I know you’ve been there. You decide that today is the day that you will commit to a healthier you. Today is the day you will put the donut down and pick up the salad fork. No more junk. No more sweets. Forget the fries! It is a BRAND. NEW. YOU!
And then you get home from work. Stressed and tired you just need a quick snack. You grab the first thing you see, then the second. Already knowing you’ve destroyed your diet plan you call up your friend and head to Happy Hour, where just one appetizer won’t hurt, right? Finally by the end of the day we realize today wasn’t a good day to start our new, healthy life and that hopefully tomorrow will be better to us.
Why do we do this? What are the triggers that make us cheat so easily on our diet?
For starters, may I be so bold to say, that you probably didn’t plan well enough? Having a diet requires planning so that when life happens (and it will) we are fully prepared to battle it. Most people “lose” their diets later in the day when you don’t want to think anymore. In those moments you should have healthy snacks prepped and ready to grab. Cut up fruits or veggies and have them in eye sight in your fridge. Portion out salty treats, like pretzels, in snack sized bags so you don’t grab the whole bag. Keep string cheese in your reach. If you are not used to grabbing these foods as your “go to” then it will require planning. Spend your weekends grocery shopping and planning out your snacks and meals for the week.
Another reason we fall off the wagon could be that we are not being thoughtful. Yeah, that’s right. You aren’t THINKING about what you are eating. Do you eat in the car? Do you eat while watching something on television? These are thoughtless practices and they are grounds for overeating. Again going back to planning, if you have your snacks and meals planned out in front of you, that becomes the first step in being thoughtful about your intake. Eat slowly, stick to your pre-planned snacks and meals, and think about what you are eating WHILE you eat it. Tell yourself how delicious it is, think about whether or not it is filling you up, be thankful for the chance to be present in your mind.
One more reason we cheat on our diets is because we attach too much pressure and guilt to our eating. STOP FEELING BAD ABOUT EATING SOMETHING YOU ARE CRAVING! Yes, you should feel bad about eating pizza, a Snickers, two cans of pop, fried chicken, a large order of fries, and a tub of ice cream. But, really, who does that all day, every day? MODERATION, my friends. Eat the foods you crave and love. Just eat them in moderation. Try to have a cheat meal once a week. It will actually rev up your body and its fat burning because you are shocking it with foods you don’t normally eat. Deprivation is not the answer, so don’t do it. I personally LOVE fries. So I eat them. Once every week or two I eat them to get my fix. When I do allow myself that cheat, I acknowledge that I’m enjoying it and I don’t feel guilty. Its ridiculous to treat yourself poorly for enjoying something. Its also ridiculous to torture your body with junk food all of the time…so find the balance. 🙂
So when it comes to your diet and nutrition, once a week and in moderation, I say-CHEAT ON!