Eating your favourite foods or enjoying a drink is essential to your success. There are no strings attached here – you do not have to choose the ‘1 point’ biscuit that tastes like cardboard, or the no-alcohol wine…rather, you want the decadent triple-choc cookie…or a lush hunk of camembert paired with a glass of your cellar’s finest. Not only is it possible, it’s recommended – in moderation.
SET YOUR BOUNDARIES. All too often “I’ll only have 2 drinks” turns into 3 or 4 or more. Make sticking to your guns a whole lot easier by attaching booze to another activity – force yourself to ‘qualify’ before you can drink. Some suggestions? “I can only drink when I am eating my meal”… “I can only drink until 8pm”… “I can only drink when the conversation turns to football” …you get the idea. Come up with your own guidelines and figure out what works for you.
DON’T BOTHER SAVING IT UP. Being ‘good’ all week and then binging on the weekend spells disaster for fat loss. Would you ever have 4 oranges in a sitting? What about 5 or 10? Probably not. And why not? Because eating that many would be excessive. The ‘metabolic’ effect of one standard alcoholic drink can be likened to drinking a shot of oil! If a spirit & soft drink combo is more your style, then you can add 6-10 teaspoons of sugar into your shot of oil. Disastrous, right? So it’s a good idea to keep a lid on the number you have. If drinking, opt for wine, beer, champagne, or a spirit on the rocks/with soda; stagger your drinks with water; and always kick off a social occasion with water/mineral water to quench your thirst.
If you avoid them, you crave them. You may be able to keep it out for 3 days or 3 weeks, but when you inevitably ‘give-in’ to your black-listed food, it is likely that you will eat more in that sitting than if you allowed yourself to eat it occasionally. To boot, you probably felt guilty about having eaten it. This is no way to enjoy your favourite food! A consistent characteristic of people who maintain a healthy weight is that they DO EAT their favourite foods. Here’s how to do it:
- ONLY THE BEST version of your favourite food will do. Don’t settle for a second-rate apple slice – seek out the most decadent one you can find. Research shows we eat less of our favourite chocolate than if we ate just any old chocolate.
- TASTE EVERY MOUTHFUL: Eat in an environment conducive to enjoyment and awareness. Switch off the TV, make a cup of tea, and remember that the first few bites are the ones that give you the most pleasure.
- HOW MUCH: not so little that you are left craving more, not so much that you walk away feeling ill!
- HOW OFTEN? 2-3 times a week.