5 Ways to Binge-Proof Your Kitchen – and Your Life – When You’re Dieting

What holds the biggest potential for dieting failure? Hunger! Whether you have the munchies while watching your favorite show or you skipped lunch at work and walk through the door starving, hunger can make you choose greasy, calorie-laden junk food. By the time it’s over, it’s too late: you’ve been stricken by binge-eating.

Don’t let this happen to you. Be proactive by taking these five steps to binge-proof your house, your car, your office, in fact, your whole life. Senseless hunger can strike anywhere.


  1. Have Protein On-Hand for Breakfast

Forget about grabbing a bagel as you rush out the door. Your body needs protein. According to the American Heart Association (heart.org), it takes your body longer to break down protein than it does to break down carbohydrates, which gives you longer-lasting fuel. And you know what that means: you won’t start feeling your belly rumbling an hour after you get to work. Make sure your fridge is stocked up on protein-rich breakfast foods like eggs, cottage cheese, kefir and Greek yogurt. Vegan? Soy milk, nuts, seeds and beans are all rich sources of protein.


  1. Resist the Office Wasteland of Junk

What’s with office culture and donuts? Maybe it will never be understood. In the meantime, you’ve got to save yourself. Make protein-rich smoothies (think Greek yogurt, berries and nut butter) and keep them in the office fridge with your name on them. Make a homemade trail mix of cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and dark chocolate and keep it at your desk for safe snacking. Identify the restaurants near your office that offer healthy dishes. And letting others know you’re trying to be healthy may help you depending on the vibe in your office.


  1. Grab a Cup of Joe on the Way Home

Are you absolutely starving after work? If you have a coffee machine in the office, pour yourself a cup in your travel mug as you’re walking out the door. According to the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), caffeine can suppress your appetite for a short time. Emphasis: short time! No coffee at work? If you think you can resist the goodies on the menu at your local drive-thru coffee shop, swing in and get a guilt-free coffee with or without cream (hold the sugar, please).


  1. Have Cooked Food Ready for Immediate Consumption

Pick a nice leisurely day off from work to do a little cooking. Brine some chicken breasts before searing them. Roast root vegetables like potatoes, fennel, Brussels sprouts and parsnips in olive oil and salt. Poach a whole chicken in simmering water flavored with ginger, garlic, scallions and soy sauce. Store these guys in the fridge so when you come home not a nice, normal person but a raving lunatic ready to rip food to shreds, this food can serve your needs.


  1. Know How to Make a Salad in 60 Seconds

It’s 2:00am. Your eyes pop open. They’ve been awakened by your stomach and no amount of fantasizing about food is going to get you back to sleep. You need a plan. And that plan is having everything you need to slap a salad on a plate in one minute flat.

First, have washed greens in your fridge. Second, have a go-to dressing, preferably one that you made yourself following an excellent recipe you found on the internet. It likely includes olive oil, garlic, salt and balsamic vinegar. Maybe Dijon mustard. Third, have two to three easily choppable ingredients that you personally love. Boiled eggs. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Avocado. Onions. Cooked bacon. (Hey, there are only 44 calories in a slice of bacon.) And fourth…well, eat.


Sure, dieting can be hard in this world full of neon signs beckoning us to stuff ourselves and offices peopled with donut delivery personnel, but you can withstand these temptations. Follow these five explosively intelligent tips and you’ll find yourself succeeding in spite of it all.