HEALTHY EATING: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU “SCREW UP”
How many times have you started out your day “intending” to eat healthy? For Example, you wake up in the morning, prepare a healthy protein shake loaded with all of the superfoods you can think of and drive to work. You’re proud because you’re so prepared today. You’re walking into the office and figure you’ll drink your shake once you get to your desk and then it happens… you walk into the break room to grab coffee and say hi to your coworkers and on the table are 18 boxes of donuts! So you grab a donut and eat it quickly while walking back to your desk.
You’re hoping it ends there but then a thought like this creeps into your head. . . “Well, I screwed it up so that means the whole day is ruined. Might as well forget about it.” Then you proceed to eat junk or just generally unhealthy food the rest of the day because you’ve “blown it’. Sound familiar? It’s time to stop beating ourselves up about “screwing up” a healthy meal or starting the day off on the wrong foot nutritionally. It isn’t the end of the world.
YOU SPLURGED: WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Here’s the scoop… It is NEVER ruined unless you you decide to throw in the towel. Let’s start at the office break room (or whatever situation you’re in where there is an unhealthy food temptation). We’ll say that you did, in fact, splurge on donuts. The answer is not to disregard the rest of the day and eat crap! The absolute BEST thing you can do after that splurge is to make sure your next meal or snack is healthy and in proportion for you.
What really happens when you splurge? When you eat too much sugar or too many calories in general during a meal or a splurge, it means that your blood sugar levels are out of whack for approximately 5 – 7 hours. Basically, you have overstimulated insulin. When you overstimulate insulin, you’ll normally crash and then want to bring yourself back up with more sugar or a combo of sugar and caffeine. The more insulin you stimulate, the more you need which is why it can become a vicious cycle. So what’s the next step after you’ve splurged on a meal or day of eating? Here are a few tips:
Eating a balanced meal or snack the next time you eat is one of the best ways to get back on track so that you don’t continue on a downward spiral for the rest of the day.
Choose something balanced with a good amount of protein (animal or plant based), healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats. Colorful foods that are unprocessed and from a natural source are a great place to start.
Hydrate yourself with water so your body doesn’t confuse hunger and thirst. Plus, you’ll be able to absorb the nutrients you are taking in and turn your food into energy that you can use easier.
Get that thought that “it’s ruined” out of your head because it is not. Give yourself a little slack. Treat yourself with kindness. It’s ok! Time to move on and back to healthy eating – it’s that simple.
HOW TO AVOID SPLURGING
First of all, I want you to give yourself permission to splurge here and there. Yes, it’s important to eat what you love every once in a while. This is life…not lock down. I’m not telling you to eat pizza and cake daily but having a meal or two each week that aren’t 100% healthy is perfectly ok and normal.
Stop looking at a food “mistake” like you failed or you didn’t have will power or you are less than you were before you did the deed. We are human. Stuff happens and sometimes we splurge! Better yet, plan your splurges. If you know that the office is having a pizza party on Friday, maybe that’s one of your “cheat meals” for the week. A friend of yours is having a birthday luncheon at one of your favorite Mexican restaurants and you really want to go. Go! Plan that meal as one of your open food choices.
Don’t call it a “cheat meal”. Food is food. Saying food is good or food is bad attaches some type of positive or negative meaning to it. This can create a whole host of emotions. Often times, I find that people forget that food is inherently good for you. Making a big deal over food is a likely cause of guilty feelings, overeating and unhealthy eating habits. Just eat and if that means eating a meal that isn’t necessarily in your eating plan for the week, that’s ok.
Use the 90/10 rule for weight loss. The general rule of thumb for weight loss is that 90% of your meals should be balanced and portioned out correctly. That would mean you have about 2 meals per week to eat whatever you want. This gives you some leeway to have some fun with your food while still enjoying the benefits of losing weight at the same time – provided you’re eating properly and exercising for your body and your goals.
Use the 85/15 rule for weight maintenance. This means that in order to maintain your weight, 85% of your meals need to be balanced and portioned out correctly for you and your goals. That means that you could have approximately 3 meals per week that are open choice meals – you eat whatever you want. This should help satiate you and give you the right to have fun with food!
ENJOYING YOUR FOOD
Food is inherently good for you! We need food! Yes, some food is better than others but the truth is that all food fuels us in some way. Be flexible with yourself though. Allow yourself a little space to mix it up and splurge every once in a while. And guess what? If you accidentally slip up here and there that’s ok too. It’s when you’re slipping up consistently and the majority of your meals become unhealthy that you’re in the danger zone. The most important thing to remember is that this is your life. Make this a healthy lifestyle that works for you!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or questions in the comment section below. - Margot
WANT RETREAT UPDATES + FITNESS INSPIRATION?
Sign Up For Our E Newsletter