Succumbing to Bites Licks and Tastes or BLT’s are a major reason people have trouble with maintaining a lean physique. Every week I hear from women who know they pick on extra food, and they can’t make themselves stop. This is a huge problem that sabotages their progress, yet it feels impossible to resist.
After years as a hormonal nutrition coach, and working with hundreds of women, I noticed a pattern of 5 situations that lead to BLT’s. Take a look at the list below along with, tips for putting an end to mindless munching so that you can make lasting progress.
1. Stress/pressured meal preparations – If your normal routine is to arrive home at 6 pm, and your only options are to prepare a detailed dinner or order in, chances are you are going to indulge in BLT’s before that dinner is ready. With a minor change in strategy, you can avoid the dinner hour BLT temptations. Simple strategies include keeping meal prep short and simple. Save the homemade dinners for weekends or leisure days. For example, we limit our weeknight dinners to simple roasted or stir-fried veggies, lean proteins and pre-washed salads. Tip: It is not necessary to devote hours of time to batch cook, yet cooking a double or triple amount of veggies and protein takes no extra time, especially when you purchase pre-cut veggies. If you opt to order takeout, keep away from the pantry or fridge until mealtime. In a restaurant, while waiting for the meal to arrive, sip on sparkling or flat water, and request to have the bread basket removed.
2. Becoming over hungry/hangry – Plan to have a small satisfying snack beforemeal preparations begin. Make it delicious, and have a large water or non-calorie beverage with it so that your stomach feels full.
3. Not taking time to unplug – Having that snack planned before you jump into meal prep is half of the equation. The other half is making the time to unplug and enjoy it. It is pretty common to be strung out from a busy day, and push forward to get a meal on the table. This often backfires and results in mindless nibbling when the stomach rumbles kick in. Instead, take a time out and just relax for 15 minutes. This is a good time to just do nothing, meditate or read a trashy novel. Do anything that doesn’t keep your mind wired. Avoid checking emails or social media. Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you that you are worthy of the time to unplug.
4. You don’t make your meal the main attraction– Mealtime is also an absolute time to unplug. Be aware of your food. Enjoy it leisurely. Don’t surf the web on your phone, watch the news or catch up on your favorite show. Your meal is the main event. When you stand up, that is your signal to stop eating.
5. BLT’s have a become mindless habit – Breaking a habit requires a conscious effort to do something else. One of my replacement behaviors for avoiding BLT’s is to have a beverage at my side when I prep food. Sip on sparkling water and lemon in a wine glass. (You are worth using the best glasses every day!) After the meal use a replacement behavior to avoid picking on leftovers. For example, while cleaning up, put the tea kettle on, and by the time it whistles, aim to have the kitchen clean up complete. Make a cup of relaxing tea, or practice some other enjoyable pastime and head over to your comfy chair, away from the kitchen. This signal’s that the kitchen is closed for the night.
The BLT habits can be eliminated completely when you calm the stress, avoid getting hangry, take time to have a planned snack, unplug, and cultivate a replacement habit. Several women, I have coached lost 4-5 pounds in the first week just from eliminating BLT’s.