I've been thinking about some things lately and thought I'd share.
Sometimes I think it's too easy to follow a particular program and forget to ask what we need in our lives. If we don't get what we need from the program, we'll definitely fall away. I'm not talking about need as in "proper nutrition and exercise". I'm talking about need as in celebrating holidays, special occasions, having favorite foods, or having a social life (which always has food in it).
I have a few tips that I've been remembering as these things have come up. One issue is eating out. Sometimes when we eat out, it's a replacement for a regular meal. Other times, it's a holiday or other celebration. One trick to managing eating out is to be aware of whether you're replacing a regular meal or whether you're celebrating a special occasion. I had a Weight Watchers leader once who said we got ten days a year where we could celebrate and eat whatever we wanted. If it's not one of those "ten days", you'd choose healthy foods or to make a real effort to eat the way you would when you're at home. You'd save the treats for those occasions that truly are special. After all, a treat isn't a treat if you have it all the time.
Another thing I've been thinking about is the battle we often have with sweets. I noticed that if I eat fruit with every meal, I don't crave sweet desserts as much. But I do like them and don't want to completely give them up. I read a tip somewhere that suggested choosing sweets only once a day. So if you have a doughnut for breakfast, you'd have to pass on the birthday cake for the colleague at work. What this does, really, is get you to think before you eat, to make mindful choices, rather than just going along with whatever's going on around you.
A tip regarding junk food starts with a little story. I was grocery shopping with my son the other day. He bought a decent mix of good food and junk food. He said,"When I get junk, I try to get 'good' junk." I laughed, but I know what he means. If I'm going to spend calories on sweet treats, I'm not wasting them on stuff that doesn't taste good. If one cookie isn't enough, it's not a good enough cookie, in my opinion.
The last tip I've been thinking about comes from a friend who trains people to be personal trainers. She says that a good, overall food plan is about 80% good food and a maximum of 20% "stuff people feel guilty about eating." I stopped feeling guilty about food a long time ago. But this rule of thumb, if you're honest with yourself about following it, is a good way to be healthy without following a food plan that's so restrictive that you can't stick with it.
I hope you all have a great week!