Perfection in dieting

It is okay to strive for perfection as long as you realize and understand it is not always possible. But in the trying, never ever give up – you will succeed 95% of the time.

Many times stress is the cause of backsliding, mindless eating and poor choices.

Let us try to pigeonhole the cause of the stress. Is it time stress? Or is it mental stress? Time stress happens because we have probably bitten off more than we can chew and there’s nowhere to spit.

Therefore, you need to take a small chunk of time and work on the time stress. That can be managed.

Emotional stress? Sometimes using the opposite side of your brain to be busy will help with emotional stress—organize, clean, mop the floor, vacuum, exercise—anything that does not require introspective thinking. Make time for it and do it. And don’t forget to breathe! Occasionally, just stop and breathe. Deep, slow breaths calming breaths.

Emotional stress can cause mindless eating as we well know. You look down and in your hand is an empty box of cookies, or bag of chips or the pizza is gone. Let’s try to sort through why we eat—is it hunger, appetite or craving?

Hunger is physical—you feel it in your stomach. It signals a lack of food. There is a gnawing feeling at which time you seriously have the desire to eat.

Appetite is “desire” that causes us to seek food because we enjoy it and it tastes good. And appetite is influenced by mood, stress, external and internal cues (smells, texture, taste, remembering an occasion, boredom, depression, anxiety)

Craving is the strongest urge – to eat a specific food.
The appetite and cravings are tied to brain chemicals. Foods interact with these which further influence your appetite and cravings. The KEY is a balanced diet of all the food groups.

Follow the food pyramid and eat in moderation. You’ve probably heard of the sugar/fat seesaw. Eat less fat, you want more sugar; eat more sugar you crave more sugar and fat. That’s why fad diets don’t work. They deprive you of one or more of the food groups.

It is up to you to make good choices, follow the food pyramid and find a balance of healthy, nutritious foods with an occasional dip into the dessert tray. Planning ahead and knowing a situation before you get there will ease the pain of bypassing heavy, sugary, high fat dishes. Planning ahead will also allow you to include a tasty dessert as a treat.

One word of caution on fat. Eating less than 20% fat can leave you hungry, unsatisfied and more likely to overeat when your resolve disappears. Fat in your diet can be important but use it properly. It still boils down to calories. No matter where they come from. You’ve heard of KISS haven’t you? Keep it simple, stupid. We’re not stupid. But it is simple: Cut calories, increase exercise, lose weight. But it’s important to have balance. Don’t overdo in one area.

Remember you have choices. You can choose. Let me leave you with a thought:

WIN LIKE WATER – In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins—not through strength, but through perseverance.

 

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