‘dieting tips’

How to Kick the Vending Machine Habit

You know the feeling.  It’s a couple hours until lunch, and your stomach is rumbling.

You’re craving something, just a little pick-me-up to tide you over until your next meal. There’s a vending machine just down the hall, just calling out to you (and not too subtly, either).  Just deposit some change, and you’ll be rewarded with candy or chips.

But gosh darn it, you’re trying to lose weight!   And there’s not one thing in your particular vending machine that’s less than 200 calories.

The Vending Machine Siren Call

It’s oh-so-hard to stick to your diet when empty calorie snacks are so very easy to get.  As you already know, vending machines are one of the worst culprits; practically everywhere, easy to use, and don’t cost a lot. When you’ve got the roaring munchies, the machines are hard to pass up.

It’s Just Change…Or Is It?

You might not think the machines cost much for the instant gratification they bring.  Or do they?

Let’s say you spend $1.00 on a bag of cookies. Doesn’t seem like much; it’s just spare change rolling around in your purse or pocket. But say you buy that $1 bag every day that you’re at work, 5 days a week, you’ll have spent something like $20 by the end of the month. Multiply that by 12 and it’s in the vicinity of $240 a year.

Add a soda for another dollar and now you’re looking at close to $500 a year.  Spare change indeed!

Healthier Additions to the Machines?

Sure, the  food industry claims it’s adding healthier options to vending machine goodies.  But you know what?  You can find much better choices elsewhere.

And here’s the reality;  even if the vending machine does have healthier choices, the chocolate bars and pastries are still staring you in the face, pleading to be selected.

What’s Better for Your Body?

A piece of fruit such as a pear or apple is the ideal snack to give you something sweet — and healthy, to boot! They’re easy to stuff in your purse and eat on the run.  Not to mention you’ll get the vitamins, fiber and nutrients your body needs.

Want something a bit more filling?  Think about bringing whole wheat crackers, string cheese, unsalted nuts, or hardboiled eggs. However, if it’s your sweet tooth calling out more than your tummy, you can try sucking on a sugar-free mint or chewing some sugar-free gum.

If you mostly buy sodas (even if they are diet), try switching over to bottled water. If that’s a little too much like punishment, think about flavored water or green tea.  While water is best, green tea is better than diet soda.

You Can Kick the Vending Machine Habit!

Yes, you can!  Start by bringing healthier alternatives, and maybe your own bottled water or tea.  Not only is it better for you, but it’s easier on your wallet when all is said and done.

So when the vending machine calls out, you’re less likely to hear it.  And your body will thank you for it!

7 Tips to Defeat a Chocolate Craving

You’re going about your daily routine and it hits you right between the eyes.  Chocolate.

Doesn’t matter what kind it is, you want it.  Need it.  Gotta have
it like 20 seconds ago.  What can you and your diet do when you have an urge to be
one with the chocolate?



How about some dieting tips to help you fight your way back to sanity and
say no to chocolate (at at the very least, prevent yourself from
over-indulging in it).

Tip 1:  Distract Yourself

Do something that isn’t going to feed into your need.  Watching TV
or reading a book probably aren’t the best (unless maybe you’re reading
a book on dieting) because it makes the sweet stuff too accessible.  Instead,
try picking up the phone and call someone.  Write in a blog (or…read
one!).  Bring our that old knitting or sewing project.

Tip 2:  Get a Little Exercise

Sometimes it’s as simple as going for a walk.  Taking a bike ride.
Getting out an exercise DVD.  Turning on the radio to your favorite
station and dance to the music.  Anything to get you moving.  Why?  The
serotonin released though exercise can make you feel better and less in
need of a chocolate fix.

Tip 3:  If You Have it, Toss It

If this is your downfall, don’t let it tempt you in the first
place.  If you make it harder to get at the chocolate (like by not
having it at home or in your desk), you may be less likely to go in
search of it.  At the very least if delays you because you have to go
out and get it.

Tip 4:   Make Yourself Work for It

I used to use this trick at the office.  I was on the 4th floor and
the vending machine was on the first.  If I was being driven mad with a
chocolaty desire, I could go and get some M&Ms if I walked all the
way down and walked all the way back up the stairs.  No elevators on
this journey.  That stopped all but my very worst cravings.

Tip 5:  Try Something Sour, Spicy or Strong

If you’re in a place where you can get at some other foods, try
eating something very sour  (a sour dill pickle), spicy-hot (black
beans and rice with a healthy dose of hot salsa) or really strong
(garlic dill pickle).  Now while I’m not exactly a fan of all that
extra sodium with the pickles, these are off the top of my head —
chose your own items.  (And you can always drink extra water to flush
out that sodium anyway.)

Tip 6:  Set Your Stopwatch

Make a deal with your clock — if you’re still in a mad craving 30
minutes from now, you can have a small amount, like a dark chocolate
Dove piece (not a whole bar).  Many times, when that 30 minutes has
passed, your craving is manageable.

Tip 7:  Chew Gum or Brush Your Teeth

I like brushing your teeth the best, because once your mouth is all
clean and shiny, it makes it easier to resist.  Just pick a
powerfully-scented toothpaste!  Chewing gum can also help, but don’t
pick up those mints, unless you’re grabbing Altoids.  (Altoids almost
fall into tip #5.)

Bonus Tip:  Have a Small Piece to Prevent a Binge

Sometimes if you can have a little bit of chocolate in your diet, it can stave
off an urge to binge on it.  So, you can combine tip #4 (work for it)
with a bit of chocolate.  But (and you knew there would be one), try to
pick something that takes awhile to consume.  Some examples:  A cup of
coffee with some sugar-free chocolate-flavored creamer.  A cup of hot
chocolate (make it sugar-free or lite).  A high-protein bar that has
some chocolate in it (South Beach makes some good ones).

There you go — 7 Tips (plus one) to defeating a chocolate attack, and sticking with your diet.