Anyone with an inclination to slim down passes through at least one moment of weakness. 30 lbs later, and I'm no more immune to them then anyone else. Those knee quivering moments when that bag of M&Ms suddenly seems the just reward for all the progress and self controlled we've exercised. In reality, it's clutter we're sticking under our skin ultimately. When you consume foods with little to no nutritional value, there's very little for your body to do, other than convert it into stored fat. For me, it was stuffing the upholstering I wore all over my body - I looked like an over-stuffed couch at the worst end of it.
Here are the top 5 moments of my own diet insanity ....
- Zombie eating - It's come in all shapes and sizes for me. I could clear out a pint of ice cream before you could say Haagen Dazs! And plop me in front of the TV with a bag of M&Ms, and in a few short moments, I'll be looking around for what happened to all the M&Ms.
SOLUTION: Portion control and sticking to it!
- Grazing - This usually strikes at parties, holidays and family get togethers. We're such a food centered culture in the US, everything is an occasion for eating. Calories in all these cute little finger foods accumulates quickly, so best watch out!
SOLUTION: Grab a reasonable bite to eat before you head into the land of the food pushers! Having something like an apple or small salad before you head out will give you the strength to resist. And if you do feel compelled to eat, stick with raw fruits and veggies if at all possible - be a good guest and bring a plate of your own to share!
- Eating Sprawl - This is something that I fall head over heels into if I don't plan out my week's meals. Sprawl occurs when I'm not paying attention to what I've eaten through the course of the day. Unplanned meals wreak havoc on my waistline!
SOLUTION: Planning ahead for my daily eating - and I work backward from dinner, when I eat with my children. After I figure out what's for dinner, calculate out the calorie potential, I can figure out what I can afford to eat the rest of the day.
- Workout Denial - Now this may sound funny, but stick with me on this. When the number of calories I consume is in excess of what I can realistically burn off in activity. It's a matter of unbalanced logic - "wow, I've run up 50 steps, that means I can eat "x." Inevitably, my eyes are bigger then then my calorie burn.
SOLUTION: Being more reasonable about what I can realistically burn off compared to what I've eaten during the day. A good way to keep this in check is my "Losin' It" application on my iTouch.
- High & Dry: I have a big problem staying hydrated through the day. Yes, I pontificate about the virtues of drinking water, when I could be doing so much better about it myself. Water is so important to many metabolic processes, I'm short changing myself by not drinking nearly enough.
SOLUTION: Keep it coming! I have an application on my iTouch called "8 Glasses" that is a fun way to track how many glasses I've downed through the day.
At the end of the day, dieting is really behavior modification. Exchanging one set of behaviors for another. Now, any way you look at it, change is a difficult proposition. But take a moment to close your eyes, and think a moment about this. Isn't it worth a little bit of effort to make changes over the short term, to improve your quality of living across the rest of your lifetime? Now there's some food for thought!