What To Do When You Cheat On Your Diet
In many ways, food has become the new sin. Once upon a time we ate with little thought to waistlines and Body Mass Index but today the act of eating is often thought of as an immoral action. One that so many use to justify self flagellation and lower self esteem. Like so many iniquities, it always seems to start innocently enough with the best of intentions but you slip anyway. Be it the extra slice of chocolate cake, the glass of wine at the company party, the apple-pie at the family holiday dinner or the bag of chips while you’re watching television at home unwinding after a long day. Yet, as much as you hate yourself in the moment, like most transgressions there’s no mistake that you do enjoy it. Whether we like it or not, rich, fatty, salty and sugary food appeal to us on a biological level and they indeed feel sinful for lack of a better word. Nevertheless, after blowing your diet, you feel absolutely guilt ridden afterwards. For many, this feeling of guilt can be overwhelming. But as legitimate as this guilt may feel, is it really helpful? -or does it do more harm than good? Thankfully the answer is resoundingly negative. In fact, from what we know of behavioral psychology, the more you beat yourself up about eating something the more likely you are to keep eating it. It’s a vicious circle and one that traps many in a pattern of indulgence followed by self loathing.
“The door to good health is always wide open- it is only our perspective that creates the illusion that the door is ever closed.”
So you blew it. You went off your diet completely and ate something that you shouldn’t have. What should be your next course of action? Should it be an extra hour of cardio to burn off the offending calories? A resolution to eat less tomorrow to make up for today’s overindulgences? Or should you just sit and contemplate how much of a miserable failure you must be for not having the willpower to stay on your diet
? The correct answer to this oft-asked question is none of the above! Crime and punishment, guilt and penance may have some bearing in other parts of your life but it has no bearing whatsoever as far as food is concerned. In fact the more you beat yourself up over eating the wrong foods- the more likely you are to keep on eating it!