At my house, we have a lockbox.
I know, it looks like a toolbox. But it’s a lockbox. I’m sure that’s what the good people at Home Depot think it is, and bless their little ol’ hearts for selling such a nice, big one, because I need it to fit an entire 52-bag variety box of potato chips.
Other things that go in the lockbox:
Granola bars. Anything I want to put in my kids’ lunch as a little treat (have I mentioned that some of my kids are underweight? Oh, the joys of balancing their diets with mine!) Candy the kids get at Halloween/Christmas/Valentine’s Day/Easter. Basically, anything I will steal and shove in my face on a day when I have no self-control, because some days are just like that, amIright?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in treating myself. I believe in moderation, and that includes days off. But sometimes, I have a day when I seem to be incapable of thinking straight about food. Or maybe I’m just not thinking, period. There are also a few foods (CHIPS I’M LOOKING AT YOU) that seem to turn of the moderation switch in my brain, no matter my intentions! I always regret the times when I’ve just eaten thoughtlessly and not even enjoyed what I’ve put in my face–it’s not the same as looking forward to a treat and savoring it. And so: we have a lockbox. 😀
Note that box has a padlock, but I don’t know the combination. My 13-year-olds do, and my husband does, but NO ONE is allowed to tell me. They find this both hilarious and empowering (“We have access to the goodies, and Mom doesn’t!”), and for whatever reason it has made them more responsible with their treats. They don’t sneak them anymore, and I don’t have to hawk over them, barking reminders that “One bag of chips per day is plenty STOOOP sneaking food upstairs!” Gotta love those unforseen benefits.
Is this not the perfect solution? I think it is!
Know what else works? The freezer. 43 Costco muffins? No I don’t need to eat those. Shove ’em in the freezer. Leftover cookies? Freezer. Cookie dough I’d like to sit on the couch and eat all by myself? Two huge spoonfuls first and then IN. THE. FREEZER. I can thaw all that stuff out later when I’m not eating just because I’m bored/tired/stressed, and my kids will be thrilled and think I’m awesome. Really I’m just making room in my freezer. Win-win!
Mac and cheese I made for my son that I shouldn’t really be eating but can’t seem to help spooning from every time I walk by? No. Not the freezer. For whatever reason, if I stick it in a Rubbermaid container in the fridge, I don’t want it anymore. Why the heck does that even work? I guess it’s just not…out? I’m too lazy to open a lid? Whatever it is, the closed container seems to be enough. Leftovers of any kind, really, go in the fridge before I can piece on them. They’re in there for later, and I’m not mindlessly eating, anymore. Such an easy thing that it seems downright stupid, but it works!
My last resort? The garbage disposal. Seriously, friends. If I can’t leave something alone, I chuck it down the chute. I try to reserve this for things that are small or almost gone–bigger things can go in the fridge or freezer or box, usually. But if I’ve gotten a little bag of chips with lunch and I realize partway through them that I don’t really want them, they go in the disposal. Why not the garbage? Because I might pull them back out. I KNOW.
That’s my super-ridiculous list of ways I stay successful. What are all your little tips and tricks?