Part 1: How to manage food outside of your normal routine

“Knowledge is a tool, and like all tools, its impact is greater when used”

I get a lot of emails via the ASK ANNETTE tab and one of the themes that makes a regular appearance in my inbox is getting derailed when there’s a change in the routine. Whether it’s at work, on holidays, when friends and family come to stay or at social gatherings.

And this was certainly something the 100 kilo Annette struggled with. Hello, that life-changing photo of me in my swimsuit was taken during a school holiday visit from my friend Kimmy and her family.

So I guess the question is, how long will your visitors be with you?  If it’s just a weekend visit, it’s much easier to monitor the damage and get back on track when they leave.

But the problem is a little harder to control if it’s a workplace with a constant supply of tempting foods, a much-needed holiday, or visitors who come for an extended stay.

I wonder… are you’re nodding your head in agreement? Well rest assured you’re not alone, and that’s why this is PART 1 of 2 articles I have for you on this topic!

The Annette of 100 kilos knew she couldn’t stop the visitors from coming, (hello we live at a fabulous holiday destination, the Sunshine Coast!) and I realised I couldn’t prevent changes to my routine. So, rather than try to avoid these things, I knew I had to find a better way to manage the problem.

And today I’m sharing these tips with you. So, let’s start with ways to cope at work and on caravanning holidays.


At work

Many workplaces are notorious for unhealthy choices. Whether it’s the staff room biscuit barrel, a lolly jar at reception or a snack vending machine, they seldom provide anything of nutritional value. Then there’s the staff birthday cakes, Friday afternoon drinks and the enticing aromas from the local cafe.

The thing is, putting your hand in the biscuit barrel or lolly jar are habits you can easily change. You might think a couple of mints won’t make a difference, but they all add up over the course of the week. So, what do you do? It’s simple… Stop – remove your hand from the temptation!

Staff birthday cakes are laden with unnecessary calories and can easily knock you off course. Ask for a really small slice and be sure to factor it in to your daily calorie and fat count. Then when it’s your turn to make a cake do a healthy version from my cookbooks.

Avoid Friday afternoon drinks by leaving early or making water or mineral water your drink of choice. I’ve discovered Mojito MOCKtails. Place a handful of fresh mint into the base of a tall glass with some slices of fresh lime. Crush together to release the flavours, add ice and soda or mineral water 😊 Delish!


Caravanning holidays

This one comes up a lot! There are a lot of caravanners in the Symply With You community and one of the biggest challenges they seem to have are happy hour drinks! Anyone who’s been on a caravanning holiday knows what I mean here. And it’s not just the drinks… there’s always nibbles shared around too.

The solution? When it comes to drinks, BYO fancy glass with mineral water and a wedge of lemon or lime 😊. Make a plate with rice crackers, celery, carrot and cucumber sticks with a low fat dip, jar of salsa or skinny hommus. Or make my Mexican Dip out of Cooking for 1 or 2 People, it will be very popular.

If you get offered something else, have a taste and exercise restraint! What I would say in this situation is, that I’m saving myself for dinner.

And don’t be afraid to tell people you’re sticking to a healthy eating plan because I’m sure you won’t be the only person in the group trying to lose or maintain weight.  Imagine being able to inspire others to stick with their healthy plan!

For your day-to-day meals, take a copy of Cooking for 1 or 2 people and MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people with you and be sure to check out page 4 to see where you can use up leftover ingredients.


A few final words

The thing is, there’ll always be changes to the routine. My big shift came when I realised that how I ate when outside of my normal routine was just a habit… and habits are ‘learned’ which meant I could change the behaviour.

As with any change of habit it takes time, and you must make sure you know why you want to make the change and keep that front of mind whenever temptation knocks at your door.

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of this article when I address: when friends and family come to stay, social gatherings and how not to offend the host.

Action step

Think of a situation that’s likely to derail you – how will you handle that situation when it arises? I want you to be armed and ready with your ‘tool’ to disarm the situation. Imagine how proud you’ll feel when you do!


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