Overcoming urges to cheat on your paleo diet

No carbsSticking to a particular diet is a battle in and of itself. Trying to eat on-the-go and eat within your diet is enough to drive a person crazy, or more likely to cheat on the diet.  I have already chronicled the many reasons why eating paleo can not only help you lose weight but improve your overall health, so I won’t need to go into that.  I’m assuming we’re all up to speed on that, but if not, please look back at some of my previous posts on it. Today my focus is making it easier to overcome those urges to cheat on our diet by attacking our most vulnerable moments.

I generally do not have to travel all that often. However, this year has been one trip after another. All have been great experiences, with the exception of meal times. Many times I’m able to eat on my own and choose what I eat, but then there’s the times when you walk into a conference room with lunch on the table that someone has gone out of their way to prepare for your group.  Nice, right? Well in a lot of cases that lunch consists of sandwiches, chips, cookies, and the like.  No one wants to look ungrateful, and you certainly don’t want to put off the vibe that you’re “not happy” with your food selection. I know the rule of thumb for paleo is choose your meals when you can, but of course you’re not always in charge of your meals, so don’t go overboard and disrespect someone for not preparing what you like.  However, if you are in a lot of meetings like the one I described above, you might start eating lots of sandwiches and empty carbs. Then you have the unwanted insulin spikes followed by crashes and the fatigue that can set in after long meetings and no “energy food” in your system.

As you may have guessed, this started happening to me.  The snowball effect then ensued allowing me to start cheating elsewhere.  I became very tired for no reason, allergies became  a daily struggle, headaches, bloating, you name it. I was not reaping the great benefits from a paleo lifestyle.  I finally became fed up with it and started pinpointing anything that caused me to cheat on my diet.

So here is a list of some of my potential cheating moments & then solutions that have helped me overcome those times:

1) Situation: Meeting with meal prepared

Solution: Eat an energy jam packed breakfast & bring filling snacks to eat just before a meeting or take with you “just in case.”

Breakfast options:

1. Paleo smoothie: banana, almond butter, frozen berries, coconut milk (I drink one almost every day.)

2. Banana pancakes: 1 ripe banana, heaping tbsp almond butter, 1 egg – drop in pan with a little butter just like normal pancakes. You can make a lot at one time and refrigerate to eat throughout the week.

3. Leftovers from the night before – always a good option if you had some lean meat and veggies for dinner

4. If you’re traveling, skip the many carb ridden breakfast options and look for a meat option and dig for the berries in that huge bowl of melon also known as the “fruit bowl.”

Snack options:

1. Fruit – if you can’t refrigerate, then take along some apples, grapefruit, bananas (keep to a minimum), or dried berries.

2. Nuts – I’m loving the dry roasted cashews from Earthfare at the moment.

3. 70% or higher cacao content dark chocolate – very low in sugar and a great, flavorful treat.

4. Water – believe it or not, lots of times when we feel hungry, we may actually just be thirsty instead.

Sometimes you are just out of luck when it comes to a prepared meal. Another option is to eat minimally at these prepared meals, and then eat some of your healthy paleo favorites shortly after onyour own time. I’ve been able to work around this way for about 4-5 weeks now and it seems to be working for me.

What about you? What ways have you found to curb your carb urges and choose the paleo option?

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