Enjoy the Guilt, but Don’t Sabotage the Gut…
It’s Sunday evening and you just spent the last 3 hours cooking, weighing, measuring, and prepping your meals for the busy week ahead. Each and every one of your Tupperware containers is macronutrient precise, aiming to keep you on track with healthy, pre-planned food choices. All week long, you stay the course, and by Friday after work, you can not wait to get home, pour a glass of wine, and order a large pepperoni pizza. After all, you “ate well” all week and it’s time to enjoy the weekend, right?
That one overindulgent on Friday night, turns into a big breakfast on Saturday morning, which leads to a heavy dinner Saturday night, which then leads to a mimosa and Bloody Mary filled Sunday brunch, and a nice big family dinner to close out the weekend on Sunday night. Then comes Monday…
You’re now up several pounds on the scale, you’re bloated, feeling guilty, and have the crappiest workout from fueling your body with all the crappy nutrients you just had to have. It felt great going down…but now you’re paying for it.
So, are indulgent meals and foods ok? Absolutely! Are indulgent weekends ok? No! If you want to stay healthy, get in shape, and achieve longterm fitness goals, then weekend over indulgence will undermine your milestones.
Now, if you find yourself to be one of these people, try using these tactics to help you build a healthier relationship with food:
Favorable vs Faultless
There is no “perfect diet” and no one should expect to be perfect all of the time. Instead of trying to be faultless, aim to be favorable. Choose options are that allow you to be healthy, but give you the freedom to indulge. EX: You are out to dinner with your friends and decide you want to order a cheeseburger. To balance out your guilt, opt for a side salad instead of the french fries.
Dismiss the Food Guidelines
-what can I eat? what can’t I eat?
-when can I eat? when can I not eat?
-how much can I eat? how much should I not eat?
Don’t eat by the rules! Listen to your hunger and let it be your guide. If you’re full, stop. If you’re still hungry, eat more.
Ditch the “Cheat Days”
If you look forward to that one day of the week that you call “cheat day,” then how are you feeling the other six days of the week? If you’re trudging through the week, eating salads and chicken, just waiting for that one day where you can splurge, then chances of bingeing are extremely great. Instead of designating one day to eating all the donuts and pizza you’ve been craving all week long, allow yourself to have those treats sporadically. If it’s Wednesday night, and you want to eat a bowl of ice cream, eat it!
Take Ownership of Your Choices
Feel free to eat and drink what you CHOOSE, but also know that you are also CHOOSING your outcomes. Certain foods result in certain feelings and emotions, and those are all based on your behaviors and choices. If you want to feel good, make a smart choice. If you want to feel sluggish, continue to make your poor choices. But, you are ultimately responsible for you.
Stop Making Excuses
Weekends can throw a wrench into your routine…your kid had a soccer tournament all weekend and you were stuck on the soccer field with a concession stand full of pizza and cheese fries; it was rainy and you binge watched Game of Thrones and needed to have snacks (popcorn, nachos, etc) to also entertain you…the list goes on. In the end, we tend to eat due to circumstances. But, take a step back and identify the underlying factor: are you bored? are you stressed? are you happy? are you sad? Search for other ways to address these emotions, and take comfort from food out of the solution.
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