Cave or Crave?
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
We have all been there. Trying our best to be healthy, and someone in the family or at the office brings in / makes a cake, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, catered food, fried food, the list goes on. You may at first be able to pass it up, but then they sit there taunting you begging you to eat just one. When is it ok to cave in and have one? When do you just give in? Is it ok to have one / some? Is it not ok? Everything is ok in moderation right?
*****(I'm going to be talking about sweets in this post, because if you have read in past blogs, you probably know I absolutely hate the addiction to sugar. It sucks and is terrible. But also keep in mind while reading this goes for breads, fried foods, snacks, crappy dairy and anything that is bad for you)*****
You may try to talk yourself out of it at first, but then the thought of that cookie eats at you until you finally give in. Most people think to themselves, I worked out today, I deserve this or I brought veggies for lunch, so having a cookie now will be ok. I really hate to tell you, but it doesn't work that way. The thoughts of “I deserve this” are not good. It's a slippery slope. So what should you do instead?
EAT FOR THE FUTURE. This is what I tell myself. When I see sweets, desserts, or baked goods, I don't think about how it will make me feel while eating it, I think about how I will feel after. It sounds weird, but what is your return on investment going to be with this cookie or doughnut? If you eat it, it may make you very happy and satisfied for tops 5 minutes. After you have eaten it, how will it make you feel? Really think about these three questions:
Will it make you sick?
- This is the top question I ask myself. I stay away from gluten and dairy. They make me sick and cause a lot of inflammation in my body. Think about the ingredients that are actually in the product. I know in the long run I will be much happier if my day is not spent in the bathroom, I have energy (eating the treat / snack will cause a performance drop), and my joints don't hurt.
- If it is store bought, (kwick trip doughnuts count) I guarantee there are chemicals and preservatives that you don't want in your body. It's not worth it. You are worth more. Your body is a working temple. Don't poison it because you need one Oreo, piece of candy or doughnut hole (or keep in mind french fry or other bad snack foods).
Will you feel guilty?
- I have read / heard over and over again that you shouldn't feel guilty for eating something you know you shouldn't, or isn't healthy. But it does happen. I agree, to an extent. Guilt is an internal feeling telling us we shouldn't have done something, or what we did wasn't right. I always tell people to listen to their body, and maybe instead of telling your body you shouldn't feel something, you listen. I know I'll feel happier and in a better mood if I don't eat the cookie, then feel guilty and mad I gave in.
Will you want another?
- I will answer this for you yes. If you read my last post, if you eat sugar, you have now fed the addiction, and will want sugar/carbs shortly after. The broccoli and chicken your brought for lunch just won't do it. The thought of, “Well, I already ate 1 cookie, so I might as well have another, and start my diet tomorrow” will set in.
If someone buys something especially for you. Politely thank them and tell them you will eat it later. You don't have to eat it (even if you take one bite it will tempting not to want more). I understand this is rude, but it’s your body, your temple, your home. You control what you eat. Don't let someone else influence what is getting put into your body, or backtrack your hard work and progress. I'm not a fan of the in moderation thing, even just one bite still effects hormones and fat storage. Will it ruin everything? Not at all. But don't think it goes by without having any effect on the body.
After reading all that information above about when it’s not ok or how to say no. Is it ever ok to say yes? YEP! Gotta live once in a while. Personally these are my guidelines.
- On my birthDAY (not birthday, month, week, or weekend…)
- Immediate family's birthday
- Before I was full time nutrition coach and personal trainer, I ate nothing at work that was brought in. If it's someone's birthday, and you don't eat a cupcake, they will get over it. Saying you are allergic isn't the end of the world, and really stops people from nagging you to eat things that you shouldn't be.
- If I make something at home with ingredients that are healthy and tailored towards my diet. This makes me actually have to put in the work. It's a good indication that if I really do want something sweet then I have to put in the work to make it.
Create your own, and stick to them, no excuses. This gives you a definite set of rules of when it its ok.
My overall advice is to not eat impulsively, but EAT WITH A DAMN PURPOSE. Really think about what this food will do for you. I talk about checking-in with yourself. Do that. Really it's not crazy. Creating a disconnect between mind, body, and soul is essential to eating healthy. Yes, you want them working together, but you need to know when one is overpowering the other. In the beginning I talked about the “I deserve this thought” do you really deserve that cookie or muffin? Or do you deserve to take care of yourself and put healthy things in your body?
(Next week I promise not to write about sugar, please comment if you like the nutrition posts, or want me to do one on exercise / working out!)