3 Things That You Should Never Say to Yourself When On a Diet
One of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is the potential guilt that we feel when we inevitably stray away from our intended meal plan. And there are always unexpected factors that play into this: last-minute road trips, a lack of planning ahead, a sudden craving for donuts, a holiday, a birthday, etc... It's seriously difficult to avoid all of the dietary land mines that we encounter on a daily basis. While an occasional slip-up is to be expected, the overwhelming sense of guilt and disappointment that we place on ourselves because of said slip-up can be detrimental. Here are a few things that experts agree you should never tell yourself in regards to food:
#1: "I've been bad today/this week/this month/etc."
It's important to avoid attaching any sort of moral compass to your diet (good versus bad, right versus wrong, etc.), as this only invites feelings of guilt and despondency when things don't go as planned. Furthermore, this sort of ongoing self-judgement can ultimately lead to the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting. Think of it this way- you eat a cookie (or four). You feel guilty for eating said cookies. You then force yourself to stick to a strict no-cookies diet. You inevitably have another cookie craving, since you've been depriving yourself of them. You binge on cookies. And thus, the cycle continues.
#2: "I'm not allowed to have that."
Chances are, that if you're an adult, you're allowed to eat whatever it is that you want to eat. And, because research has shown that depriving oneself is not a good long-term diet solution, the key is to teach yourself how to enjoy the foods that you love, in moderation. Personally, I am a HUGE fan of cheese- I could definitely power through a huge wedge of it on my own. I know that too much cheese isn't necessarily a great idea, so instead, I only eat it in moderation. That way, each time I do indulge in a bit of brie or gouda, it's a special treat that I enjoy, not a source of guilt.
#3: "I get a diet do-over starting on Monday."
Try not to view a dietary slip-up as the pitfall to an otherwise successful week. Instead of waiting until the next week to get back on track with your healthy eating habits, you only need to wait until the next meal to do so. Registered dietitian and nutritional blogger Vicki Shanta Retelny says, "I’d love for people to understand that one decadent meal or indulgence doesn’t wreck the whole week".