In our last post, we touched on something that we like to call “creepy” calories. Creepy calories are the calories that mindlessly go unacknowledged in our day-to-day life. Some of us spend 5-6 days a week at the gym, yet we are unable to see results from all that hard work. Could mindless snacking be what’s hindering your progress?
Quite possibly. We’ve designed a little infographic to show you how those few little bites and sips can add up.
Shocking, isn’t it?! If you are in a calorie deficit, the numbers may not add up as quickly as the last box states, but you will still likely go over your maintenance or just stay as you are, without any progress.
So, you think you did pretty well with your diet all week. Then the weekend comes. You likely forgot about those few little snacks you slipped in here and there. With the majority of your weekday meals being lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, you feel as if you’ve earned your weekend to relax with your diet. Here’s the caveat: although we DO encourage a balanced lifestyle, you still have to hold yourself accountable. A simple night out at Jamie’s Italian with a fettuccine alfredo pasta dinner, garlic bread, two glasses of red wine and a piece of white chocolate cheesecake sits at a whopping 1,598 calories and 84 grams of fat. Then comes Sunday… as we all know, Sunday brunch is an absolute necessity to catch up with folks and friends. Sunday night rolls around and since the common excuse is “Ah, stuff it, it’s Sunday, I’ll get back on board tomorrow”, a pizza is ordered and the lolly cupboard gets raided.
All it takes is a few careless slip-ups and your progress is easily halted. If you find yourself wondering why you’re not seeing any changes, think about those little things that could possibly be adding up. Hold yourself accountable on weekends and enjoy yourself, within limitations.
So how can we limit the dietary slip-ups? Here are a few helpful tips to keep the mindless snacking at bay:
Ensure you’re getting a good amount of protein in each meal. Protein is extremely satiating, keeps you fuller for longer, and has the highest thermic effect during digestion. This means your body uses more energy and burns more calories while it digests your food. Aim for a minimum of 1.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight. For those who are highly active and are looking to build muscle, around 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight is optimal. And if that sounds awfully high to you, we can assure you that impaired kidney function with high protein diets have been scientifically proven to be a complete myth.
Along with protein, ensure you’re hitting all your other macronutrients to keep your hunger hormones at bay. A great guideline for a perfectly portioned meal is as follows: protein the size of your palm, a cupped handful of complex carbohydrates, a fist full of fibrous veggies and a thumb-sized portion of healthy fats.
Do not under eat! We cannot stress this enough! If you are eating too little, you are creating absolute havoc with your hormones. You will more than likely find yourself uncontrollably binging at some point, as your body is protecting itself from starvation.
Be careful with sauces, fruit juices, soft drinks and alcohol. Barbeque and tomato sauce, for example, are loaded with added sugar that can add up very quickly.
Stay hydrated! Often times we mistake hunger for thirst and once we will up on a big glass of water, the hunger is gone. If you are finding yourself floating around your cupboards at nighttime, opt for a hot cup of flavored tea. Relax, enjoy it and forget about food.
If you are really bad with picking away at snacks at the office, pop some peppermint chewing gum in your mouth before you head to the lunchroom. If you’re getting the urge to head to the fridge late at night, brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth is attached to a psychological conditioning that signals “bedtime” to your body and almost immediately removes those impulsive thoughts related to food.
Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, while being mindful of your caloric intake. Have a fun night with your friends, family or partner at home and instead of going out for dinner, try cooking some lower calorie, healthy versions of your favorite meals. You’ll save some money too!
Keep a food diary and journal. Include the slip-ups and cheat meals. When you’re feeling ravenous, write down exactly how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Chances are, by the time you’re done writing, you will have forgotten about the Tim Tams in the cupboard. If you’re really keen, use an app such as MyFitnessPal to see just exactly how much the last cheat meal has cost you. But don’t feel guilty! It’s a learning process and now you know how you can make a more mindful choice the next time you decide to indulge a little bit.
Don’t keep Tim Tams in the cupboard! Out of sight, out of mind.
Hopefully these 9 tips can help you keep your paws off the sugary treats. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste! And before you mindlessly grab your next snack, remember this quote…
“Discipline is the difference between what you want now and what you want most.”