Picture the situation. You have been good ALL day and made the right food choices, then suddenly you are faced with someone putting a cake/biscuit/chocolate under your nose.
“Go on”, they tease, “just the one you have been sooooo good”.
This is where you internal monologue takes over:
“Yes, I have been good and I DESERVE this one chocolate because I went for that lunchtime walk and I have EARNED it”.
Lovely. You have earned it so you deserved it.
Fast forward 10 minutes and you have “accidentally” devoured; 3 chocolates, a biscuit, a packet of crisps and a hot chocolate from the vending machine/packet. This is what happens when you spike you insulin levels with sugar….. So what happens next?
BIG FAT GUILT! Cue internal monologue:
“Why can’t I just control myself around these types of foods? I KNEW I shouldn’t have even STARTED. Why did I listen to them? That’s it, as of TOMORROW I am starting again and I WILL NOT be tempted”.
Does this sound familiar? How can you avoid this?
When leading a healthy lifestyle it is important to accept that you are going to have days where you want to indulge. As long as you are leading a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time then when you do, for that 20% it really will make no difference. When people tell me that they have been “naughty” I ask them this: “Have you been good for the majority of time this week?” If the answer is “yes” then I slot them into the 20% bracket. This means that it is allowed. You should indulge guilt free knowing that you have earned it and you have planned for it.
If the answer is “no” then we have to take a step back. Reassess the food diary, check to see if it’s emotional eating, control, severe hunger, illness, stress etc. All these things can contribute to you not being able to sustain the 80% that you need to be able to indulge guilt free.
So you have overindulged? It happens, life happens. How you COME OUT of it is what really matters. Do you give up for the day and decide to “binge” on bad stuff because let’s face it, the damage has been done already (I have been there!)? Physiologically what you are doing here is adding more and more calories making your long-term goal harder to reach. Psychologically you are allowing yourself to binge eat. This can be a slippery slope.
Take control. ACCEPT that you have overdone it, ASSESS if it falls within the 80/20 rule and if it doesn’t TAKE CONTROL. Draw a line under that little splurge and continue to eat healthy. May be go for an extra-long walk to make up for it or have a light dinner. I talk about EARNING your calories but it is still ok to owe a debt to your body. Just make sure that the debt is not too high!
Finally take responsibility for your actions. You are an adult, you have to accept that these things will happen. Once you take responsibility you can take action and you can claw your lifestyle back.