|Oops! One chocolate turned into...20?|
|Yea, even bikini models cheat on their diet.|
1) First and foremost, recognize that you've cheated and don't make excuses ("Oh well, I guess it wasn't THAT bad"). Rather, own up to the fact that you are trying to achieve something (weight loss, a healthier lifestyle, lower cholesterol - whatever your goal may be), and you have just given yourself a set-back. The size of the set-back is not what is important - the more we justify it or sugar-coat it (pun intended), the more often it is likely to occur. That said, don't dwell on it! Negative reactions will most likely cause you to develop some other unhealthy tendencies, which are completely counter-productive to your goals.
2) DON'T develop this mentality: "Oh well, I've already 'ruined' today, so I might as well eat another 3 pieces of cake/giant bowl of ice cream/bag of chips/half of my kitchen..." This mentality is actually more common that some may think - the idea that because the damage is done, you might as well indulge further and start again tomorrow. The truth: You WILL make it worse. One giant bowl of ice cream is an indulgence, a 'cheat' meal in your diet - but three bowls + whatever else you can get your hands on is binging. And is just as unhealthy mentally as it is physically.
|Yea, we've all been there, but it shouldn't be that often!|
4) One of the most important points: Recognize the triggers. For me, it's late-night eating. I tend to feel more like 'cheating' on my diet in the evenings, when I'm watching TV or working. And in perfect line with the female cliché, when I'm sad I am tempted to sit on my couch with a carton of ice cream and a spoon. But being able to recognize what makes you indulge gives you the ability to avoid doing so!
|Are you making this decision because|
you are emotional?
5) PLAN your 'cheat' meals. That's right - give yourself something to look forward to once or twice a week but not more. For example, if I know that I am going to brunch with a friend in the weekend, I let myself eat what I want to. So until then, I'm more likely to stick to my diet with something to look forward to. If I don't have something on the calendar, I put it there - for example, I will decide that on Friday after a good workout, I will make some pasta (a bowl, not a bucket!).
|Do the calories count if nobody sees you? um, YES.|
6) Make your own indulgences! That's right - if it is pizza you crave, it will be much more healthy if you make it yourself versus ordering out. Home-made stuff is almost always more healthy. And if you are going to buy it, don't buy it until you want it. That is, if you don't buy ice cream at the store, it will not be there to 'cheat' with at home. So when you want ice cream, go out and get it then.
7) Finally, when you want to splurge on something that is not a part of your diet, take a moment to think about it. Why do you want pizza/chips/chocolate/cake/etc? Is it because you are hungry? Eat something healthy first, wait 20 minutes, and see if you are still having cravings. Is it because you are tired? Go to bed, you will thank yourself in the morning. Is it because you are angry at your boyfriend/mom/boss? Wait until things have been resolved and you feel better before deciding to cheat (you probably won't feel like it once the storm has passed). Have a big glass of water (a big one), think about how you will feel when you have finished an entire pizza, and look at whatever notes you have from the last time you cheated (if you have them).