Rescue Your Diet! 7 Ways to Overcome Any Crisis
Comfort Foods and Eating on the RoadThe Crisis: You just got dumped, and only Ben & Jerry understand.
The Action Plan: Depending on your personality, it just might be okay to eat it and weep -- for a limited time. "For most of us, comfort foods do provide a measure of emotional relief," says Martin Binks, PhD, a clinical psychologist and director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center. "That's natural and normal; it's why we have a fondness for the foods our mothers made. But it's important to realize that the effect is only momentary. If you overindulge, you run the risk of twisting those good feelings into guilt." Along with Ben, Jerry, and Mrs. Entenmann, make sure to include real, noncaloric people in your healing. A little advance planning can help prevent deep dives into despair. When you're feeling good about life, make a list of your favorite things, whatever makes you feel special (no food allowed). Fresh flowers? Facials? Hot tubs? Keep your list in a handy place and check it when you're feeling especially blue. Choose an item on your list to enjoy after you've put that pint back in its place.The Crisis: You just got an exciting new job, but it calls for lots of travel -- making it difficult to exercise or eat right.
The Action Plan: Dieting while on a business trip is all about vigilance and planning. As Fletcher points out, nearly every restaurant, from fast food to haute cuisine, offers healthier options these days. "The key is to ask how the food is prepared," she says. "Get the broiled chicken sandwich, but make sure they're not slathering butter or mayo on the bread. Order vegetables on the side instead of potatoes, and be careful about your alcohol intake." The same goes for hotels -- before your departure, surf Web sites like Healthy Travel Network (healthytravelnetwork.com), which gives the scoop on hotel chains with the best gyms and healthy eating at the airport.
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