Day 17 Reward yourself differently – 30 Days of Lazy Health

17. Reward yourself differently

Eat out.  Have dessert.  Drink a soda.  Splurge a little.  Within reason…

One of the main deal breakers of a diet is when we tell ourselves that “cheat days” are allowed.  Sure they are.  You just can’t plan on it.  

The last time I thought a diet was going to be the thing to save me from myself and would surely work “this time” – I dilligently worked out, walked, ran, and ate my allotted 900-some-odd calories to burn fat.  For me, that was reasonable. (We’ll get more to calories and understanding what too much, just right, and too little is, but not today.)  Problem was, I told myself that if I worked that hard each week, that eating normal foods in American proportions over the weekend was well deserved and ultimately wouldn’t hurt me in the end.  Wrong!  I was eating like a maniac and as a result, everything I thought I was dilligently doing throughout the week was just an illusion to how I was going to make up for it later.  I created that “starvation mode” that so many dieticians talk about – where my body was just storing up everything I ate throughout the week and not quite understanding that by the weekend, it wouldn’t sense starvation anymore.  I balooned!  

Rewarding yourelf should never be a plan.  It should never be an expectation.  it shouldnt be this self-thought of, “I’ve done really great, so this one thing won’t hurt,” becuase we can’t sustain that kind of diligence.  Instead, you should anticipate your desires to binge on something and do what you can to keep the binge from ever happening.

Go back to the start of this little advice-roll here, where It alk about Chocolas and low glycemic levels that cause you to feel hungry when, in fact, your body just needs the right kind of sugar and balanced diet to continue knowing it really isn’t hungry at all.  Yea.  That one.  Thankfully I am not a big dessert person.  That wasnt always the case.

Once upon a time, I loathed water.  I lived off soda pop, and the candy drawers at work were more frequented than my actual desk.  Yum, yum, yum, and more yum.  Only in my venture toward overall wellness and not just “skininess” did I start to kick those habits.  I cold turkeyed everything.  I gave myself the rule of being able to eat as much as I want so long as it was only a few things – lots of white rice or tofu, vegetables, water, and not a lot of anything else.  Spending an entire summer eating like that easily led to over 12 months of not one lick of soda or coffee.  Desserts?  No big deal.  I was the person that would take a bite of whatever you ordered and that was by far enough for me.  It helped to just flat out never have any baking items at home.  None.  Dessert, to me, was always an event.

The reason we can’t plan on cheat days is simply that they will happen, even when we haven’t planned on them.  So if you’re telling yourself that weekends you can be a little more lax with your diet, sit down with the family for a big buttery emeal full of preservatives and then a bowl of ice cream afterwards, you’re forgetting that in the upcoming week you have a lunch meeting at work, your best friend’s birthday, and the inevitable day of so many errands that you’ll find yourelf grabbing a fast bite somewhere.

Sure, you did really great the rest of that day, but it is easy to overlook how these other things that we didn’t exactly “choose” (when in fact yes you really did choose it) to do, aren’t part of our dieting choices.

Therefore, make it simple.

1) Avoid the desire to binge on favorites by a) eating more balanced snacks and melas that supress hunger and don’t make you feel starving, b) eating on a schedule so that you don’t get so hungry that you’re just going to opt for an easy meal or a candy bar, and c) consider desserts like snacks and have a taste here or there rather than a bowl or a plate.

(continue to the next post or wait for tomorrow for the next step)

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