• Eat enough during the day (and drink enough water)

We’ve all done it at some point in our lives; practically starved ourselves during the day and then came home and ate the entire kitchen.

When you put your body at an extreme caloric deficit, one of two things usually happen.

1. You’re so hungry that you say, “screw this” and give in to eating the first things in site.

2. Or you stick to the deprivation but you have no energy and your body stores fat because you’ve put it into starvation mode.

Want a fast metabolism? Eat (at least) 3 meals a day. 4-7 small to medium meals is what works for me because of my activity level. When your body doesn’t know the next time it’s getting food (fuel), it stores some fat in its reserves to pull from. If you fuel your body regularly it doesn’t need to store extra fat. It’ll trust that you’ll fuel it every 3-4 hours.

Also, sometimes we think we’re hungry, but we’re really just thirsty. A symptom of dehydration is the feeling of hunger. Make sure that you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day, more if you’re active. Not only will this help you feel more full and energized, it’ll flush out toxins in your body.

  • Don’t buy stuff you don’t want to eat

Why test your willpower? If you don’t want to eat those cookies or doughnuts, don’t have them around the house. If it’s not there, there’s a 100% chance you won’t eat it.

And no… having kids is not an excuse. As the saying goes, old habits die-hard. Teach your kids good eating habits while they’re young and they’re set for life. Sure your kids might “look” healthy, but doesn’t mean their insides are healthy. Athletes should be even more aware of what they are putting in their bodies if they want to perform at their athletic potential.

Some grocery stores are even giving kids fruit to eat as they enter the store. Sometimes we forget how good natural tastes and flavors of foods are because we’re used to the artificial way chemicals and preservatives make food taste. Stick to the foods that keep you energized and full, foods that don’t give you sugar highs and leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and even hungrier. Indulge in yummy tasting foods on special occasions and in moderation.

Before you go and defend your parenting or current eating habits, think about this… studies show that by the year 2020 75% of Americans will be obese. That’s 3/4ths people! So you might want to think about cutting out the fast food and checking the ingredients in what you eat. Rule of thumb for ingredients; if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Make sure the majority of what you eat is natural.

  • Don’t deprive yourself

Don’t deprive yourself of yummy foods. I don’t eat purely for fuel. I get joy out of eating. If you’re like me and get pleasure out of eating, make sure to eat foods that taste good & that you enjoy on occasion. Eat natural most of the time, but sprinkle in yummy tasting foods. Moderation is the key.

Of course on special occasions and holidays I’ll eat the yummy foods presented before me. However, to prevent going crazy in-between holidays, I’ve found some alternatives.

I have a sweet tooth and I love chocolate. A couple times a week I’ll make myself protein pancakes with Enjoy Life dairy & gluten free chocolate chips. I like to package out the chocolate chips in zip lock bags so that I only use 1 or 2 servings of chocolate chips. I have a tendency to overestimate how many chocolate chips I put in my pancakes so this helps me get my chocolate fix and I don’t feel like I overdid it or ate too much.

For those of you who find comfort in eating a pint of ice cream, Arctic Zero has 150-300 calories pints! They have a ton of flavors, my favorite is Cookie Dough (300calories a pint) and in my opinion it’s delicious. Sometimes a girl just wants a pint of ice cream! I’m usually full after ½ of it…but this allows me to have my cake and eat it too. Pun intended.

  • Fill up on leafy greens

Not only are greens extremely nutritious, they’re filled with fiber. Dark leafy greens will keep you full and feeling satisfied for hours.

Eat a salad (primarily greens) before lunch and or dinner with a light dressing, and you’ll be a little more full before you go in for the kill.

Be careful not to overdo the dressing on this one. I sometimes top my salad with 2tbs of salsa or 1tbs of hummus. Occasionally I’ll add a tiny bit of fat free feta cheese. This keeps the calories low and still allows me to enjoy the salad.

  • Ditch the ‘all or nothing’ mentality

It serves you no good! If you eat a little too much one-day, here’s what you should do…NOTHING! Eating a little bit too much is not going to undo all the work you’ve done in the gym or nutritional progress you’ve made lately. But you know what WILL undo some progress you’ve made, using the mess up as an excuse to eat whatever you want for the rest of the day. Don’t “start fresh” tomorrow. Here’s what to do…

Learn from it. Acknowledge that you ate a little too much. Try to slow down your eating at your next meal. Breathe, enjoy the taste of the food and enjoy the act of eating. Don’t mindlessly scarf down your food. Try taking a break when your ½ way done with a meal, or drinking a full glass of water before you eat. Sometimes we finish our plates out of habit, not because we truly feel hungry.