Recently I started working with a new client who is 24 and constantly on and off a diet. Her triggers are life events like a vacation, a trip back home, holiday party, etc. These events motivate her to diet and exercise so that she can look good and impress people. The problem is after the vacation she returns to her old eating and exercise habits and gains the weight back. You can see what a cycle this creates. My client is like countless others that have adopted the “cheat day” or “cheat meal” into their lifestyle. They deprive themselves of something they feel is bad for them, i.e. bacon, until their weekly cheat meal and then they allow themselves to eat as much bacon as they like. Have you tried this strategy? I’m opposed to it and feel strongly that it does more damage than good. Who wants to live a life of deprivation 6 days/week? It causes obsessive thoughts about bacon. It perpetuates the idea that you don’t deserve to eat bacon. And after you allow yourself to eat 6 pieces of bacon you can’t help but feel guilty and calculate all the extra minutes you will have to spend at the gym to burn off the calories. How is this effective??
[su_quote]Who wants to live a life of deprivation 6 days/week?[/su_quote]
The reality is you have to become a person that doesn’t eat bacon. Oh the horror!!! Now I know how divine it smells but have you ever mindfully eaten a piece of bacon? We do an exercise in mindful eating at Lifexcel that gets our clients to eat their favorite foods like never before. Look at it, touch it, smell it, chew it, swallow it slowly. Have you ever looked at piece of bacon? How attractive is the fat marbling? How about the way the grease feels on your fingers? Think about where bacon comes from. Are you getting the gist? Looking at bacon like you have never done before can help you to see that bacon really is not worth obsessing about all week. You may try this activity with some foods and decide they are worth it. Hot chocolate chip cookies are worth it to me but store bought chocolate chip cookies are not. Oreos? Not worth it. Doritos? Definitely not worth it. Part of mindful eating is eating what you love without guilt. If you’d like to learn more about mindful eating and break the diet cycle in your life give us a call.