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Temptation 101

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One of the most common obstacles in any diet is temptations. Everywhere you go, it seems, there is always a temptation waiting. Sometimes it’s easy to pass them up, other times it is quite difficult. Below are common places where temptation springs up, and how you may be able to avoid those unhealthy choices.

Grocery shopping: Go shopping on a full stomach. You are less likely to buy unhealthy items if you are not hungry. Also, avoid the aisles that feature your once favorite snacks. “Out of sight; out of mind” can actually work in some cases. If you are tempted to buy a candy bar or other treat at checkout, try buying a pack of sugar free gum instead.

Parties: Eat a snack or light meal before you attend. Even though healthier options can now be found at parties a lot more than they used to, there’s no guarantee that there will be. If you are good friends with the party host, you can always ask to bring a dish. This will ensure that there is something acceptable for you to eat. Once you are at the party, try to fill your time with conversations, etc. If you keep busy, you’ll be less likely to think about the food.

Dining Out: Create a list of restaurants with healthy options before you get asked to dine out with someone. A lot of eating establishments now offer nutritional information on their websites. If you have a list already available, you won’t be caught off guard if you get asked to go out at the spur of the moment. You can suggest a few of the places on your list, and avoid going somewhere that may not offer many healthy choices. If for some reason you do end up at a restaurant that you haven’t check out first, try stick to grilled lean meats (poultry, fish, sirloin beef) and steamed vegetables.

Vending Machines: Don’t even stop to look! You tell yourself “maybe there’s something healthy”—WRONG! If you don’t stop to see what’s offered, you can’t be tempted by what you shouldn’t have.

Break Room: Avoid it as much as possible. Most of the break rooms that I have been in are temptation central. Co-workers bring in treats to share, and vending machines line the walls. If you have to visit the break room to refrigerate or heat your food, get in and get out. The less time that you spend in the presence of your temptation, the easier it is to walk away.

Despite our best intentions, we still sometimes give in. If that happens to you, don’t let it destroy all of your hard work. One of the common mistakes that people make after giving into temptation is to give up completely. Think about why you gave in, and avoid doing it again in the future. Forgive yourself, and move on.


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