There are two things I love most when it comes to junk food: potato chips and chocolate.
Used to be, that was always my dieting downfall. I’d make a list for dieting: NO chips. No this, no that. But as a full-fledged, card-carrying chocoholic/chipaholic, I could only stay away so long before the cravings became unbearable and I’d binge. After that I’d have overwhelming guilt for ruining my diet, and find myself completely off-track.
Although for the most part I now “eat clean,” I finally came to terms with the fact that I don’t want to live in a world without at least some potato chips and chocolate. Luckily, I’ve found a way that I don’t have to.
I’ve discovered the secret that works wonders for me: single-serving portion control. Now I’ll admit, using the word “control” in the same breath as “chips” or “chocolate” is, for me, an oxymoron. The way I get around that is by buying (or making) only single-serving bags of these snacks — and sticking to eating just one bag at a time.
It sounds so simple, but for me this solution was miraculous. If you’re like me, and could eat half of a large open bag of chips or cookies without even thinking about it, it’s amazing how many calories you save by not doing that. Literally hundreds of calories at one sitting.
I’ve also found that by getting used to smaller portions, I actually enjoy the food more. I’m not wolfing it down; I’m slowing down and enjoying each piece. That actually makes it a more satisfying experience than mindlessly overeating.
Make your own single-serving bags
Sometimes it’s hard to find the treats you want in single-serving bags, but it’s very simple to make your own single-serving portions and also more economical. I buy a big bag and immediately portion it into sandwich-size ziploc baggies. I then freeze them so that they stay fresh, and so I’m not tempted to overindulge out of the pantry. This method works perfectly for chips — they thaw immediately.
When I’m packing my work lunch for the day, I often include a small bag of my favorite fudge pretzels; or a homemade individually-wrapped cookie or other goodie. By accepting my cravings and including a favorite treat each day, I don’t feel deprived, I can enjoy the foods I want, and still control my weight.
Give it a try and see! What food is your snacking downfall?
©Michelle Rogers, Inc.