Nutrition Articles

Help Yourself Over Diet Hurdles

Make Options Instead of Excuses

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Hurdle #3: I’m an emotional eater. 

Helpers:
  • Plan ahead and keep busy during downtime to avoid eating out of boredom.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. You might actually be thirsty instead of hungry.
  • Don’t keep sweets and junk food on hand at home.
  • Give yourself occasional food rewards, and build them into your plan. Decide ahead of time, and portion out how much you will have.
  • When you’re about to eat, ask yourself if you are actually hungry, or if you’re upset, sad, lonely, or bored. If your emotions are driving you to eat, find a healthy way to deal with them: write in your journal, allow yourself to cry, call up a friend, go on a short walk, or read a book.
  • To "Get a Handle on Emotional Eating," click here.
Hurdle #4: I don’t know what to do when I eat out. 

Helpers:
  • Share an entrée or dessert with someone.
  • Order dishes with lots of veggies.
  • Drink water while you are waiting for your meal.
  • Enjoy a healthy snack before you go out so that you aren’t too hungry
  • When eating out, decide what healthy option you are going to order before you look at the menu.
  • Don’t be afraid to make substitutions and special requests. Ask for dressing on the side, tell the waiter you'll pass on the bread basket, and ask for your veggies to be steamed instead of fried.
  • Don’t let the restaurants win—you’re in control of your diet. For more tips, read "Beating Restaurants at Their Own Game!"
Hurdle #5: I don’t know what to do at family gatherings, holidays, or on vacation. 

Helpers:
  • Eat on a regular schedule. Don’t skip a meal in order to "save room" for the next meal.
  • Plan ahead for exercise. Find out if the hotel has a fitness center or if there are any parks or recreation centers nearby. If not, bring your own travel-friendly equipment, like a jump rope or resistance band.
  • Enjoy the company and activities more than the food.
  • Plan physical fitness activities for the group.
  • Vacation can make sticking to your diet and exercise plans that much harder! But if you’re armed and ready, you can take on vacation and come out a winner. The Healthy Vacation Guide will help you return home in the same shape you left.
Hurdle #6: I don’t eat breakfast. 

Helpers:
  • Prepare a large batch of healthy options (fruit salad, whole grain pancake batter) at the beginning of the week and use it throughout the week.
  • If you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning, pack a healthy snack and eat it around 9 a.m.
  • Shop for quick, healthy foods once a week.
  • Eat a piece of fresh fruit every morning.
  • Click here for more "Healthy and Quick Breakfast Ideas."
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

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