Well we finally have sun in the UK today. And we’re promised more for the weekend. For us dieters that means salads are a pleasure to eat instead of a chore. And much welcome for us Paleo people because it means a lot less cooking, less shopping and less washing up.
For one of the most difficult things about sticking to Paleo is that you have to be committed and you have to be organised. It’s not the kind of diet where you can just grab something to eat at the last minute. Most Paleo meals need planning, preparation. Organisation.
Snack no more!
Ideally you shouldn’t be snacking on Paleo. Meals should be filling enough to satisfy and keep you going. But of course we don’t snack because we’re hungry do we? If we only ate when we felt hungry, well, we wouldn’t need to diet!
Snacking serves a purpose way beyond hunger. It can break a day up, comfort after a bad phone call or being chewed out by the boss. It’s a way of bonding at business meetings. It makes TV watching pleasurable. It breaks the ice at parties. It gives you something to do with your hands – especially true for ex-smokers of which I am one!
On many diets you’d be advised to eat some fruit if you need to snack but course on Paleo that’s mostly off the menu. However, you can have berry fruits and they’re particularly lovely at this time of year. So my advice, if you’re following Paleo and want to or need to snack, is get some berries in!
Right now big juicy blackberries are gorgeous, sweet but without being blood sugar changing sweet. The odd grape is okay too but who can have just the one? Must confess I had a few grapes yesterday as I was staying in a hotel with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. I rarely buy or eat grapes now but seeing them nestling among some cheeses, well they rounded off my meal rather nicely.
Which brings us to buffets. Something you tend to be invited to more in the Summer though of course they’re a year-round feature. Barbecues are generally fine for Paleo eaters – all that lovely meat! – but buffets can be difficult. For any dieter, they are difficult.
Buffets bring out the pickers in us and if we weren’t pickers, we wouldn’t need to be on a diet. I’ll say only what I’ve read countless times elsewhere – go once, or twice at the most. And then go no more! Don’t make the mistake of thinking if you don’t take a plate to the buffet, or just take a small one, that you won’t keep going back. You will. You’ll feel deprived.
Despite my warnings about buffets, what happens when you find yourself at a food-free event where you thought, hoped, assumed there’d be food? These are very difficult for dieters to negotiate because chances are you’re surrounded by skinny people who look at you most oddly if you declare, sorry, I must eat something. Yet you’re the biggest person there, by quite some way. This has happened to me. Lots!
I confess I’ve cheated a little on such occasions. I haven’t actually said I’m Diabetic – for who wants to tempt fate? – but I’ve hinted at it. Look, I’m sorry, but I have to eat, I’ve said on more than one occasion. Then gone off to forage for food. Which is what our species is supposed to do anyway.
Panic makes you hungry
But just being stuck somewhere and not knowing when – if! – you’ll get the chance to eat can make you hungry. I’ve no idea if the science is right about this but strikes me it’s reasonable to suppose that panicking about not having food makes you hungry.
Try to prepare in advance – yes, that old Paleo word keeps coming up. Be prepared. If necessary, carry some kind of non-perishable protein with you at all times. A couple of Babybels work well – dairy-free goes out the window but that’s fine so long as carb free doesn’t! Or even carry a hard-boiled egg with you at all times. Yes I know, seems very odd. But you need to be filling up on protein, not snacky type stuff. And if you let yourself get hungry, you’ll eat anything to stop that horrible feeling.
Go with it
Some say go with the hunger. Face it and realise it won’t kill you. I say to that – phooey! There’s nothing worse than feeling hungry and being stuck somewhere no one has thought to even mention food. And don’t you just HATE people who say, “Oh I’m not hungry!” as if you being hungry were some kind of weakness or failing?
Also do as the Southern Belles in Gone with the Wind did – eat before you out anywhere. Always go out with a lined stomach. Never assume the people you know and are seeing, for work or pleasure, will include food in their plans. Unless they’re Jews of course. If you associate with My People, rest assured you will never go hungry. We will ask you every five minutes if you want something to eat. And are truly stunned if you say no.
Have a great weekend. And don’t be hungry!
See you next week.