Sometimes we just have a deep craving for something salty and deep fried or a rich and velvety dessert. I would, of course, recommend first trying some of these healthy alternatives (from a previous post) to help you over your cravings but when those simply won’t do the trick here are 6 rules I try to follow when I decide to have an unhealthy splurge….
1. Acceptance ~ Know that it is okay to treat yourself. If you are eating healthy 90% of the time it is okay to indulge 10% of the time. Just make sure it is really a 90/10 split, not 50/50.
2. Trigger Foods ~ Keeping # 1 in mind, we all have trigger foods where we can’t have “just one,” or that one food that leads us down a slippery slope of overindulgence. We usually know what our own trigger foods are, so just be aware of them. If you can’t buy a bag of chips without eating the whole bag you might need to decide right here and now to either never buy them again, so they aren’t there to tempt you or you might just buy a snack size bag of chips. Which leads us to the 3rd rule.
3. Portion Control ~ Buy things in convenience size portions. It might be a little more expensive but it might be worth it if this is an area you struggle in. That way once you have your small splurge it is all gone. You don’t have a giant box of cookies calling out to you for the rest of the day “EAT ME!” Or make some homemade cookies to share, set aside 2-3 for yourself and then immediately take the rest to your neighbors.
4. Savor ~ This is probably my favorite one. When you eat your splurge really sit and enjoy every single bite! Take your time & relish in it. Don’t eat it in a hurry, or in front of the TV, or while you are distracted with something else. Be mindful of every bite so you get the full enjoyment of it.
5. Sweet or Salty ~ Many of us love this combination of sweet and salty but when you are having your splurge you should have one or the other, don’t combine them. David Katz, M.D., author of Disease Proof, says “The appetite center in your brain responds independently to different flavors. So when you have something sweet with something salty, your brain will let you eat a lot more before you feel satisfied. If you mix the two, you’ll end up devouring more of both.”
6. Stay On Track ~ Once you have your splurge immediately go back to your normal, healthy eating habits. Don’t tell yourself, “The whole day is ruined now, I might as well eat whatever I want.” Having a splurge does not give you license to eat terribly for the rest of the day. If this is a hard rule for you to follow I recommend always planning your splurge at the end of the day, maybe at or after dinner, so you have less time for self-sabotage.
Wishing you a Wildly Vibrant Life