Few people would describe me as an optimist, but when it comes to weight loss, I can’t help but look on the bright side.
I firmly believe that you can eat just about everything you want and lose weight. That may sound crazy, but consider that all your eating habits are just that – habits. And habits can be changed.
In other words, if you can become an habitually healthy eater, you’ll eat what you want and lose weight. One day, you’ll suddenly find yourself a little bit baffled that you’re happily choosing healthier food options – not out of obligation or guilt, but out of a genuine desire borne of habit.
This strategy can be exploited both in the short- and long-term, and is why I say that you can (and should) always ‘give in’ to your cravings and still lose weight. It’s just a case of finding the right strategies that work for you, and not beating yourself up in the meantime, while you adjust. If you truly want whatever it is you’re craving, give yourself permission to eat it.
Why? Because food is tasty, life is too short, and it is possible to have your cake and eat it (both literally and figuratively).
As I said above, the strategies you put in place not only offer up a short-term solution; they also chip away at your unhealthy habits every time you utilise them, encouraging your subconscious mind to adopt a healthier outlook. It’s a delightfully subversive approach.
For examples of what I’m talking about, consider the following strategies I’ve written about recently on the blog:
- Being more mindful of how what you eat affects your body.
- What to do when somebody offers you food.
- How to avoid tempting treats.
- How to listen less to your inner glutton.
- Eating less by thinking about why you’re eating.
At no point in any of the above posts will you find me explicitly telling you to say “no” to yourself. My focus is typically on (a) distracting, (b) delaying, and/or (b) encouraging you to change your perspective. Regardless of the approach, if the strategy works, you’ll no longer want to eat (because you’ve distracted your craving, you’re delaying gratification, or your perspective has eradicated your craving).
If you do still want to eat, go ahead. Life’s too short. Just make sure you take a moment to decide whether you truly enjoyed what you ate, and whether there’s anything you might be able to do next time to promote a healthier decision.
With this approach, your victories will grow in number (as you adopt more and more strategies that work for you), while those times that you do give into your cravings will shrink. And you know what that means? Long-term, sustainable weight loss – with none of the sacrifice.