Summer is here and so are the food-filled gatherings and celebrations. The lazy, hazy days of Summer fun in the sun make it so easy to throw our best intentions into the surf. My clients are asking what to do in such scenarios while adding the last thing they want is to worry about sabotaging their weight management goals.
Here is my take – Whether you are intending to be vigilant about your diet in an effort to improve your health, your digestion or manage your weight, the most important piece of advice is to not make it about the food. Indulge in the experience – your friends and the nourishment you get from them; revel in the warmth of the air, the blue from the sky, the sun on your face.
The Mis-Step – Not eating enough before the party; thinking that you need to restrict your food intake before a night out or celebration will only lead to over indulging. Eating too few calories will deplete you of nutrients that you need for energy to get you through the day.
The FIX – Eat a well-balanced diet through out the day. Each meal should consist of lean protein, healthy fat, and fiber coming from smart carbohydrates. You’ll not only feel satisfied, but your blood sugar will be stabilized and you’ll be more apt to make the empowered choices you’ve discovered will keep you feeling your best.
The Mis-Step – Having “one too many”. Besides adding unwanted, nutrient deficient calories, alcohol tends to make you feel hungrier, thirstier and less concerned about what you are eating.
The FIX – Set a limit. Start with a sparkling water and alternate the alcoholic beverages with non-caloric ones. Check out my Mocktail recipes for delicious alternatives.
The Mis-Step – Engaging in all or nothing thinking. This “stinking thinking” is a guaranteed formula for self sabotage. Not trusting yourself to know when you’ve had enough is what’s behind this distorted thought process. A few chips or a serving of an indulgent dessert is not going to de-rail your intention to follow a healthy diet. Fear of overdoing it often doesn’t allow for any chips or dessert, and then that belief perpetuates the over-eating once you start.
The FIX – Slow down, stay present, be true to yourself, eat with gusto and pleasure seeking. Engage your senses and listen to the wisdom of your body. Love yourself enough to know you can have all the different foods you want, and decide at any moment that you’ve had enough, or you need some more.
Bottom line – Don’t rely on willpower for it infers restriction and deprivation. Instead, choose to Live the Change so you can See the Change, Be the Change.