When Reasonable Eating Becomes a Habit

Something that I find kind of interesting… sometimes (especially on my days off), I’m tempted to declare a “free day” because I either just kind of graze all day, or I eat whatever happens to be in the house, rather than going out and getting something healthy. But I go ahead and log the calories, and find that I’m nearly always under goal. Even if I go over, it’s usually by less than 50 calories.

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Yes, I ate Hershey’s miniatures. Three of them, to be exact, which isn’t bad when you consider that a “serving” is five pieces. They weren’t even dark chocolate (the healthier option). There was a time that I would have eaten the entire bag on my day off. Now, it wouldn’t even occur to me to do so, not because it’s “wrong”, but because it’s just not a thing I do anymore. I also ate a Totino’s Mexican Pizza. And a salad. And another salad, because the first one was so tasty, I wanted another a few hours later.

It makes me feel good to know that my habits are changing. It makes it that much easier to believe that I’ll reach my goals.

Choices (And Why Sometimes the “Bad” Ones are Okay)

This is a picture of 200 calories:

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So is this:

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I had both of these today. One is healthy and filling, and the other… well, not so much. The key is moderation. The trick is not letting “This is my favorite snack, so I’ll just have a few” turn into “Ohmygod, I ate the whole bag.” Some people can’t do this, and that means the snack foods are banished. I’m not one of those people.

Well, except when when it comes to mini cupcakes. Or chocolate-covered cherries. Or half of a footlong instead of the whole thing.

Okay, I sort of am one of those people. But I learned a couple of ways to keep it in check.

  • Log everything. Calories, activities, emotional states… everything. There’s a very good chance you’re taking in more calories than you think. There’s also a good chance you burned enough calories to make up for that scoop of ice cream. Logging moods helps you see if you might be eating more or making poor food decisions/skipping workouts when you’re especially stressed or tired or bored.
  • Don’t keep tempting foods around. If you’re craving chocolate cake, buy a cupcake, take it home, and eat it. Don’t buy a whole cake, because you’re going to eat it all. Whether it’s in one sitting or over the course of several days, it will get eaten, so don’t even let that be an option.
  • For every “bad” thing you consume, drink an extra glass of water. No additional junk food goes in until the water’s gone.

I guess it comes down to just one thing:

Pay attention to what you’re doing and be aware of the consequences.

It really is as simple as that. And it really is as hard as that. But it’s worth it to feel better and have more energy and not be hungry all the time because the bowl of super sugar-frosted sugarpops you had for breakfast took up half your calorie limit for the day.

Strawberry Cupcakes Forever

I started off pretty good. Skipped tea and soda in favor of water, had banana for breakfast. Everything was going great… until the cupcakes arrived.

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Mini cupcakes. Bite-size little morsels of heaven. Tiny, delicious, and easy to lose track of if you keep popping them into your mouth. I think I had five. But it might have been seven. If I had stayed much longer at work, it probably would have reached a dozen. This is my downfall, a co-worker who bakes. And ohmygod, does she bake. Birthday? Cupcakes! Visitors? Cupcakes! The sun is shining? CUPCAKES! And she always brings a variety of flavors, so you can’t just have one, no, you have to taste them all. And then you can’t decide which is your favorite, so you taste them again. Strawberry, pineapple, devils’ food… squish them together into one GIANT CUPCAKE.

At least I can start again tomorrow, and hopefully get it right. Things like this sort of make me want to give up and just eat everything. Especially if it’s made out of chocolate.