Yep, it feels like our days are an endless stream of decision making. So by the time we get home, open the fridge and wonder what the eff we’re going to have for dinner, we’re officially done. That’s why it’s so dang easy to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon when it’s 7pm and the pizza place down the road is practically screaming our name.
Fortunately, there’s a few foolproof ways you can ensure you don’t blow your diet by dinnertime.
1. Toss temptation
A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people with the strongest self control were those who relied less on willpower throughout the day. Basically, they ensured a minimal amount of temptation in their lives. So if your walk to the bus stop goes right by a French patisserie and your desk at work is stocked with sweets, you might wanna rethink that strategy. Even if you’re resisting 9 to five, the research says you’re more likely to blow out by the time you get home.
2. Stock up on snacks
Once you’ve binned (*cough* scoffed) that last Kit Kat in your drawer and have said NO MORE it’s time to pack it with healthy options. Snacking is a great way to keep your blood sugar level throughout the day and keep the hanger-fuelled meltdown at bay. Studies have shown that people with steady glucose levels were more persistent at attempting an unsolvable task than those whose levels had dropped. Protein packed options (like nuts, hummus, Greek yoghurt, natural peanut butter and boiled eggs) have also been found to keep you fuller for longer.
3. Meal prep like a mofo
A recent study found that meal preppers are more likely to have a higher quality diet and lower likelihood of being overweight. So take some time on a Sunday to plan out your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week (or at least the next few days), tailor a shopping list around it and prepare some meals in advance.
4. Or detox the decision making
Cut down on your opportunity to deviate from your diet by having your dinner decision made for you. Hello Fresh sorts the entire meal planning process – offering delicious, healthy recipes with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients, delivered to straight to your door. I can attest – their meals made my evenings SO much simpler and their vegetarian biryani is officially one of my top five dishes of all time.
5. Delay, don’t deny
So dinner is done and you’ve got a hankering for a family block of Cadbury – a study has found that delaying your craving, rather than denying it will help you resist temptation. “Postponement weakens desire at the precise time when it overwhelms willpower,” says study author Dr Nicole Mead. Instead of saying you won’t have it at all, try saying you’ll have it later. And hell, if you have the milk choc anyway just enjoy it.