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Help!! It's the after-work snack and glass of wine that's the hardest to give up.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The night before, I make all sorts of great plans for healthy eating the next day. Then, on the day, I'm fine all day at work. But it's that ritual of the after-work glass (or two) of wine and snack (hmmm... unhealthy snack, like potato chips) that gets me every time.

I'm being very transparent here, and I know I'm taking a bit of a risk in posting this. But this is really the most difficult time of day for me. I guess I already have some ideas toward the solution ... I should get enough sleep the night before so that I'm not so tired after work. Then I would look more favourably on ideas such as doing an activity after work, instead of lounging in the living room with the food / drink habit. Also, I should set up some sort of "reward system" for myself that would really make it worth my while to have a healthy snack such as yogurt, and a cup of tea, instead of the wine & potato chips. Maybe other ideas as well. I know... not having them in the house ... but the store is so close by... I guess I need to implement another relaxing "ritual" after work --- such as working on art, perhaps, or stopping by a coffee shop for a decaf low-fat latte... any of these things (or others) could work to change the habit.

Has anyone else had experience with changing a relaxation habit to something more healthy?

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    Oh wow, I have exactly the same problem. Not the snack, because that's not part of my ritual, but the glass of wine really is.

    Maybe we could swap it out for a cup of tea? That's pretty relaxing too, and eventually it might change our thinking.

    The problem I have is the glass of wine while cooking. I've just managed to link them in my head. And tea wouldn't really be a substitute there.

    So I'll be waiting to hear any other suggestions you get, too...
    2762 days ago
    I think you're on the right track. I have struggled with that too and you hit most of my tactics for avoiding falling into that hole. I don't keep it in the house at all. And it's strange that I can keep any other kind of alcohol in the house and not imbibe, but there you go. Know thyself! I also learned late in life the importance of sleep, so that helps too. It's taken me a long time to break the habit of using this as a regular form of evening relaxation, and that is key, because drinking does break down the discipline and I invariably ended up eating unhealthy snacks. I even quit drinking completely for 2 months, and that really helped me learn that I could control of my drinking. Which is not to say that I don't drink at all, but I try to reserve it for special social occasions or a night out and I build it into my calories for the day. And that was a change in perspective for me.

    Another thing I would add is that when I am sticking to my exercise plan -- yoga and running -- it tends to be easier to say no to the wine and the extra calories that come with it, since I don't want to waste that hard work. I think the yoga also keeps me more relaxed and has improved my self-discipline in general. I usually exercise in the morning but that doesn't seem to matter.

    And lastly, I think I have made a habit of having a healthy dinner instead. And when I get home, that's what I focus on.

    Hope this was helpful and good luck!
    2764 days ago
    I used to have the same ritual - daily. Now it happens mostly on Friday's when it's the weekend and I agree with you - first thing you need to do is get the rest you need so you have the energy to do more after work.

    For sure not having it in the house helps (I told my kids NO MORE CHIPS.. because while I buy it for them I always help myself to some).

    One thing I have found helpful is even slightly altering the going home routine. Stop at a health food store or go browsing in a mall to change your thoughts or your regular pattern of going home. Allow yourself time to just shift out of the day to day routine.

    For sure looking into another activity is wortwhile too. For me it was taking a 2nd job. I get home now from my day job and on Friday's I head straight out the door to the next job and don't finish until 8pm (getting home around 8:30). By then - it's been a full day and I come to spark and usually end up then going to bed since I work Saturdays now too.

    Point is - make yourself busy with non-drinking activities and get away from the things that you co-relate with 'relaxing with a drink'. For me that has also meant I barely watch TV anymore (my trigger for wanting that drink).

    Wishing you a fabulous Friday!
    2764 days ago
    I hear ya. After work/late afternoon is one of the worst times for me. It used to be late night, but while I'm waiting for dinner - I want to EAT! And you're right, I think it's sort of a reward somehow in my head - a way to relax.

    I think you're on the right track, don't have it in the house and maybe have something else you like (that won't throw you off so much) that might be considered a treat, ready when you get home.

    2764 days ago
    What about instead of an all-or-nothing approach you just cut back? Limit it to one glass of wine and swap out the chips for something a little healthier... a piece of cheese or baked chips even... make little changes, ones you won't resent. Baby steps and one day at a time :) Beyond that, I got nothin'; I'd like to come back and see what others suggest because, dang, girl, that glass of wine sounds good! LOL
    2764 days ago
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