But everything is better in moderation—especially when you’re putting healthy choices on the back burner to make room for your happy place. And since we’re well aware that moderation is always the goal, but rarely the outcome, we threw together a few suggestions to help keep you on the straight-and-narrow during and after work.
1. Anticipate your cravings.
If you know that you tend to get a little snack-y maybe a third of the way or halfway through your shift, don’t continue to fight a losing battle against your cravings (see likely outcome below):
Instead, arm yourself with equally delicious but not-so-last-minute substitutes. We even have a few ideas on hand for you to have on hand later:
- If those vending-machine candy bars are regularly calling your name, stow a few thinkThin bars in the break room. They’re low in calories, even though they come in high-calorie-sounding flavors, such as salted caramel and chocolate almond brownie.
- Craving snacks on the saltier side? Stash a of box of 100-calorie popcorn packs in your staff room.
- Celebrating a birthday with your colleagues? Sidestep the usual cake/ice cream combination and bring in a box of ice cream sandwiches to dole out instead. Not only do they hover at around 100 calories, but the single-serving packaging will also help you avoid the temptation to save yourself the biggest slice…for each remaining day of the week.
2. Be a kid again.
That feeling you get when you’re driving home and you realize you have nothing edible in your fridge—it’s heart-wrenching. Especially when all you’ve wanted for days now is a cheeseburger and an old fashioned milkshake.
Now, if you simply must stop for fast food (and it happens), commit to portion control by ordering from the kids’ menu. Most adult meals far surpass recommended serving sizes anyway…plus tiny milkshakes are cute.
3. Splurge selectively.
Date night doesn’t have to mean all bets are off. Rather than making your entire meal a cheat from start to finish, choose one item to indulge in. If you crave the restaurant’s garlic bread in your sleep, elect the bread as your treat of choice. If their dessert is to die for, opt for a healthier main course.
4. Speaking of dessert…
Friends don’t let friends eat dessert alone.
Try to avoid keeping desserts in the house and only indulge during special social occasions (that doesn’t include a Netflix season opener on your couch).
Besides, you can still have dessert, even when your house is technically dessert-free. Here’s how:
- Create healthy homemade “ice cream” by freezing bananas and blending them until they’ve taken on a thick texture, comparable to soft serve.
- Drop 4 cups frozen strawberries, 3 tablespoons honey, ½ cup plain yogurt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a food processor and voilà—sorbet.
- Baked apples filled with pecans, cinnamon, raisins and a dash of brown sugar may just redefine your idea of comfort food.
Oh, and if you simply refuse to live in a world in which cookies are not always within reach, ditch the store-bought cookies (sorry, Oreo lovers) and bake your own. The fewer “what is that?” ingredients, the better. And Oreos? They have many.
5. Be a total wine snob.
Happy hour is a wonderful thing, and should be embraced for reasons pertaining to sanity.
That said, don’t be ashamed to be “that” person ordering a glass of red wine in a beer-soaked bar. Wine has known life-extending benefits. Beer does not, and vodka double does not.
Have a few healthy craving tricks of your own? Share them with us in the comments section below!