I'm currently in jelly bean detox after eating the contents of my kids' Easter eggs in one day.
I blame the kids. Before kids, I didn't have candy around my house just sitting there tempting me. I didn't take up valuable pantry space with gallon-sized boxes of goldfish crackers that whisper, "Eat me: I'm empty salty calories!" And I certainly did not feel the need to eat the remaining few chicken nuggets left on a plate by little fickle eaters while I'm cleaning up the dinner dishes. Ugh!
Why, since having kids, have I turned into a food vulture that goes around finishing uneaten kiddie snacks and half-eaten dinners?
I nibble when I'm tired, bored, or just need a break, all of which I'm inclined to experience while being a mom and all. Because it's readily available and I'm only eating a nibble here and a bite there, I don't feel any guilt about what I'm eating. However, my scale and my jeans will tell you that those nibbles and bites can add up to a few hundred calories rather quickly.
Now that the candy-giving season is behind us for a good seven months, I can cleanse my house of the sweets that have been collected. In my house, the kids love receiving the candy and eating it for about two days before they move on, and then Vulture Mom swoops in to finish it off. My way of not eating sweets and junk is to remove it entirely from the house, to my husband's chagrin.
Secondly, I need to reinstitute tracking calories. Whenever I need to get my diet back on track, recording what I eat always helps deter me from my vulture-like ways. If it goes in my mouth, it goes on the food log. Now that there are hundreds of calorie tracking apps, it's easy to type in the food you've eaten and the apps provides all the nutritional info you need.
I have come to realize that one of my downfalls in healthy eating is that I don't provide myself with any snack food that's easy to grab, so when I get the munchies I go for what's easy, i.e."The Jelly Bean Incident of 2012." Stocking up on some great snacks like mini sweet pepper and hummus (savory), cocoa covered almonds (sweet), or 100 calorie single serving popcorn packs (salty) will satisfy my hunger, and keep me from devouring my kids' snacks.
My final effort in my four-pronged detox plan is to drink more water. I am absolutely horrible about drinking enough water, unless you count the water I brew my coffee with. I just don't love it. However, a friend just introduced me to the wonder of sparkling water and sugar-free syrup. I'm currently on a vanilla kick, and I love it, and have even converted my hubby from soda to flavored sparkling water. Not only do I have a happier bladder (sorry, TMI), but by drinking more water, I'm curbing those confusing body signals that sometimes make thirst feel like hunger pains.
With my jelly bean binge behind me, I know I can change my eating habits with a little extra awareness. My summer shorts will thank me, and so will my kids, for not stealing all their snacks!