When my scale or pre-baby jeans are laughing at me, I like to blame my meaty muffin top on everyone but me: work dinners, lack of sleep, and of course my children. But I can't blame my innocent little offspring for my date with the deep freeze late last night. As I lie awake regretting my actions, I'm reminded of two things that should not happen after midnight: opening the refrigerator or sending text messages. Nothing good comes from either.
After a great evening out with my girlfriends—in which I ate and drank more than enough—the only place I needed to be upon arriving home was in bed. But somehow the Bermuda Triangle of Tribeca, my kitchen, drew me in. What started as an innocent visit to my fridge to grab a glass of ice water ended up with a shameful rendezvous with a hunk of ice cream cake. I didn't even enjoy it, but before I knew it, I was polishing off my frozen treat while scanning Facebook.
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Now I'm battling the morning-after blues and my body is begging for another five hours of sleep. One thing I know for sure: Coddling yourself with a day in bed and a carb-loaded breakfast isn't the answer. Even if it were, my kids eliminate that option. School's out for summer and the weather is great, so there's a playground and game of freeze tag in my immediate future. Powering through a sluggish morning after a late night of eating and drinking is a challenge, but it's also hugely beneficial. How? It forces me to acknowledge an important lesson I've learned: If it's not mealtime, get out of the kitchen. Eating for the sake of eating is an unnecessary evil.
Kitchens everywhere have become de facto living rooms. In my house, the kitchen is our family's command center and in turn, it often feels like everything in our lives centers around food. Whether I'm working on my laptop, reading, or talking on the phone, I usually do it in the kitchen—while mindlessly snacking. If I were in another part of my house, outside, or at work, food wouldn't be on my mind or in my mouth.
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The next time you're snooping around your kitchen without a specific purpose, ask yourself "What am I doing here? Am I even hungry?" Knowing what to eat and when to do it is essential to both weight loss and maintenance, so you need to be prepared. If there's no purpose or plan, get out of the kitchen! Simple as that.