It’s Friday afternoon. You’ve been good ALL week with your diet. You finish up a long day of work, shut down the computer, and head home.
You’re thinking about how long the day was. All the things you have to do this weekend. You’re tired, and ready to wind down…then you remember…you have to cook dinner when you get home!
As you drive past fast food places you say to yourself “eh, I’ll just pick up something quick, it’s no big deal!”. Next thing you know you’ve got a front seat passenger that resembles a massive bag of Taco Bell!
What are the reasons we fall off of our diets? What can we do to get ahead of these urges, or combat them if they rear their ugly heads?
In today’s post I’m going to cover with you what the leading reasons are, and what to do about them!
#1) You’re Hungry...duh!
It’s no surprise that the feeling of hunger can lead to you falling off your diet or even bingeing. So what’s causing us to make a poor decision in the moment?
One of the leading reasons especially when it comes to hunger is fear. When you’re really hungry, and your brain starts saying “enough is enough we need to eat!” you start experiencing fear. More specifically, the fear of loss. You’re afraid that you’ll not have an ability to eat and your brain amplifies these feelings of hunger and raises the level of urgency.
So here’s what you can do about it…
- Improve your sleep – More sleep will provide you more energy in the day so you don’t have to rely as heavily on food.
- Increase protein intake with meals. Protein is a very satiating food and will make you feel fuller for longer.
- Increase water intake with meals. Increased water intake will help to fill you up and feel fuller.
#2) You’re Tired
We’ve all been in a position where we’re exhausted and just want to pick up something fast. The temptation is certainly elevated when we’re tired.
Poor sleep can lead to all kinds of problems including decreased insulin sensitivity, high blood pressure, and reduced ability to operate at peak capacity both physically and cognitively to name a few.
Here’s our recommendations
- The Obvious – increase sleep. Getting to bed even 30 minutes earlier can make a huge difference!
- Increase your intake of fruit. Fruit stimulates the liver and thyroid helping us to elevate our energy levels.
- Sleep Study. If you’re “sleeping” 8 hours but still feel tired, it may be time to have a sleep study done. Your primary care doctor can assist you in finding a sleep clinic that will work for you.
#3) You Don’t Have A Plan
How many times have we all left the house thinking “it’s cool, I’ll figure it out!”? Next thing we know we get to the office and your coworker brings in the rest of the sheet cake from their kid’s birthday party!
Having a plan helps to lessen the chance of us giving in to temptations as they arise. By simply having your food with you, or knowing what you’re going to order ahead of time can be the difference between a solid day or a binge-fest.
Here’s what you can do to succeed…
- Meal Prep – Prepping meals ahead of times has been shown to be one of the most effective strategies for staying on top of your diet.
- Track Your Progress – Simply weighing yourself 1-2 times per week can bring a lot of awareness to what we eat and how much we move.
- Get a Coach – Having someone to guide you and hold you accountable can be a life changing experience!
Let’s be honest, are there going to be times that we decide to cut ourselves a break and eat some junk? Sure! We’re only human. But the difference is these should be decisions you consciously make, not decisions driven by being tired, hungry, or because you didn’t have a plan for yourself.
Next time you find yourself about to eat something that doesn’t fit your diet, stop and ask yourself “what’s really going on here?”. Maybe you’re just tired! Use the strategies we’ve listed above to help you. Knowing what’s really the cause can make all the difference in deciding your next meal and keeping you true to your goal.