As we go through life, we’re constantly categorizing (whether consciously or subconsciously) everything that crosses our path. He is this. She is that. These are different. That’s the same. Yet, where does this lead us? No day is ever the same. And it’s this sense of variety that most of us thrive on and live for. So, why is that when it comes to analyzing our eating habits, we feel the need to categorize them as either “good” or “bad”? Let’s dig into this a bit further.
Most of us experience guilt when we feel like we’ve “fallen off the wagon” and consumed too many “bad” foods. So how do we deal with this guilt? Maybe it’s by eating more—“I already fallen off so why not go for rock bottom, right?” Or, it could be an additional workout into your exercise regimen—“I’ll just put in another twenty minutes on the elliptical so I can eat this cookie.”
But the fact is, it’s not realistic to eat healthy ALL the time. So I challenge you to think like this the next time you’re feeling those guilty pangs (much like hunger pangs, but post indulgence):
It’s more important to consider my food intake over the course of a week or month, rather than a single day.
And to help you overhaul a “bad” day of eating, keep in mind these dos and don’ts that’ll get yourself back on the right track!
Dos and Don’ts
- DON’T hold yourself to extremely strict or unrealistic eating rules—then there’s no chance of you breaking them, leaving you feeling guilt-ridden.
- DO eat the foods that make you feel better, healthier, and stronger. Whatever that means to you because these foods may be entirely different than those of other people.
- DON’T compare your eating habits to the eating habits of others. What your body needs can be completely different from the person next to you. Make decisions based on what feels right for your body.
- DO pre-portion your meals and snacks to make eating healthy easier. Whether this means asking for a box immediately when served in a restaurant or preparing baggies of healthy snacks for the week ahead—set yourself up for success!
- DON’T purchase “trigger foods” (those only-in-moderation foods you know you could eat in their entirety) if you think you’ll lose control.
- DO treat yourself every once in a while.
How do you overcome a “bad day” of eating?
Photo credit: Denise Cross Photography