I don't know about you, but sometimes I have food black outs. Not like fainting into food- although that sounds mildly enjoyable. No, more like when brain disconnects from mouth and eyes and before you know it, they reconnect and you have eaten your weight in haloumi, pavlova, mince pies, or whatever the Christmas time temptation might have been.
We have all been there: the weekend diet blowout, and at this time of the year, they may more frequent. No matter how saintly you manage to be throughout the week or perhaps even the month, life would be pretty dull without kicking back and fully indulging for a Christmas lunch or dinner with friends and family. But the question is how do you get back on track and make sure it’s a few meals and not a month of festive plumping. The old ‘I’ll start again Monday’ can very easily blow out to a ‘I’ll start next month’ and this is when a little let up becomes a slippery slope.
A common trick is for people to try and skip a few meals here and there, with the hopes that this will even out the misdoings of the weekend. It’s not necessarily the worse thing in the world to remember what hungry feels like, however, if it’s in the name of weight maintenance, it’s possible you are shooting yourself in the foot. When you are in the routine of eating regular meals, skipping meals can leave you food focussed and out of control. This is when absent minded snacking takes over, and the possibility of snacking of more than a meal equivalent. One reason being a large part of satisfaction and self-control comes from seeing what we eat.
Our brain gets the cue that we are eating, and is likely to feel satisfied, as will our stomach. Skipping meals means our brains are not getting the visual cues that help us to be satisfied, and are left searching for that meal you were scheduled for. This is when a mouthful of a biscuit here and a sip of a chai there can really add up. Your mind feels ok because you think you didn’t really have a meal, and those lethal mouthfuls don’t count, but your waist line may be copping a sneaky load of shifty snacks. Plus you are missing a meals worth of nutrients, which could be helping your body get back on track and boost metabolism.
Here are 5 easy to implement tips to get you back on track without further damage !
Prepare your mind. If you know you have a special weekend coming up, give yourself permission to let loose and enjoy it. There is no point in indulging if you are going to be kicking yourself for it. There is more to eating than just health. Another part is about enjoying the company of family and friends and enjoying good food which you might not have on a regular basis.
Admit defeat and plan a week of lighter, healthier options rather than deluding yourself into the starvation/snacking scenario. Be smart and be realistic and it will be like that weekend never happened…what weekend?
Throw in a few extra jogs or walks. An extra 20 minutes of huff and puff each day spread over a week may be enough to clear your conscious and will you will probably be a little more motivated to push through after a big weekend- who knows PB’s may be set !
Take a week off treats. We are all entitled to a few treats scattered throughout the week- as said before, food is there to be enjoyed as well as keep us healthy. But cutting them back for a week will get you back on track and it’s usually not as hard as you think it might be if it’s only for a short period of time.
Double up on the veggies. Vegetables are low in energy but high in vitamins, mineral and fibre so they will not only help undo damage inside your body, but will help keep you full and push out some heavier choices like pasta and bread. The average Australian should be having 5 serves of veggies each day! A serve is one cup of salad or half a cup of cooked veggies.