It’s true: getting through an entire week of healthy eating (that means no beer) deserves an “A” for effort.
The social pressure alone when embarking on a health kick -- even without the 3pm cravings -- is enough to veer you off course.
“Oh, you’re being healthy! Boring.” And, “What do you mean you’re not drinking?”
“Dealing with social situations when you’re trying to stick to a healthy regime is incredibly difficult. Often people don’t know how to tell their friends that they’re not keen on eating out, or drinking alcohol without upsetting them,” Nik Toth, nutritionist, wellness coach and founder of Lean Body Coach told The Huffington Post Australia.
But the very idea that they might get upset over your food choices is kind of ludicrous, really.
“The friends who are supportive of your health journey, well, they are your real friends. The friends who are going to try and pull you back are the ones you don’t really want around anyway,” Toth said.
As well as having a solid cheer squad behind you, Toth, who specialises in helping people develop a positive relationship with their bodies reveals some further specialist advice to get you through those tougher, sugar-free times.
First and foremost, if you fall off the wagon, acknowledge it and move on
Get back to your regular routine for the next meal and don’t beat yourself up over it. "This only creates a guilt cycle and puts physiological stress on the body, which can result in further binge eating," Toth said.
Eat a full meal before you go out
This ensures you’re not starving by the time you get to your event or party and means you won’t be tempted to dip into the canapes.
If you’re trying to reduce alcohol
Order a soda water with lime and a fresh sprig of mint. You won’t even have to justify it to your drinking friends.
Ensure your lunch is protein rich
"This will help to avoid that 3pm sugar craving," Toth said. Look to include tuna, chicken, eggs or beans where possible.
Don’t underestimate a good cup of tea
During winter, it’s harder to drink cold water. Instead, opt for tea. “It's also nice to finish a meal with a hot drink, it takes time to drink and also means you won't be thinking about dessert," Toth said. If you do fall victim to sugar cravings, Toth advises investing in some licorice tea.
Swap chocolate for nibs
"Keep some raw cacao nibs in your pantry as well as some cashew nuts. You’ll get the chocolate hit from the nibs, and the natural sweetness from the cashews,” Toth said.
Ask yourself if your hunger is real?
It might just be that you’ve eaten your meal too fast. “This is especially true for people who work in an office and eat lunch at their desk,” Toth said. Basically, if you’re busy scrolling on your computer and not paying attention to eating, it takes longer for your digestive system to recognise the food.
Organise social gatherings around exercise
Yoga followed by a smoothie on a Saturday morning is a surefire way to kick start your weekend (and beats being hungover).