I often wonder why people announce they are on a diet while looking longingly at a much desired food item. Staring at a fresh, hot pizza pie and saying, “No, I can’t have that, I’m on a diet.” is setting yourself up for failure. It’s probably the biggest reason people abandon the new “diet” they are on. Is it realistic to think you will never, ever again eat a slice of pizza, or cake, or chips. Heck no! If you try to go that route, I will guarantee your failure. Unless you are banned medically from eating a certain food, you should never expect to remove it permanently from your diet. It’s all about making some simple changes and balance.
My three biggest indulgences are chocolate, pizza and wine. I can most definitely say I will never give them up completely. Rather, I have learned to live in balance. Allowing myself these items provides my brain and emotions with high satisfaction. Denying myself these items puts me in binge mode every time. Deprivation leads me to eat other things seeking satisfaction. And so the cycle begins again. Small changes is how I’ve lost thirty pounds and kept them off. Sure my scale goes up and down slightly, but that’s normal too!
First up is chocolate. It’s a must for me and I seriously need it daily. Especially following lunch and dinner, I am seeking its decadent sweetness to complete my meal. My small change is that I’ve found a healthier version. Combat crunch protein bars (chocolate brownie flavor) are very low sugar, high protein bits of heaven. I allow myself one bar a day. Usually, I split it across the entire day, but some days it’s gone by 10:00 AM. After lunch, I break off a piece and eat it with my green tea. After dinner, if any is left I finish it off. Well worth the 200 calories and far less than any other chocolate treats I was shoving in my mouth prior.
Pizza is something I could eat every single day, in a perfect world. When I was twenty I really could eat it endlessly, but those days are over. My small change to keep this food is homemade pizza, once a week. Seriously guys, homemade everything is so much better and healthier. I love the control of ingredients. I make my dough in an inexpensive bread maker. Start to finish in ninety minutes. It has a timer, so work is no worry. Just put all ingredients in, set it and forget it. There are many healthy recipes for dough, including gluten free. Stretch out the dough, put your favorite toppings on and bake for thirty minutes. For me, it’s plain with fresh mozzarella every time. Sure it’s got some calories in it, but it’s also got emotional satisfaction. I eat two slices and I’m happy. Far less calories than store bought as I don’t put all that oil on it, the cheese is not processed and the sauce is made my be. Not a sugary store version. This is my Friday night dinner each week and I truly look forward to it.
Last up, my sugary red wine obsession. Still struggle here with this one at times. This week was high stress at work and I indulged in a glass two nights. To balance it, I immediately followed with a large glass of water. Did you know the actual serving size for us is 5 oz. My gosh that’s like a shot glass. My goblets are huge. Hence the reason I still struggle. The only key to success for me is no wine in the house That’s it! Anything else won’t work So, Friday on my way home from work I pick up one small bottle of wine. The one with maybe three glasses in it. I have glass Friday and Saturday nights. Then it’s gone. Emotional satisfaction and built in control all in one. We had some left over wine this week from Easter and just knowing it was there was my downfall.
In the past, when I tried to ban foods from my life, if I had a slice of pizza or piece of chocolate I felt like a failure. I’d get so upset that it felt like the flood gates opened. Once that happened I was out of control and on my way to bad eating again. Usually, that’s when the “diet” failed and I was right back where I started. It truly is a vicious cycle. Just remember balance is they key. Eat the piece of cake, but maybe not the whole piece. Keep it small, keep it regulated (not every day) and you’ll find a lifestyle instead of a diet. I work in an elementary school surrounded by cupcakes for birthdays. If I want one, I take one. I take a bite and throw the rest away immediately as I’m chewing. Balance and control.
I hope you’ve been doing the exercises I ask each week and have a handle on where you are in this journey. Next Saturday, I’ll be setting up my free accountability group. It will be a private Facebook group that I need to add you too. I’ll also lay out a plan for you with some goals . Email me, or leave me your email here and I’ll contact you to get your Facebook information to add you to the private group Nobody has access to the group so you will be free to share openly. Together we I’ll continue on our journey to reclaim our health.
Have a great week!