Snacks, Treats, And Weight Loss

snacks[1]

Peanut M&M’s. French fries. Homemade chocolate cake. BBQ potato chips. Homemade sugar cookies with powdered sugar frosting. Apple pie. Sweettarts.

Kinda sounds like a menu for PMS, doesn’t it ?

Actually, those are some of my most favorite treats.

I remember sharing in a Facebook post one time about my craving and subsequent consumption of some Peanut M&M’s and someone commented they were so happy I was “normal” and that I had shared that. Meaning I didn’t live off of a steady diet of nothing but veggies and nuts 😉

Yes, I’m a fit woman, and yes, I still enjoy treats.

I think that’s one of the things that’s really important when you start working on losing weight and getting into a healthier lifestyle… that you don’t set yourself up for deprivation and serious restriction from all things you love.

Now hold on… I’m not saying  freely indulge in treats whenever…it’s about learning  balance.

I think that’s what allowed me to be successful in my weight loss journey. Well, there’s a few things but this specific one we’re talking about today is treats.. things we love… and things by darn, we wanna have when the mood hits us.

As I developed my own plan to successfully lose weight one thing I mentally determined was that nothing was “forbidden”, “bad” or “off limits”.

Now you might be thinking… “whoa… like then you’d go off the deep end and eat everything!”

No. ‘Cause I’m not dumb.

But it did remove ( for me) all power of food. If nothing was forbidden, it had no tempting power. It knew all food was available (IF) I wanted something.

It was important to me that I could still enjoy celebrations and those things that make life…enjoyable. I wasn’t going to be one of those poor people at a family gathering looking miserable in a corner not having what everyone else was because I was “dieting”.

No way.

So I began my slow journey. Some nights, I desperately wanted something chocolate. I found a few Hershey Kisses, savored, met that need but didn’t sink the work of my day.

If there was a birthday party I allowed myself a small piece of cake. If I didn’t want the cake, I took some ice cream. Sometimes, a little of both.

If I wanted a burger and fries, I had them.

Mind you, this wasn’t often, but when I did want it I had it.

My mental mantra looking at foods, especially treats, was “does this support my health and fitness goals?”

I learned to find balance on my journey to get leaner.

I also learned to be super selective about what I would put in my mouth. As in… “Do I REALLY love this? Or is something that doesn’t do so much for me?”

Learning to really assess what’s important to you is a huge step to controlling the random “treats” you might consume.

For me it works like this…

Things I can pass up and/or don’t tempt me:

Store bought sheet cakes with that greasy frosting.

Pretty much any store bought cookie.

Cakes made with a mix.

Cokes.

Almost anything sold in a gas station.

Things that are totally worthy of eating:

My homemade three layer chocolate cake

Ice cream with nuts.

Amazing sugar cookies I make during the holidays that have  butter and cream cheese in the dough.

Homemade cinnamon rolls.

French fries.

Obviously, there are other things on both lists. What I want you to begin to do is really think about your own list of “things not worth eating” and “things worth eating”. When you begin to get really selective about what matters to you, and what doesn’t, you are making forward progress.

Not everything out there needs consumption. And really, if you totally don’t love it, why eat it ?  Don’t mindless shove whatever is around in your mouth… especially if it’s something not so important.

Those treats, whether they are things we eat or drink can wreak havoc on our attempts to lose weight.  Being aware is crucial to your success. It’s entirely easy to go through a day and think you really don’t have that many “extras”. But if you’re having trouble making the scale move, a serious assessment of those other foods will help see where the weak places are in your day and week.

Writing down all extra snacks and food will give a look at your snacking habits. This isn’t to beat you up or make you feel bad, but to help you gain awareness of where extra calories come in that are hindering your weight loss progress.

Have a handful of chips? Write it down. Glass of wine? Yep, write it down. A couple Reeses Peanut Butter cups? Creamer in your coffee? Sugar?

Write everything.

You’ve got it. No matter how big or small, write it down. Do it for 2 weeks. Be honest. This is all about awareness.

At the end you might be able to see habits or patterns you need to work on. Then, you can begin to also have your list of “worthy to eat snacks” and ” not so worthy to eat snacks”

Doing this, and getting real with yourself in this area will have positive long term benefits for your health and fitness journey.

And you’ll find you really can have your cake and eat it too 😉

Have you made intentional choices on being picky with your favorite snacks or treats? How has that effected your weight loss?

 

 

 

 

 

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