Photo credit: Time Out
Christmas is around the corner, long winter nights are here and the M&S food adverts are flooding our television screens. It's officially that time of year when the rule book gets thrown out of the window everyone indulges in comfort food and treats galore...but if you're trying to tiptoe quietly around the office "bake-mas" table in a bid to keep your waistline in check, we've got some helpful pointers for you.
The last thing anyone wants to think about is self restriction amid the seasonal festivities. But in the spirit of self preservation and not losing the ability to fit into your chinos come spring-time, try tackling temptations and cravings with our Idle Man top tips.
Are you thirsty?
Often, food cravings are a mistaken sign of thirst. Confusing the body's need for water with hunger is a common misconception. Before you dive head first into the food cupboard, try drinking a large glass of water and waiting 15 minutes, if your stomach is still grumbling, then you are most likely hungry.
Plan, plan, plan.
Avoid the grab-and-go mindset of feeding your cravings with the nearest thing available - be that a packet of crisps at your desk, or a take away just because it's easy. Planning your meals ahead helps to eliminate the dilemma of not knowing what to what to eat and simply opting for the quickest, easiest solution. So start planning for the week ahead and enjoy looking forward to your meals, rather than filling up on mince pies or opening that food delivery app.
Photo credit: My Healthy Dish
Stress can be a huge trigger for food cravings. The ‘treat yourself’ mind set after a long hard day at the office is common place and often encouraged. Processing stress by exercising, taking up a hobby or having a relaxing bath can really help to take your mind off the snack-draw and help to keep your body and soul in balance after a full-on day.
Fill up on the good stuff.
Including more protein in your diet can help to curb cravings as the body takes longer to process it. The result is that you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer and therefore less likely to reach for the 3pm chocolate snack. A recent study showed that just increasing your protein intake by 25% reduces cravings by 60% and the desire to snack by 50%.
Cravings are the result of your body telling you what it needs. (Or what it thinks it needs) For instance, if you crave crisps, you body could be telling you that it needs more sodium (salt). Swapping crisps for high sodium content, healthier alternatives such as soup or cottage cheese, will help to settle your cravings and keep hunger at bay for longer.
Little by little
And lastly if you really, really, really want that last Quality Street, then have it. But instead of having the whole tin, allow yourself just one or two and leave it at that and your waistline will thank you later.