Hi, my name is Helen and I’m a popcornaholic.
Everyone has a food weakness. Or in my case weaknesses. I’ve already confessed my love for toasted almond bars, but I have another more insidious food weakness: Smartfood’s White Cheddar Popcorn (we’ll call it “WCP”).
Okay so here’s the story. My relationship with WCP began as most doomed romances do: with a lie. I was deciding on whether to buy Doritos, or some other chip, when I saw that Smartfood’s White Cheddar Popcorn was “Fat Free”. Fat free! Two words that exhilarate any woman who is watching her figure! Plus I’d read that popcorn is a pretty healthy snack alternative, so I was sold. I grabbed up a small bag and the love affair began.
At first, I would only eat WCP on occasion. And, just like with an exciting new romance, it was satisfying! Salty! Fluffy! And it was “fat free” so I fooled myself into believing that I’d found the holy grail of diet loopholes!
Things might have been okay if I’d left it there, but my love of WCP eventually spilled over into a reckless over-indulgence. One individual size bag just wasn’t enough, so I was eating at least 3 bags per day. Then the WCP bags got bigger and bigger. Finally, I caught myself watching Lifetime’s “The Client List” on my couch & eating a full party-sized bag of WCP by myself. In one sitting. (In case you’re wondering, that’s about 1170 calories. And that’s just in the “40% Less Fat” party-sized bag.)
As I stared down at my white cheddar covered hands, I decided that enough was enough and that I needed to break up with WCP.
So what did I do? How did you give up an unhealthy snack addiction? Here are my tips:
1. Don’t go cold turkey.
Okay, this might sound counter-intuitive, but I didn’t actually give up WCP cold turkey. I know that this strategy might work for some people (hats off to you!), but I knew that if I just stopped eating it cold turkey I’d relapse. Plus, I didn’t want to turn WCP into a “forbidden fruit” by taking it completely off the table abruptly. So instead, my first commitment to myself was to eat less WCP by learning to…
2. Substitute your unhealthy weakness with healthier snacks.
I typically would go get WCP during that “snack time” period in the workday- around 3:30-4:30pm. To prevent myself from always eating WCP, I bought a bag of apples to work and left them in the fridge. When I got hungry, I’d head to the fridge for a healthier snack. Between fruit and other healthy substitutions, I found that I was able to “crowd out” WCP from my diet.
3. Do a personal/mental self-assessment.
When and why are you eating your food weakness? When you’re stressed out? Bored? Because you’re feeling like you need a reward? When I sat back and really thought about it, I realized that I was eating WCP as a way to “treat” myself. The ironic thing about always using unhealthy snacks as a “treat” is that it’s actually not doing your health much good in the long run! Between the bloating from all the salt and the “false fullness”/blood sugar spikes from all the crappy carbs, I was really punishing myself with WCP! By doing a quick assessment I was more aware of my unhealthy food cravings and therefore more empowered to control them.
So, I’m happy to report that I am now about two months WCP-free. Amazeballs!!
Share! What tips would you add to the list?