How many times will you hear a diet counselor tell you to cheat on your eating plan? It’s not often, but that may be the exact key to helping you learn lifetime healthy eating habits.
Flexibility can mean the difference between being able to stick it out long-term and giving up for good. Sometimes a little cheat of chocolate can keep you from feeling utter desperation and deprivation.
Giving in is very different from giving up. When you give in and have a little taste of heaven, you’re not giving up on your diet plan – you’re being flexible. Does this mean you can give in 24 hours a day and consume as many calories as you feel like eating?
Not if you want to lose weight. But successful dieters understand the importance of having a little leeway to live life according to their own needs, and sometimes that includes something off limits.
It may not always be a psychological craving, either. Your body will alert you to deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals. If you’re dieting, your body may be lacking certain nutrients and making you crave foods is the only way it knows to get those nutrients back in its system.
Even if it’s not a biological craving, giving in can also alleviate the tension you may feel about being on a diet in the first place. It’s better to just vow to eat healthier and be fit, but in reality, fitness and weight loss plans are billed as “diets” and it instinctively gives us a negative connotation because we assume it means giving up our favorites.
Worried that giving in occasionally will result in giving up permanently? That rarely happens for those who have given themselves permission in advance to have anything they want in moderation.
You don’t have to feel disgust and shame in your decisions if you know ahead of time that it’s okay. Not many official diet plans have a built in craving component. They simply say everything good is gone forever, so you may have to make some exceptions and tailor your plan on your own.
Your body will clue you in to the fact that it’s in need of something you’re not giving it. Sometimes it may be carbs, and even if you’re on a no-carb diet, you have to make the decision as to whether or not you’ll address your body’s needs and give yourself permission to cheat – just a little.