3 Super Simple Skills to Stay Lean and in Control by Breanne Curran Nutrition Specialist, Health Coach, Personal Trainer

I wondered this very thought the other day when I was putting on my favorite Lululemon shirt. On the inside of the bottom of the shirt was written: “I run for cheese.” The phrase had me imagining an Egyptian chariot, with a giant wedge of cheddar in the driver’s seat, lashing a human pulling the whole darn thing. Do you ever feel this way? We laugh at this, but it’s a daily battle for many. I used to be there too! I’d eat great foods, even get in a killer workout, only to crash and burn at the end of the day. I’d come home and fall face first into popcorn and M&M’s or pretzels and peanut butter. It was like they owned me!  It wasn’t until I reached an all-time low did I stop this ugly cycle and build amazing skills that keep me lean, strong, and in control.  The best part is I stay in charge, even when I’m super stressed with tons of demands and no time! Now I can share my experience with you! Here are three simple skills you can do today to help ensure YOU remain the head honcho, not the darn cheese!

  1.  Slow down speed racer!

Ever feel the need to eat right after you get home from a full day?  What about when you’re stuck in traffic?  Yes, you may be truly hungry, but lots of times we are simply responding to our stress hormones.  When stress picks up, so does hunger!  Your body thinks it has to take on a challenge and therefore needs to be fueled up and ready. Next time, before you reach for those chips after work or your kid’s leftover snack in the glove box, stop and take a few deep breaths.  This will help you slow down and lower your stress. Just remember that hectic days can switch on false hunger.  Take a moment, slow down,  and check-in. If you are still hungry, have a big glass of cold water…and then have your best snack option at that time.

  1. Keep healthy foods within reach all day long

We crash and burn when we wait too long to eat.  All of a sudden you find yourself elbow deep in the popcorn or chips! Keep a healthy snack in a convenient place no matter where you are during your busy day.  Glove boxes, desk drawers, purses, and satchels are great places to keep an apple or nutrition bar. I love Perfect Bars or Vega Bars.  You can find these at PCC or Whole Foods. Or, pick smaller size apples and go for only ½ the bar.  You can always have more later when you are hungry again.  Eating too much can actually bring back the hunger  sooner than you want.

  1.  Pre-Plan and Pack three awesome snacks the night before.

It’s great to have nutritional snacks within reach during the course of the day but they don’t just magically appear in the places you need them.  It requires a little pre-planning.  Mornings can be hectic so for less stress and to make sure you don’t forget, plan and pack tomorrow’s snacks before you head to bed. Put them in your purse or car so they are where you need them the next day. Here are some of my favorite snacks to pack:

  • Snack size bag of currants, cashews, coconut flakes
  • Apple
  • Almond Butter – the brand Justin’s makes awesome single packets!
  • Powdered Greens – Great on days you are missing great vegetable options. Just dump one packet in a small bottle of water (10-14 oz) shake and down!  

Use these three tips to stay in control of your hunger throughout your busy day so that your hunger does not end up controlling you. Breanne Curran bcurran@macseattle.com