Ever had a diet “crash and burn” because you struggled with resisting temptation? Every one of us has been in that place where we have to make a hard decision. When you are working toward losing weight and eating right, that decision happens more often than we’d like. I’m talking, specifically, about that moment when you are tempted to stray from your diet. You know the moment – it’s late, you’re hungry, you find yourself in the kitchen and staring at that bag of m&m’s sitting in the cupboard that your husband brought home. Or the bag of chips that your wife got for the big game on Sunday. You’re thinking “you know, just a handful won’t hurt …” and that handful becomes two and three. Before you know it, that spell of culinary bliss is broken with the thought “oh no, what have I done?”
Well, if your body is anything like mine, even a small dietary stumble makes itself known when I step on the scale. At my worst, when feeling defeated by a moment like that I often mumble, as I look at the numbers on the scale: “This is why we can’t have nice things…” So the question is: “How do we get through those moments with our resolution intact?” While we are all different, here is what I think about:
- I have worked hard all week – sticking to a diet, and exercising. It’s a lot of commitment to try to lose weight – and it always happens slowly. Do I want to throw away all that work for a few m&m’s?
- Every week I weigh in. Every week I’m so hopeful on Friday morning that this week has paid dividends and I’ve lose a few more pounds. It is a week…it’s time. If I cheat on my diet now, and I don’t lose any weight, then I have lost a week that I can never get back. Don’t sell a week away for a few m&m’s.
- I have been vigilant in what I put into my body …good, clean, healthy food. What am I going to feel like if I have this junk food? …if I end up feeling sick, AND absorb all those extra calories, was it really worth it?
- Get an 8 oz. glass of water, drink that, then re-evaluate. Am I still hungry? Do I still want a snack? …if so …then move to the next item in this list:
- Give yourself alternatives – ok, maybe those chips aren’t the best choice, but do I have some carrots, celery and a little hummus? …it’s a great alternative.
So, even with these mental safety valves, it doesn’t always work. I’m not perfect – none of us are. But we try our best, and I have to admit that I DO feel a certain pride when I conquer those moments. And when I need a little help, I talked here about having dietary safety valves to help make our struggles less of an impact on our diet. When it doesn’t work, that simply means we get back to our plan and continue with what works for us. No big deal. Have a plan, my friends. So how do you handle cravings? – What’s your safety valve?
Struggling with putting together healthy meals? Read more here.