Make Over My Diet
The Office SnackerAmy Zvovushe-Ramos, 29, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Amy, an advertising rep, is still struggling to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight two years after the birth of her daughter. She tried working out with a trainer for seven months, but the scale didn't budge. "During the week, I have a lot of business lunches, and vendors are constantly sending snacks to the office," she says. "I have a hard time saying no to junk food, though I do try to make up for it by cooking healthy dinners at home."Her Daily Dish
9 a.m. A leafy-greens smoothie. "Not really in the mood for breakfast, but this helps me get through the morning."
10 a.m. A cup of mint tea and two Twizzlers from a coworker's stash.
12:30 p.m. Two slices of pizza. "I brought lunch from home, but the pizza smelled so good I couldn't resist a second slice."
3 p.m. A few bites of cotton candy. "Needed something sweet to power through a deadline."
7 p.m. Brown rice, celery, and kale stir-fried with olive oil and soy sauce, and a piece of baked salmon. "A healthy dinner to make up for lunch."
"Amy's eating habits stem from her childhood," Tribole says. "Kids from big families like hers -- she's one of six -- often develop a competitive mentality and feel they have to eat as much as they can, even when there's plenty of food. This makes it hard for Amy to say no to all the treats in her office, particularly when she's stressed." These three strategies will help her gain control:
- Pack a better brown bag. "A healthy, boring lunch is never going to compete with free pizza," Tribole says. "Amy should include a little treat for herself, such as a cookie. This will make it less tempting to trade her lunch for something unhealthy."
- Be your own boss. When Amy dines with colleagues, she should take the portion she wants but put part of it, like the extra slice of pizza, aside. "This gets you out of must-clean-plate mode," Tribole says. "If you're still hungry later, then eat a little more."
- Try a nonfood fix. Stress snacking is an easy way to pack on pounds. Instead of munching, Amy could take a quick walk or chat with a coworker for a few minutes when she's feeling frazzled. Often a small break in routine is enough to help cravings pass.
"I used to think I had no self-control when it came to eating, but that's not true," says Amy, who lost 12 pounds. "Knowing I can save food for later means I don't feel deprived. Plus, paying attention to how I'm feeling when I eat has helped me stop the constant snacking."
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