The Million Dollar Question
I’m going to talk about a common complaint and question I hear a lot this time of year.
Here it is:
… can you enjoy your favorite holiday treats and still reach your goals? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in this blot post!
OK. The million-dollar question. Do you have to skip the holiday cookies and rich meals that have been part of your traditional holiday to stay on track?
The true answer is: IT DEPENDS. WITH AN ASTERISK.
I’m going to describe two scenarios for you. Be sure to hit that “LIKE” button if you can relate to either of them!
Scenario One: if you know that eating a molasses cookie made from your grandmother’s secret recipe is going to send you down a weekend-long rabbit hole of snacking and overindulging, then maybe the answer to that question is NO.
At least for today.
The answer isn’t that simple though – and I’ll get into it in a second because it’s such a big issue.
Now, for Scenario Two: If you can eat the cookie, savor every bite of it, and then be done, AND not feel guilty or like you messed up later, then by all means enjoy it!
In fact, I highly suggest PLANNING for the treats that are worth enjoying - and don’t feel obligated to sample things that you don’t like all that much. They’ll just leave you feeling blah and bloated.
But let’s go back to Scenario Number One.
What if you’re in that large percentage of people who find it hard to stop snacking once you start? Especially if you’ve been doing “good” lately?
There are several things that can be at play here...
Have you heard of ALL or NOTHING thinking? Like, you are either ALL IN on your plan, or you’re not on it at all?
That’s called dichotomous thinking. Basically, that means there’s no middle ground.
This can include thinking of foods as being GOOD or BAD, depending on whether they have a lot of calories, or sugar, or fat …
You might even think YOU are “being good” or “being bad” depending on your food choices.
This is SUPER COMMON. And the kicker to this is that at least in the short-term, parts of this mindset actually can help you reach your goals because it means you’re focused on doing things you believe will help you.
But it’s really a TRAP! Because it actually works against you in the long run and makes it even hard to maintain your results!
That’s because it’s not sustainable.
It makes any celebration that involves food or drink like a minefield. And then if you DO eat something you don’t think falls into the “good” category, you can end up beating yourself up mentally.
Or you can end up going wild, eating all kinds of foods that are in your “bad” category.
It’s pretty common to think, “I’ve messed up! Darn it! I might as well eat everything I’ve been denying myself, and then start over again on Monday.”
An approach that you can maintain for a lifetime involves MODERATION.
That way, eating a cookie doesn’t become a big deal – you don’t skip a beat because the next time you eat, you know it will be something healthy.
The most important thing to remember is that your results come from the things you CONSISTENTLY do, day in and day out. Not occasional indulgences.
If you’re used to the all-or-nothing approach, letting that mindset go can take some retraining and it might even feel a bit scary!
What if instead of following a bunch of strict rules, you focused on creating small, sustainable habits that actually help you feel better mentally & physically?
It really can make a huge difference!
That could mean coming up with a few healthy snack options that you enjoy, that you can rotate through over the course of a week … or finding breakfast ideas that keep you feeling full till lunchtime.
If you need some help in this area, be sure to check out my Lighten Up Challenge. I'm here to support your success and help you reach your goals!