Wouldn’t it be dreamy to indulge now and then without the guilt of going overboard? to meet the nutritional demands of your body without the muffin top?
Changing your relationship with food and giving yourself permission to eat is only part of the equation. There are some practical guidelines that to keep yourself in check to ensure one indulgent meal does not become a week long food bender.
In a study dieters were asked to evaluate the impact of one sweet high calorie dessert on their eating plans. The participants who catastrophized the impact of the dessert identifying they had ‘blown’ their diet proceeded to eat 5 times more than those who identified their eating plan could accommodate the dessert.
Creating flexibility in your eating plan rather than rigidity is essential to your mental health while trying to lose or maintain weight. When you make foods forbidden somehow this only increases your desire for them. Following the 80/20 principle of eating healthy nutritious meals 80% of the time and sometimes foods 20% of the time takes the energy out of a food being labeled “good” or “bad”. For some this may mean they are a health nut during the week but on the weekend a little more relaxed. If you know Friday nights get a bit hectic and a take away is always calling you then enjoy! look forward to the experience with excitement and eat with gusto. Your state of mind effects digestion. Feelings of guilt and apprehension hinders nutrient assimilation when eating, that kind of stress only makes you overeat even more!
There does need to be some guide post to make the 80/20 rule work. Planning when you are going to indulge is a start. Mark when the 1-2 indulgent meals per week will be occurring in your calendar. These are times to looks forward to life a special occasion. In between those times you do your absolute best to provide grade A nourishment for your body.
‘but what if I get a craving’
no doubt you will and a perfect time plan for your next indulgent meal. Write about your cravings and save it next to the date for your next indulgent meal. This way you are not saying ‘no i cant have this’ you are saying ‘yes I will’ just at another time. This eliminates the forbidden nature of food because you can have anything you want.
When it comes to your indulgent meal time you should have a host of ideas you have generated during the week. By being aware of HOW you eat and listening to your own body cues you can eliminate going overboard and eating the whole tray/6 pack/box etc. In addition to savoring the moment you are finally united with the food you have been longing for, it’s a very satisfying experience acknowledging your body when satisfied and pushing the plate away. The key is increasing your food awareness during meal times.
- Observe what your dish looks like, notice the colours shape etc.
- Inhale deeply noticing what the aroma does to your mouth and salivary glands.
- With your eyes closed observe the texture of the food in your mouth.
- Follow the taste of the first bite through to watery paste right a the very end before it goes down the hatch.
- Allow at least 20 min to complete your meal, frequently checking in with yourself “am I satisfied yet”. Be proud you have left food on the plate and clear away/bin any left overs.
With a few tweaks to the way you eat and think about food you can keep those indulgent meals on the menu and still keep that amazing body in check.