How NOT to eat the whole cake

I eat chocolate almost daily. It’s honestly self-care. And chocolate has its health benefits (like antioxidants, duh!!), but we’re not here to talk about that right now. We’re talking about the mental benefits of giving in to your cravings. Like, in a controlled way. So, here’s how NOT to eat the whole cake.

Let’s talk cravings!

We all have them. And indulging in them can be really good for us for many reasons. I believe the biggest reason is that if you tell yourself you can’t have something, or someone else tells you that you can’t have something, it makes you want it even MORE. You know this is true. Our rebellious tendencies live on past age 15. So, if you tell yourself all the time you can’t have something, your desire for it will just build and build until eventually you give in and eat the entire cheesecake. And then you kinda hate yourself. It’s a vicious cycle and we’ve all done it.

The problem with this cycle is it’s not productive.

It accomplishes nothing when you deprive yourself and then over-indulge. Like, maybe if you had just let yourself have a couple of bites when you originally really wanted the cheesecake, you would have been satisfied and it would have prevented you from obsessing over it until you cracked and overdid it.

Now, I want to point out that just because it’s healthy to give in to your cravings, doesn’t mean you should indulge every time someone brings donuts into the office or someone is handing out free cookies at the grocery store. I think it’s important to really get to know yourself and what your cravings are, when they strike, and how to truly satisfy them in a way that works for you. Just because someone is trying to hand you a free pastry, doesn’t mean you’re losing anything by not taking it. If it’s something you reeeeeally want, then yay! A free pastry! But if it’s really not something you truly want, and you’re just eating it because it’s free and right in front of you, QUIT THAT!

Don’t become a victim of the donut table at your office meeting! The only reason we as a society started bringing donuts to meetings is that donuts are a cheap bribe to get people to show up. Where are the veggies and hummus? Where is the fruit and cheese?

My point to this rant:

When a craving strikes, you have a CHOICE. You can have a little and enjoy it, and pat yourself on the back for doing something good for your mental health before moving on with your day. Or you can let yourself be a victim of the donut table, and end up eating 3 donuts that you didn’t even really want and then feel terrible the rest of the day.

Don’t let me make this sound simple- this takes work. It takes practice to break habits. If you believe you have a few destructive food habits that you need help with, please reach out to a registered dietitian or maybe even a therapist. Food is very emotional, and getting to the root cause can be beneficial.

How to avoid eating the whole cake broken down into steps:
  1. Ask yourself: “is this something I really want? will I continue to think about this the rest of the day if I don’t have it now?” vs. “is this something that is just in front of my face but not exactly going to satisfy me?”
  2. Make your DECISION based on what works for YOU.
  3. Eat a little, and move on. Or don’t eat any and grab yourself an apple and peanut butter or something. You’re a health goddess either way.

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