Definition of FOOD: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.
Definition of TREAT: an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
We don’t need treats every day, however we do need FOOD. Treats are the exception, not the routine. Americans have it backwards. We tend to eat too many treats, not enough FOOD. Cheetos are not FOOD, they are a TREAT.
My friend Denise loves the saying “You are not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food”. That should actually be changed to: Don’t reward yourself with TREATS.
How many times have you said: I’ve been good so I’m going to eat “x” or haven’t had this in a while so I’m going to treat myself – I deserve a REWARD. No. You are not a dog. Stop it with the food rewards. Instead: if you want to eat it. Just eat it. Eat it because you CHOOSE to eat it.
With that said, we all have trigger foods and foods we gravitate to; foods that we crave and want. Foods that we often know we shouldn’t eat and say we want to eat less of, but we think we can’t because we just “have to have them” and we Just. Can’t. Stop. I was 230+ pounds of walking bread carbs minus bones and vital organs. If it was bread, a cookie, a cake, a bar, a cracker I was eating it. That was all I wanted. I’d grab and eat it without any desire or room for anything else. Eating that way didn’t keep me full or satisfied, and I craved more of the same. When I made the decision that I was FINALLY going to get a handle on my food and fitness, I took a hard look at what I was eating. I also took a look at the stressors in my life that were contributing to my stress eating.
I found an outlet for stress relief (EXERCISE) and I steadfastly worked on increasing protein rich foods in my diet. Protein and healthy fats were my focus. Quickly, I found that those foods satisfied me, kept me fuller longer and I felt better. I wasn’t as sluggish and I had more energy. As I concentrated on getting in my protein, the refined carbohydrates or EBLS as I like to call them (extraneous bread-like substances) took a backseat. I didn’t have room for them and I found that I didn’t crave them any longer. I ended up crowding out the “EBLS” by crowding in more protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates and healthy fat.
My point is this. If there is a food or group of foods, you want to cut back on or stop entirely: JUST DO IT. One step at a time. Be steadfast and stick with it for a few weeks, let your body do its thing and adjust. Don’t sabotage yourself with “I’ve been “good” so I will reward myself with just a bit of X (insert your trigger food)”. Stick with it. You WILL stop wanting it as much. Once YOU are in control, then you can choose to have some if you want. You are in control, not your cravings.
Mindset switch. YOU are in control. You CHOOSE. And! Remember to keep FOOD and TREATS in the proper perspective.
Stay Healthy. Be STRONG. Get After It.