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Odunayo Abdulai: How to Avoid the Temptations of Your Fridge!

Drink some water! I have a home water bottle, and it follows me around the house, so it’s always close by. If that doesn’t work, ask yourself, “am I really hungry?” If the answer is no, then you need to identify what you are genuinely feeling. We, many times, find comfort in food to satisfy a string of emotions – from sadness and loneliness to frustration. After you’ve identified the cause of the cravings, find an alternative solution to feeling better.

Odunayo Abdulai

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One of the toughest parts of being stuck at home and maintaining a healthy weight is the proximity of our fridge(s) and kitchen. I’ve heard all kinds of stories, and I am no different. It’s been a struggle! Let me share how I have been able to stop myself from eating every two seconds.

Eat Balanced Meals

Ensure you are having healthy, balanced meals. In the same vein, ensure it is not overly restrictive. Eating a diet that provides you moderate carbs, protein, and gives you the much-needed nutrients from fruits and vegetables actually reduces your cravings. You see, the more you consume foods high in carbs, sugar, and salt, the more you crave them. On the other hand, if your diet is so restrictive, and you try to eliminate all carbs and the treats you love, it’s likely you’ll eventually binge! You can eat your carbs – believe me, they aren’t the enemy – and treat yourself to that ice-cream or chocolate once in a while to keep everything in balance.

Stay Busy

Whether it’s work-related, a home or passion project, find activities that keep you engrossed and engaged. This will keep your mind occupied and hopefully steer it away from thoughts about food!

Exercise

Before you roll your eyes at me, let me finish. I’ve noticed that starting my day with a workout routine sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, including my diet choices, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Let me state, however, that you can exercise any time of the day that works for you.

Now, what do you do when the need to visit the fridge comes knocking?

Drink Water

Drink some water! I have a home water bottle, and it follows me around the house, so it’s always close by. If that doesn’t work, ask yourself, “am I really hungry?” If the answer is no, then you need to identify what you are genuinely feeling. We, many times, find comfort in food to satisfy a string of emotions – from sadness and loneliness to frustration. After you’ve identified the cause of the cravings, find an alternative solution to feeling better. For example, you could call someone who’ll be happy to hear you rant about how you feel. You could listen or dance to the music you love or watch a series you enjoy and maybe makes you laugh.

You also want to stock up your fridge with safe items, out of mind is out of sight! There’s only so much effort you can put into fighting temptation, so do your best to avoid them. If your fridge is filled with cake, ice-cream, and sweets, you are literally just making life harder for yourself. Stock your fridge with fruits you enjoy and feel free to have a low-calorie drink like Coke Zero, if you are craving soda. For those who are highly doubtful about the zero-sugar status of such drinks, I can assure you that they indeed contain no sugar.

You must also be careful about what you snack on as not all ‘healthy’ foods are low in calories. So you need to find out what foods to watch out for.

And my final healthy-eating trick is to… chew gum! I always have a box of no-sugar gum close by, for whenever I get peckish. There’s a wide range of options: Orbit, Extra, Juicy Fruit, Xylitol, and so on, simply pick a flavour you like.

I hope one or more of these tips serve you well during this lockdown. Remember, perfection is a myth. There are days you will eat a lot of stuff you are not proud of, but move on quickly and focus on making your next meal a better choice. It’s a journey, and the more you practice, the better you’ll understand what works best for you.

Odunayo Abdulai is a first-class graduate of Pharmacy, certified nutritionist, and the founder/CEO of OptimumFoodie, an innovative nutrition and fitness company based in Lagos. Through her programs and book, she’s helped 1000s of women and men achieve their body and health goals eating Nigerian meals. Kindly visit www.optimumfoodie.com

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