|Every time a new diet is begun, it is begun with the best intentions. In the beginning, your motivation and hopes are high, and initially they can be enough to get you through.|
Planning is key; if you run to your pantry and find the same addictive, processed foods, the same grain and corn based products, or the same sugar-laden fare that you are accustomed too, your motivation is going to disappear rather quickly. It is always a good idea to give your pantry and refrigerator an overhaul when beginning a Phase 1 diet. After all, if you don’t have to choose between broccoli and chocolate, it makes that whole will-power thing obsolete! Most people get this far when beginning a diet.
Despite the hectic lifestyle we all lead in the 21st century, most people’s lives are constructed around 3 meals a day. Even the craziest schedules can, with a little planning, be tailored to this convention. Pre-cooking meals, taking meals to work, and making weekly menus are all ways to ensure that the three basic meals are covered. But what about the in-between?
There is often another insidious monster lurking around the corner, and it can dash your diet hopes against the rocks as quickly as a pantry full of mom’s homemade cookies – the munchies. Even after all your meals are planned and your stocked kitchen is Phase-1-friendly, there are those liminal periods between traditional meal-times that can, under certain circumstances, make or break the efficacy of a diet.
Sometimes 3-4 PM roles around, and any fullness I have from lunch is completely gone. Hunger turns into craving, and it is most often for the wrong kinds of food. All my diet hopes and motivation gets thrown out the window, and I’m much more likely to pick up a burger than go home and cook chicken and broccoli if I allow myself to get to that ravenous point. What is sometimes worse is that that craving can lead straight to a vending machine or a convenience store – two of the most unlikely places to find Phase 1 food.
Again, planning to prevent yourself from reaching this point is key. There are plenty of foods that qualify as Phase 1 snacks: almonds, walnuts and cashews are among my favorite, along with avocados and green apples. Dried berries (unsweetened of course) are a great idea as well. Sometimes it is necessary to get creative – please share any thoughts you have in the comments section!
Modern science has provided some strong evidence to support the idea that snacking is more beneficial than simply preventing binges. Snacking throughout the day keeps your metabolism steady, allowing your body to actually burn more fat. Most actors that I read about who have to get particularly lean or cut for certain roles all talk about the importance of the 6-8 small meals a day as opposed to the three large meals we are accustomed to.
Whether you’re a seasoned Phase 1/2 dieter or just beginning, be sure to start including healthy snacking in your plan for good health!