How familiar does this scenario sound to you?
You woke up this morning with great intentions, new day, new start. You downed a glass of water as you cooked breakfast. You ate a healthy breakfast of eggs, oatmeal and fruit. At lunch , you erred on the side of grilled chicken with a huge plate of salad (even though I wanted to add in the sugar laden cranberries and opt for the fried chicken). Dinner was a quick meal of steak and vegetables before running out the door for an evening packed with carpool, and activities or errands. When you arrive home, tired and hungry later that evening, you open the bag of Oreos and finished off the whole first row.
Can you relate? You are not alone. The average person makes over 200 decisions about food everyday? It is really a lot! Each one of those choices can support or hinder your weight goals. Some days you get all the choices right 100%, and others you veer off course. Mindfulness is a BIG part of a healthy diet. Remembering that life is about balance and not perfection. Being honest with yourself is also key. Being aware of all the food choices you make each day and how they impact your total caloric intake is important. Merely consuming an extra 100 calories a day, each day, can add up to 10 lbs. of weight gain each year to your body*. Reminding yourself of this may be motivation enough to keep you focused on your goals of staying healthy and feeling your best. Rather than beating yourself up about one slip up, realize that tomorrow is another chance to start fresh and make better choices.
Have you heard of the Flat Tire Syndrome? Picture this, you are leaving work for the day and arrive at your car only to discover one of the tires is flat. Since one tire is flat, would you go around the car and slash all the other tires to make them all flat? Of course not, that would only make your situation much worse than it already is currently. The same it true for a healthy diet. When you make a poor choice (eating the entire sleeve of cookies), it doesn’t help to give into an inner voice telling you that you already blew it, so you might as well eat the rest of the package. NO! A better approach is to write off the one sleeve of cookies, put away whatever is tempting you, and choose another activity. Making a mindful choice to stop what you are doing and make a change, is a step in a direction that will build your confidence and make you proud of yourself. Each day is a fresh start.
*source Brian Wansink, Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithica, NY