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Too Busy To Diet?

You know those pounds you accumulate when your life gets so busy that “air traffic controller” seems like a laid-back job. You’re not just MOM- you’re chauffeur, waitress, counselor, cook, homework assistant and a thousand other things. And that’s before you put on your fancy pants for the job that comes with an official paycheck.

It’s hard to pay attention to what you eat when your main form of exercise is running errands. So you eat whatever, whenever, and overtime, that can add up to major pounds. Here are some simple solutions to a busy mom’s diet dilemmas.

7am- You get up early to make sure your kids have a nourishing breakfast, but while they’re eating, you’re making their lunches or getting ready for work, so you skip breakfast yourself.
Solution: If you had dinner at 7pm, you’ve been fasting for over 10 hours. Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show that people who do snack more, and end up eating more calories later in the day. If you pick at your kids’ waffle crusts, make yourself a breakfast to eat at the same time they are eating theirs. You are hungry, so have breakfast. A real one.

10am- The no-breakfast start to the day is now catching up with you. You’re so hungry, you down a 300-calorie muffin with your jolt of joe from the coffee shop.
Solution: You’ve had a blood sugar crash, and while the muffin will boost your energy and the coffee will perk you up, it’s all temporary. When the coffee and sugar wears off, you’ll have less energy than where you started. So, lick the muffin crumbs from your fingers and make a pact to eat a better breakfast from now on. But, for those crazy mornings when you slip up, pack up some backup. Brown bag your breakfast with peanut butter and jelly or turkey on a low-cal wrap, throw a 100 calorie nut bag in your purse, eat a Greek yogurt, or get a skinny latte to at least get a little protein from the milk.

3:30pm- The kids are coming home from school or getting into the car for activities and want a snack. You do, too!
Solution: You’re probably experiencing your post-lunch dip around now. And suddenly, those processed, orange Cheetos look so good. Schedule a daily snack that combines fiber and protein for a lift to get you through to dinner and keep you from over-indulging in whatever the kiddies are having. If the kids love “bad boyfriend” foods at this time of day make sure you serve it to them in single serve packages to limit your involvement with them. If your kids are old enough to make their own snacks, move out of the kitchen at this time. The more time we spend in the kitchen, the more calories that go on our hips!

5:30pm- It’s BLT time (as in bites, licks and tastes)! You’re hungry while making dinner, so you’re sampling everything. But that doesn’t stop you from loading up your plate when the meal’s ready. So, if we’re counting, you now have the calorie equivalent of two dinners.

Solution: Use peppermint gum (the flavor makes your mouth feel fresh!) as an appetizer. It keeps your mouth occupied from mindless BLT’s. Also, make your veggies first so if you do pick, you have those on hand while preparing the rest of the meal. Finally, make a plate and only eat food off of it!

7pm- Your kids leave scrapes on their plate, and you eat them as you’re cleaning up from dinner.
Solution: Make a vow that you are not the human garbage can. To help in this endeavor, make it a rule that your kids must scrape their plates when they are finished into the actual garbage can (or compost bin). This not only removes temptation, but it also eliminates a household job that has been falling to you!

10pm- Finally, a little time to yourself. So, you dish out some ice cream (or just eat from the container), and grab the chip bag and curl up to watch some reality TV.
Solution: Schedule a time for an evening snack (about 100 calories, no more!), and then that’s it. I call this “one and done”. Close the kitchen after that. If your TV room is attached to your kitchen, change your location ( try watching TV in your bedroom, especially if you don’t eat in there). And make a cut off time as to when the day’s eating is done. Maybe even try to get your zzz’s a little earlier. Don’t worry; tomorrow morning will be here before you know it. And you’ll be ready with that diet-smart breakfast.