I’m just back from a couple weeks of traveling. It can be a challenge to be disciplined about nutrition any time that you’re away from home.

I took a road trip through the Heartland with Emily and then another to Ireland with my siblings and dad to celebrate his 80th birthday. While both places were lovely, they are both cultures that love their starches. Potatoes, rice, breads, pasta, sweets, you name it, there were loads and loads of starches available at every meal.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume it can be difficult when nearly every menu option or buffet includes piles of them.

I’d like to share a quick tip that I’ve found helpful.

While I did indulge a bit more than usual, for the most part I was able to keep the train on the rails most days.

Here’s a simple trick that I’ve employed the past few years when I’m in a high temptation environment.

When you fill your plate, on your first helping, take only servings of proteins and veggies. Take as much as you feel is appropriate but not more than you think you can realistically finish. Leave the starches for a later serving.

Eat as much of what you’ve served yourself as you feel is enough. If you’re no longer hungry, perfect. You’re done. Whatever cravings you had for the starches has passed and you’re now sated. Mission accomplished!

If you’re still hungry and want a second helping, serve yourself another modest portion of protein and veggies. And now take a modest helping of a starch.

But, here’s the trick… eat all of the protein and veggies again first. If you’re still hungry enough to want the starches, fine. Enjoy them. But, stop there. Take some time and drink a full glass of water. Most of us will feel full by now.

OK, if you’re still feeling cravings for a starch the answer is simple. Simple but not easy. Just wait. Wait a few minutes before succumbing to the craving. Another glass of water sometimes helps. In most instances it will pass. Mission accomplished!

I found this approach really helpful at breakfast. In Ireland breakfast is a big deal and there are literally mounds of baked goodies available. By employing this method I succeeded in controlling my cravings and keeping my carb addiction from getting out of hand.

I hope you find this helpful.

Be strong and have fun!

Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.