fattening and/or unhealthy foods—and I’m not willing to give them up.
How can you have your cake and stay trim, too? Here’s how I do it. Feel free to use these tricks or tweak them so that you can come up with your own creative ways to enjoy less-than-stellar fare without packing on pounds.
Just remember one ground rule: Your diet should be nutritious and you should stick to at a calorie level that keeps you at a healthy weight. (Of course, getting regular exercise helps a lot.) Once you’ve nailed that—at least most of the time—you should be able to use my indulging tips!
I’ve often joked that the only reason baked chips are listed as healthier than their traditional counterparts is because you get less product per bag. Apparently, my jokes weren’t too far from the truth.
We’ve discovered that Baked Cheetos in particular actually have 70 more calories than their crunchy counterparts. It’s an excellent example of how “positive” branding can make a consumer assume a product is healthy, even when it isn’t.
This is what’s known as a health halo. It’s the perception that one thing is healthy or has healthy qualities because something with similar qualities is healthy. Using the Cheetos example; we know baked foods are usually healthier than fried foods, so when consumers see the word “baked” on a label, they assume the product is better for them.
Healthy Surprise is a company that ships out gluten-free, vegan, and raw snacks to the door steps of their subscribers. Founder Joe Winke stumbled upon the idea of sending healthy snacks to people after a friend sent him healthy food in the mail for his birthday. Who knew that making an assortment of healthy snacks and putting them in boxes would be a hit?
The snacks range from nuts to granola bars and cookies. You can find them in larger grocery stores or at your local health food store, and certainly online.
Joe and other “snackologists” try all of the snack items before they are placed in the boxes. Since people are particularly fond of kale, Healthy Surprise tries to send kale snacks every month in the boxes, but the rotation of different snack items changes monthly because they want subscribers to receive a healthy surprise each month! (more…)