Tis the season of well-intentioned co workers and loved ones "gifting" tempting, unhealthy, calorie-laden, sugary treats that do nothing but pack on the pounds. Most of my clients complain about the constant temptation presented especially at work. Treats are literally all over the place. Don't get me wrong, the occasional treat is perfectly acceptable, but when it becomes a daily habit, the results can be detrimental.
Well-meaning coworkers and friends are often encouraging each other to share in the food. Sarah brings in her decadent brownies and is travelling desk to desk offering them up. Once the sight and smell enter our senses the temptation can be almost overwhelming.
These impulse moments are decision points. Do we cave with rationalizations like “I’ll eat less for dinner” or “Sarah’s feelings will be hurt if I don’t at least try her brownies?” In reality, by the time dinner comes around, we are just as starved as usual, have forgotten the earlier indulgences and find it impossible to eat minus the earlier treat. In addition, had I just thanked Sarah for the offer of the brownies and declined, Sarah would have completely understood.
I decided a long time ago that if I was going to stay in control of my weight, I needed to better control my impulse moments. The way I handle those temptations and impulse moments is through the following mental dialog:
1. I mentally break down the cookie, cake or other treat into its individual, raw ingredients (a pile of flour, a pile of sugar, RAW egg, baking soda, vanilla) and that's about it! How likely would I want to eat the individual, raw ingredients. NOT AT ALL. They are disgusting and offer no nutritional value.
2. I remind myself that I ALREADY KNOW what they taste like...It is no surprise. I prefer to save my treat indulgences for something truly unique.
3. I also remind myself that sugar always makes me feel disgusting later, especially with the inevitable crash after the sugar high.
To make the process easier, I also plan ahead to make sure I have snacks that are part of my healthy eating plan readily available for when I am truly hungry and not just driven by impulse to indulge.
Finally, I stay true to my exercise. The endorphins and serotonin benefits of exercise help to give me the boost I used to get from sugar.
The occasional treat will not derail a healthy lifestyle, but giving in to temptation daily will. Remember, you are in control. You are in the driver's seat.
Find a balance that works for you. Celebrate your blessings, health, and strength during this Holiday Season.
Have a wonderful, happy and safe Holiday!