To have the pizza or not to have the pizza. That’s always the ultimate question, right? I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle WHILE living life a little. Here’s what I mean by that. Maybe I’m the oddball out but for me, memories are made around food. It’s baking burnt cookies with grandma or tossing dinner rolls around the Thanksgiving table. Yes, both of those instances remind me of my own childhood. It’s going to a wedding and enjoying that amazing cake. Or a special treat on your birthday. That’s what “living life” means to me. BUT there’s a difference between enjoying those treats every once in while and splurging on them just cause you can (you are in control of what you put in your mouth after all). Here’s how I determine whether I should have the pizza or not.
Understanding your cravings
We get cravings all the time. We see that Pinterest recipe for “better than sex cake” or whatever it’s called and we start to drool. We see commercials of skinny people eating candy bars and drinking soda and we want that too! Hey, if they can do it and be perfectly skinny and healthy looking we can too. Ha, yeah right! We know that’s not exactly accurate. Anyway, the point is that anything can trigger that want. I’ve actually experienced two types of cravings. The one I just mentioned and another one. The one where my body tells me what it needs. This one goes further than just want. Sometimes our body craves chocolate because it just needs a break from the healthy eating. Sometimes we crave carbs because we need a little more of them in our diet for a boost. Or maybe you’re craving a banana. That’s your body telling you that you need more potassium.
So how do you know which craving you’re experiencing? There’s a trick to it. When the craving strikes, tell yourself that you can have that particular food tomorrow. TOMORROW. That’s the key. Make yourself wait for it. If you’re still craving that food without anything triggering that craving the next day, your body may be telling you something. If the craving goes away, then it was just a temporary craving and you can move on with your life.
If that craving is not going away. If you can’t stop thinking about chocolate cookies. If you’re losing sleep over it. If you’re almost in tears because you want it so bad (yes, I’ve been there!) then you should have it. Enjoy that cookie guilt-free. Get it out of your system so you can start fresh with your diet again tomorrow. Be sure to not go overboard with it though. Don’t go out buying a dozen cookies. Buy only ONE. One really big.. I mean good one. And savor every bite. Get that cookie from the best bakery in town. Don’t settle for the Chips Ahoy. If you’re going to do it, go all out!
Here’s the other situation where you SHOULD treat yourself. Life is too short to not have the cake at your cat’s birthday party, right? Things will interrupt your diet and you have two choices. You can stay strong through these celebrations or you can let go and enjoy it. Either choice is perfectly fine. I judge it by how I’m feeling in the moment. One thing I don’t do is let peer pressure get to me though. I’ll have the cake if I want it but that’s my choice. Again, don’t go overboard and be sure to get right back on track the next day.
The most difficult part about having a cheat meal is the guilt that comes after. I struggled with this for many years. I thought that if I went off my healthy eating routine, I’d gain 20 pounds overnight. Not true! In fact, sometimes you’ll lose weight after a few days after a cheat meal. It’s always good to mix things up in life. Your body needs a change. Anyway, keep your cheat meals in moderation and listen to your body. It’ll tell you what you need. While you shouldn’t go off your diet every single night, I don’t recommend depriving yourself. You need little treats in your life. If you start depriving yourself, your cravings get worse and when you do give into them, it’s hard to control. I had a huge problem with binge eating when I did this! Most importantly, don’t stress over your eating habits! Enjoy the healthy foods and occasionally enjoy the cookies and just be happy 🙂
Tell me, what’s your biggest struggle when it comes to healthy eating? Drop a comment below and tell me about it!