Rescue Your Diet! 7 Ways to Overcome Any Crisis
Athletic Injuries and Food CravingsThe Crisis: A pulled muscle sidelines your routine.
The Action Plan: With any injury, always speak to your doctor first. If you're hurt badly, ask for a referral to a physical therapist who works specifically with athletes; he or she may be more sensitive to your desire to get moving quickly. Next, view your setback as an opportunity to vary your routine. Hurt your shoulder? You can probably still ride a recumbent bicycle, says Ellie Krieger, RD, host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite and author of Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life (Clarkson Potter, 2005).
If your doctor insists that you lie low for a while, be extra mindful of your diet. Because of your new exerciseless life, your calorie needs will decrease; go to mypyramid.gov for an updated tally. "Try not to use food to relieve boredom, anxiety, or other emotions that are bound to crop up with the lack of activity," says Joyce D. Nash, PhD, a clinical psychologist and the author of Binge No More: Your Guide to Overcoming Disordered Eating (New Harbinger Publications, 1999). Instead, find other beneficial activities to fill your gym time -- meditation, the movies, a knitting class, a book club, whatever your fancy.The Crisis: Work is hell, and the vending machine and candy bars are your most trusted allies.
The Action Plan: Stock your desk with just-in-case healthy snacks. (We Fitness editors rely on individual packages of almonds.) If you have an under-the-desk fridge, keep a stash of protein-packed string cheese. To avoid the crisis binge, don't skip lunch (no matter what). "You need a meal midday to prevent hunger from overtaking your good sense," says Krieger.The Crisis: Your new boyfriend loves to eat -- and you're matching him bite for bite.
The Action Plan: If you're always out and about, suggest a night in. "Cooking together is romantic, plus you can show him that healthy food tastes good," advises Anne M. Fletcher, RD, author of Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight & Kept It Off (Houghton Mifflin, 2003). Often the best aspect of a new relationship is the openness you both have toward each other. (Hint: Now's the perfect time to get him to try tofu!) When you do go out, take charge of making the restaurant reservations and choose a place that specializes in lighter cuisine. Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese are all good bets. Or visit a tapas bar, where there are lots of different choices but everything is served in small portions. This will not only help slow down your eating but will also encourage conversation.
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