Tackling temptation and eating healthy

A display case shows delicious-looking pastries.
I’ll have one of each, please.
Credit: Google Images

I have zero willpower. Never had it, maybe never will.

I pass Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and countless other restaurants every day. In our office building, there’s a deli and a chocolate cafe — where you get a free piece of chocolate with every coffee.

Last week, there was red velvet cake in the office. Not only did I manage not to eat the whole thing, I didn’t even have a bite.

I feel like Alice in Wonderland, and everything around me says, “Eat me.” So how do I keep eating healthy without cheating?

The answer appears not just to be eating the right things, but making sure that I’m eating enough.

The first few days of last week, I was hungry all the time. When I looked back at my food diary on MyFitnessPal.com, it turned out I was only eating about 800 calories a day — and exercising, too. I should be in the 1,200 to 1,400 range, near the high end on the days I work out. I was so concerned about eating too much that I went too far in the other direction, and could have sparked late-day binges.

Alanna Cabrero, nutrition program director at New York Health and Racquet Club, recommends that I “check in” with myself around the middle of the day. By then, I should have already had the bulk of my calories.

“Protein is the most satiating food, so every meal and snack should have protein,” Alanna told me. “Planning is key. Even though you don’t want to eat when you are not hungry, you don’t want to go more than three or four hours without eating either.”

And not all protein sources are the same. Most of us know about animal sources like fish, poultry, eggs, meat and dairy products — they’re considered “complete proteins,” since they have all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies don’t naturally produce.

But there are also “complimentary proteins” from vegetable sources like beans, rice, pasta, cereals and breads, which have some of those amino acids. Soybeans, quinoa and hemp seeds are the exception — they contain all nine. I’ve been adding chia seeds (which contain two grams of protein per tablespoon) to yogurt and smoothies, and except for an extra crunch, I don’t even taste them.

When I feel surrounded by temptation, sometimes it can help by running away… sort of. Alanna says there are non-food things I can do to distract myself, such as taking a short walk or having tea with a friend or co-worker. Encouraging my co-workers to share healthier snacks around the office might help, too — not as yummy as cookies and chips, but better for all of us.

Surprisingly enough, I’m less hungry after working out — which I had expected would make me ravenous. I guess a lot of it has to do with retraining not just my body (including my stomach), but also my mind.

Progress Report

I’m finally under 200 pounds for more than a day or two, and determined to stay there.

Starting Stats (as of Jan. 29)
Weight: 209.5 pounds
Body Mass Index (BMI): 36
Chest: 48 inches
Waist: 41 inches
Hips: 48.5 inches

Current Stats (as of Feb. 25)
Weight: 198.5 pounds (11 pounds lost)
BMI: 34 (2 points lower)
Chest: 44.13 inches (nearly 4 inches smaller
Waist 39.75 inches (finally inching down)
Hips: 44 inches (4.5 inches smaller)

Amanda Art is Metro’s social media manager. Over the next few months, track her weight loss progress as she readies for her May 3 wedding. Follow Amanda on Twitter at @NYNewsgirl.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.