I feel pretty confident saying that I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world. Seriously. I remember back in the day I used to take a spoon to a tub of icing and just go to town. Luckily I don’t bake like I used to and I completely avoid the baking aisle when I hit the store.. but i digress.
It’s been a rough ride with my sweet tooth and I. We haven’t always gotten along. With time however, our relationship has matured and we have learned to compromise.
That’s right. I haven’t sworn off my beloved sweet tooth, and I never plan to, because it’s not the enemy. In fact, I’m the enemy.
The Forbidden Fruit
Have you ever gotten into a relationship with someone who told you that you couldn’t do this or that? Or how about when you were a little boy or girl and your parents gave you the big N.O? Didn’t that just make you want to do that thing even more?
It started as a weekly cheat day… I’d work hard all week, avoiding all the goodies at work and saying no to delicious donut shops. I’d eat my spinach and drink my protein shakes day in and day out, crave my evening desserts, and by Saturday night I couldn’t wait for the clock to strike 12 so i could have my Sunday cheat session.
That weekly cheat session was a full-on binge of forbidden foods. Everything I said no to during the week was now laid out on my dining table, ready for me to devour. And what was meant to be a moderated kind of cheat day just turned out to be an unstoppable feast. I knew that once Monday hit, it was back to the miserable healthy diet.
Easy to figure out why I wasn’t losing any fat, right? All of the progress I made throughout the week was thrown right into the trash with the candy wrappers and donut boxes on Sunday.
The ‘forbidden’ foods were making it so I wanted to get in as much as i could before i couldn’t anymore.
Even worse, I saw my diet as a temporary fix instead of a lifestyle change, and that I’d “only have to suffer through this crappy food thing for a little bit longer.”
Shame on me for ever trying to commit to a healthy relationship with my body and telling it to swear off sweets and junk for the rest of my days!
Say goodbye to dieting!
Eventually I gave up on my ‘diet.’ I still ate moderately healthy, just the random bag of chips when I spur-of-the-moment wanted it, or the slice of chocolate cake at work when it was offered.
It was then that the unplanned weight loss began, and the thought of following a ‘diet’ was gone. Cue the epiphany.
The forbidden foods were no longer forbidden. There wasn’t any power or enticement behind them, taunting me to have what I wasn’t allowed to have. It was just food.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love my sweets. But I no longer feel the need to shove as much sweets as possible down my face-hole in fear that I’ll never have them ever again. Instead, I indulge a little bit here and there. My binges are no longer! I have won this war.
Tips for your treats
Moderation is key
Don’t overdo the sweets, especially if you’re trying to lose fat. Keep a food journal and track your calories. Make sure your treat isn’t putting you way over.
I use MyFitnessPal to track everything I eat! The app makes it quick and easy to scan what I’m eating and track my calories.
If you’re going out with friends later on and plan on indulging a bit, make sure the rest of your day is full of wholesome, healthy foods. And remember to keep it moderate.
Stop labeling foods
Don’t give foods the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ label. Food is just food. Therefore, there is no reason to feel bad about indulging in a small treat. Savor those few bites, smile to yourself, and continue on with your healthy habits.
Keep your pantry clean
Don’t set your pantry up with all of your favorite treats, especially if you’re just starting out on this new adventure. It may be hard to adjust to moderating your sweets at first. Keep them away from where they are easily accessible.
If you do end up bringing some home, spend a few minutes portioning your treats out into little baggies, this way it’s a little easier for you to track and control what you eat.
Prep your meals ahead of time
Sometimes we choose ‘junk food’ because it is right there and ready to eat. It is not bad to have a snack every now and then, but we have to remember it is not a meal replacement. We still need our nutrients and protein, and that should come first!
I usually cook all of my meats and cut all of my veggies on Sundays so that my meals are easier to put together throughout the week. You can take this a step further however and make all of your meals ahead of time in separate Tupperware containers so it’s a breeze to just grab one and heat up when you’re hungry! This way, instead of eating that entire bag of BBQ chips for lunch, you’ll have your prep to fill up on and maybe just a few chips later on for a light snack.
Don’t let food control your lifestyle. Let it be a part of it. Eat your veggies, track your protein, put in your cardio and eat that candy bar.
Disclaimer: the information above is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Always consult your physician before beginning a new program or altering your diet.