This post is my inner monologue right now. Admittedly, I fell off the ‘healthy’ wagon for a few weeks now. I’m chalking the month of June up to celebrating our engagement. I can take a month off from kale to ring in the rest of my life, right?
But now I’m back on board- feeling sluggish, bloated, and lazy. Woof… too many cheeseburgers and ‘cheers’ will do that to a gal. The moral of this story is MODERATION, or lack there of. Moderation simply means you can do most anything, but in little amounts. Basically, this is my theme song for the next year as I get ready for the big day (are the wedding references cute or annoying?).
As part of my “snap out of it!” game plan, I’ve put together my biggest tips for staying in check with living in moderation. I’m not someone that can commit to a super restrictive cleanse or pass up dinner plans for dietary confinement. I once read a Jennifer Anniston quote where she said if tomorrow is her last day on Earth, she doesn’t want to look back and see she had yogurt and salad for a last meal. I’m totally paraphrasing, but it spoke to my view on food relationships.
“You can have it all, but not all at once”- Bethenney Frankel
Do you love chicken wing dig? How about fudge cake? A key to staying in control of your eating is not depriving yourself. When I tell myself I can’t eat something, it gives that food immense power over me. Why should queso dip be powerful? Allow yourself a small helping of the foods you love, and it takes away half of the struggle. Here’s the catch- try not to treat yourself to all of the things you love all in one sitting. I try not to let myself indulge during the appetizer, main course, and dessert all within the same meal. Pick what you want most and truly enjoy that. If you want a cheeseburger get the cheeseburger- but not with the fries and milkshake at the same time.
Eat before you go.
Another tip inspired by Bethenney Frankel. I read her ‘Naturally Thin’ book when struggling to lose my college weight and took away some fantastic tips, if you can look past the whole Real Housewives thing. If you’re looking for a good summer read and trying to change your relationship with food, it’s a great starting point. The philosophy behind eating before you go to a dinner party somewhere only works if your snack will truly spoil your appetite. For example, if I know I’m going to a Super Bowl party that will have tons of delicious food with little to no nutritional value, I will purposely have a hearty healthy snack before I go. By taking the edge off of my hunger, I don’t find myself devouring buffalo wings or provoked by potato skins quite as intensely. I will still have a few casual bites to get a taste for dishes, but can ultimately save myself from a total binge by crushing my hunger before staring down a pizza.
Focus on your food.
I’m 100% guilty of breaking this rule. I’m with friends, there’s snacks on the table, we’re laughing, and next thing I know I polished off the potato chips. Sometimes we get swept up in social eating and forget to pay attention to what we’re doing. The same policy applies to eating in front of a TV or during a sports event. Mindless eating is just begging for a binge. Instead, try to really enjoy your food. Take a moment to make your food feel special and savor it as you eat it, you may be satisfied by far less than you imagined.
Love/Hate bonds of Food/Alcohol
Eating before you drink is always a good idea. It slows the absorption of alcohol into the body and helps combat a sugar spike inside your body (alcohol turns into sugar very quickly once it passes your lips). As for eating while or after drinking, a danger zone can develop. Alcohol lower inhibition, so it becomes much easier to talk yourself into splurging on junk food. It also can make you less sensitive or aware to fullness, which also leads to overeating. Try to step away from the cocktail peanuts or late night pizza. Aside from your stomach feeling greasy and full the next morning, our bodies actually struggle to break down fats more when alcohol is in our system. This makes those late night French fries even more hazardous! Have a solid meal before drinking and try to keep it to 1 or 2 drinks tops.
I’m far from a saint when it comes to staying on track during times of celebration. Despite the fact that clothes are generally smaller in the summer, it’s one of the most common times for ‘vacation mindset’ to kick in and for people to lose sight of their healthy ambitions. Moderation is a fabulous way to stay on track all while enjoying all of the fun summer has to offer.
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