You had that one little piece of chocolate or handful of chips. Now you’re diving into every processed treat you can get your hands on, and you haven’t eaten a vegetable in 3 days!
But is that first little treat really to blame? Or was there something lurking underneath that led to you falling off the wagon?
What you think the enemy is
I’ve heard it all before from my clients. They have told me that they were doing really well with their healthy habits, until that one thing tripped them up. You might be blaming:
- Baked treats
- Ice cream
- Your favourite dessert
- Not portion controlling or measuring your food for a meal
- A buffet at an event
- A wine lunch with your girlfriends
But the truth is that none of these things are what made you fall off the wagon. Any one type of food, drink or behaviour around those can kick you off track with your healthy habits.
What happened is treating yourself turned into guilting yourself. You slid down the slippery slope of stuffing your face instead of facing your stuff. Now what?
Why you actually fell off the wagon
Now let’s have a look at why you slipped up. You might find that one of these reasons applies, or you might realise that they all seem familiar! The good news is that there are easy ways to fix them for your future efforts.
You were in a victim mentality
The treat you’ve been blaming did not jump up into your hand of its own accord. You chose to eat it (or drink it in the case of wine!). Your treat did not control you and force you to have it.
The fix? When you do have a treat, have it and feel good about it. Enjoy it thoroughly! We have treats because they feel good. There’s no point in having them if you don’t let yourself feel good.
You were focused on what you couldn’t have
When you focus on what you can’t have, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your unconscious mind doesn’t process negatives, so looking at what you can’t have will just make you obsess over those foods.
If you think, ‘I can’t have cake anymore, I can’t have cake’, all your unconscious mind hears is ‘cake, cake, cake!’
The fix? Focus on what you can have instead. For example, instead of thinking, ‘I can’t have chocolate when I get home after a long day of work’, switch it for, ‘When I come home, I choose to have a piece of fruit to tide me over until dinner time’.
You were taking a short-term approach
Why do diets always end in failure? Because they have an end date. If you take a short-term approach to your health goals, you’ll never be able to maintain your successes. You won’t learn the habits you need to sustain you for life.
Find a balance where you can still enjoy your treats in moderation. As a Food Rebel, I like to take an approach of 80% healthy food and 20% treats. If you have significant health issues, you might go for a 90/10 split. If you’re new to eating plenty of healthy food, you might start with 70/30.
Whatever it is, make sure it feels like a balance that you can stick to. As I like to say, it’s a lifestyle, not a life sentence!