Want to know the secret to willpower?
It’s true. In the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength the author, Roy Baumeister, gives a great explanation of the willpower/glucose connection. To sum up, your brain runs on glucose. If you lack glucose you get fuzzy, you get angry and you have a really hard time making decisions. The brain begins searching for the easiest and quickest source of glucose to right the situation. What’s the quickest source of glucose in your impaired state? Chocolate!
Eating on a regular basis helps strengthen willpower. I suggest my clients eat about very 3-4 hours. Depending on your day this means three meals and one or two snacks. When one is used to snacking on vending machine fare or just grabbing a piece of fruit, picking balanced snacks can be hard. We want the good carbs to fuel the brain but we also need protein and/or a little healthy fat to keep blood sugar levels stable. I have a few combinations that help fill the gap between meals and fuel the willpower reserve.
- Luna bar and carrots: When I first started my fitness journey I found Luna bars to curb my afternoon hunger. For years my afternoon bar got me through work, school and afternoon shopping without succumbing to the vending machine or food court. Try Caramel Nut Brownie or Chocolate Dipped Coconut to satisfy a chocolate craving. The carrots give you a bit of added crunch.
- Greek yogurt and frozen berries: I miss Greek Yogurt. My sinuses won’t let me consume this creamy protein packed concoction every day as I would like to. If you crave ice cream, this pair will satisfy but without the added sugar and with plenty of protein.
- Dry roasted edamame and an apple: This combo is going to give you 14 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. For an amazingly small amount of food your hunger will be completely satisfied. This one is very portable. You can keep it your purse or back pack without worry.
- Protein shakes: Are you a milkshake lover? Make my Iron Woman Smoothie. It looks like a Shamrock shake but it’s so much better for you with spinach, mango and vanilla protein powder. The ice gives it a cold creaminess and volume so you feel fuller. Or to satisfy a sweet tooth try my Carrot Cake Protein Shake. The carrot juice is sweet enough on it’s own so no need to add sugar (or icing). If you need something super portable go simple and try DesignerWhey Protein2Go. Just add to a bottle of water and grab some fruit on the side. These tiny packets of fruity protein flavor are great for travel.
What’s your snack drawer at work filled with? What snacks do you pack to avoid the mall food court?