Yesterday was Monday – the first day of the week, busiest day at the gym, most popular day to start on a diet, a day when most people are getting back into their fitness groove. I was walking around Central Market in my personal trainer T-shirt trying to decide if I should buy a slice of carrot cake or not. Potential clients, beware. This PT has a sweet tooth.
I had stopped for lunch on the way to work and made myself a B.A.S (big ass salad, a term I attribute to Jill Coleman of JillFit.com) with salmon and fresh veggies. The day had started off fairly well with egg whites on a whole grain tortilla following a run. But I wanted cake. It had been on my mind all weekend, honestly, yet I hadn’t let loose and gotten any since there wasn’t a Central Market store nearby (similar to a Whole Foods). On top of that, the cake was made fresh that day and it looked delicious – filled and topped with a cream cheese frosting. Mmm.
Since I had been practicing mindfulness around food, I challenged myself to ponder the cake decision. Was I hungry? Yes. Did I earn it? Eh. Debatable. I thought so. How many calories were in this cake? I don’t want to know. How would I feel after eating it? A sugar high is always followed by a crash. Would I regret it?
The only way to find out was to eat it.
I walked around the store, browsing other options a bit more: salad, giant water bottle, and slice of carrot cake in hand – wishing there was someone there with me to split it with, or some way of saving it (not in a hot car in Texas!), knowing full well that I was going to eat the entire slice myself since it was there.
Since it was there.
I know, not a reason to overindulge. But it’s probably the most common reason we do.
So maybe I was over thinking (just a bit), but better than impulsively giving in and not thinking about it (am I right?).
If we want to be successful in our weight loss, fat loss, and fitness goals (or even just maintain our health), it’s important to consider the following:
Am I actually hungry?
Is this the best food choice for me right now?
How will this food make me feel? (Not just in the moment, but 2, 3, 4 + hours from now).
Is this food aligning with my fat loss/weight loss/fitness goals?
Am I going to overindulge?
Can I eat one bite (maybe 2-3) and be satisfied? (If it’s dessert, especially).
Should I be putting this food into my body?
Whether it’s carrot cake, potato chips, honey butter chicken biscuits, the strawberry margarita, or your grandmother’s famous pot pie, it all comes down to whether or not it’s worth it. Pay attention to the food you’re putting into your mouth and how it’s affecting your body. Mindfulness is a muscle developed over time. Before you indulge, create a system of checking in with yourself, your hunger, your cravings, and your control. It’s not about abstaining – it’s about preparing. Check the menu beforehand to find out what meets your health targets (for weight loss, aim for lower calories, higher protein, more nutrients, greater satisfaction). Plan out a few possible meal and snack options so you know what to do when the hunger hits. Aim for protein and veggies first, then a small indulgence after (if you’re still really craving it and have room for it.
Moderation is one of the hardest keys to master – a practice that takes days, months, weeks, years to develop, but one that is much, much better than facing the extremes. Automating your eating habits while allowing yourself tiny indulgences is one of the best ways to stay slim, satisfied, and sane.
Are you practicing moderation? Have you faced extremes when it comes to dieting or watching what you eat? What is your biggest weakness or favorite indulgence and how do you navigate it? Comment below and let me know!
–> Hungry for more? Read up on Moderation 365 via JillFit.com!
So did I buy the carrot cake?
Did I eat all of it?
Was it worth it?
Eh – Debatable. One bite would have been. Not the entire thing (blech). Ok, it was good, but, still made me feel a liiiiitle bit disgusting eating the whole slice myself.
Final answer: No. (Not for the bod I’m working for!).
…It was pretty good though.