I am trying to lose weight for my wedding later this year. I seem to do pretty well at eating healthily on weekdays but temptation lurks around 9.00pm on a Friday night, if we sit down to watch a film. Being on the sofa in front of the television creates a Pavlovian style response in me. I immediately want a glass of wine and a treat. We still have some port and cheese left over from Christmas, so it’s easy to succumb and go to bed disappointed with myself.
I love our film nights and I don’t want to forgo them, so I am trying something new. I know that the key to sustained habit change is to replace a bad habit with a better one. Simply trying to give something up creates a dangerous vacuum. I want to enjoy myself as we watch a film without any feelings of lack or deprivation.
Instead of eating unhealthy snacks, I now ask myself, ‘what would Oprah eat? ’ I like to imagine Oprah asking her chef to prepare some light, healthy canapés for her and Steadman to enjoy. I imagine myself being her chef and receiving this instruction. It makes snack making into a fun creative challenge.
I am experimenting with healthy ideas over the next few months and will post the results. Here are a few ideas I have started with.
- Crudités and homemade hummus
- Replace a Ritz cracker with a cucumber and add healthy toppings e.g. smoked salmon, slices of boiled egg or goats cheese
- A smorgasbord of different fruit all cut up into tiny portions
- Roasted baby new potatoes stuffed with low fat sour cream and chives
- Air cooked popcorn
- Baked sweet potato wedges with chilli and garlic
- Baked pitta bread cut into thin chips and dipped into homemade salsa or hummus
- Anything on cocktail sticks e.g. a tiny square of good cheese, a grape and a pineapple
Drinks are important too. In an effort to drink less wine, I tend to use ice-cubes, fresh mint leaves and lime wedges to turn a glass of sparkling water into something a bit more glam. Adding a paper straw and dash of elderflower or ginger cordial also raises the treat factor. There is no feeling of deprivation, just substituting an alcoholic treat for something equally delicious, with no sore head the next day!