Having a social life and overindulging seem to go hand in hand. So it’s no wonder that most of us who decide to start eating differently to lose weight or get healthier automatically shrink our social lives to do it.
I remember once when I got invited to a dinner party at a friend’s and I was prepared for it, or so I thought. I had loaded the front of my day with fruits and vegetables, and had saved my carbohydrates for dinner.
When party time rolled around, I was prudent. This meant I took my time before having appetizers, paced myself when I eventually did, and stayed away from the alcohol (I wanted to be on my best behavior and save the 7 calories per gram), It was going very well.
Then. The enchiladas (cheesy, gooey, delicious flat breads filled with meat, beans, and cheese) and rice came out and things started to get interesting. By the time entrees were served, I was full but I decided to have some. Then the sugar cookies and pudding came out, and it was game over.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, do you wonder what to do afterwards?
My answer is NOTHING.
Here’s why you should do NOTHING after a night or two of overindulging?
Trying to course correct after every indulgence is selling yourself a reality that doesn’t exist. You’re not going to eat perfectly all the time. You’ll have indulgences and when you do indulge it’s critical for you to continue as normal.
Yes there’s this idea that if you normalize it, you’ll lose control. But you won’t.
Here’s how I know…
In the past my usual reaction is to change my plan and promise myself that tomorrow onward would be perfect. No cakes, no sweets, no refined carbs, no [insert diet offender here]. But this was counter productive to reaching my fitness goals [and can be for you too].
Because you know what, life Happens. We can plan all we want, but life will throw us curve balls. If we keep resetting when things don’t go according to plan, we won’t reach the goals we set for ourselves.
There’ll be days when the healthiest food available to you all day is a cupcake with green icing. On those days a habit of resetting every time you indulge or overindulge won’t serve you. Instead:
- It’ll just mean that you keep start over and over again
- It also creates a mindset and habit of looking at food as good and bad rather than as nourishment
- It makes you constantly run in circles i.e. you engage in yo yo dieting
Here’s what you should do instead
- Live: Go about the rest of your day like everything is normal. This is because everything is normal. This means, if you planned to workout, workout. If you planned to rest, rest
- Listen: Listen to your body and give yourself what you need. Your first instinct might be to restrict your meals, but you don’t need to do this. Your body will tell you when it needs fuel, by way of hunger. And if you listen, it’ll tell you when it’s full. So take some extra time to ask what you really want to eat and go for it; if you were eating to a plan, then carry on with the plan
- Investigate: Find out why you felt the need to overindulge
- Strategize: When you are far removed from the situation, come up with strategies that can help you deal and choose your preferred behavior if the situation presents itself in the future. The preferred behavior in this case is having just enough
So what did I do today after a day of indulging yesterday? I practiced yoga, spent some time with a friend, and I hung out poolside with some thin crust pizza and some lime-spiked water. Bottom line, exactly what I planned to do.
It’s time to take action
So, on to you. When was the last time you over-indulged, and what was your reaction i.e. what did you do?
Share in the comment’s section and let’s see about more creative ways to get and stay off the hamster wheel of yo yo dieting.
I read and respond to every comment, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Being able to indulge without guilt is important enough to be Tool #6…
In You Don’t Need a Diet, I break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.
Featured Image Credit: picjumbo.com