Thursday, January 12, 2012

Self check-in before you eat a treat

Have you been eyeing the delicious-looking [you fill in the blank] that your colleague brought into the office to celebrate Friday? Here's a suggestion to keep both your mind and taste buds happy.

STOP resisting the temptation and give yourself permission to try a small piece or serving (however, it's key to make sure you stick to having just one serving). Forcing yourself to resist temptation for a long period of time will only wear you down and make you feel deprived, which increases the likelihood of a big splurge later on.

But you'll feel guilty if you give in and have some, you say? Look at it this way. If you allow yourself to try the treat, you get the pleasure of satisfying a craving now and are less likely to overdo it later on because you deprived yourself throughout the day. Which would make you feel more guilty at the end of the day, having a little piece of a special treat now, or owning up to splurging later on because you "deserved it" for being so good all day long?

However, BEFORE you take that first delectable bite, here are some suggestions to help you to enjoy the experience to the max.

  • Tell your inner judge to take a vacation. You've consciously decided to enjoy this treat, so by all means do it without guilt trips! 
  • Use all your senses to savor your treat. Appreciate its physical beauty, its delightful scent, how it feels in your mouth, and of course, how it tastes. Chew slowly and allow the treat to remain in your mouth as long as you can so you can appreciate it as fully as possible. 
  • After you swallow the first bite, ask yourself--did one bite satisfy your craving, or do you really want to eat another bite? 
  • If you do want to eat more now, that's fine--keep eating until you're no longer savoring each and every bite or until you finish your small serving, whichever comes first. 
  • If instead you realize that just having one bite really took the edge off your craving, then stop and put down your plate and fork right away.
  • Remind yourself that you can always save the rest for later--especially if you like it, but you're not really hungry right now. 
  • If the treat didn't really taste as good as you thought it would, do a self-check before you eat any more of it. Ask yourself if the pleasure you'd feel from eating more of this treat is really worth the calories it would "cost," or if you'd rather "spend" those calories elsewhere today. 
  • Remind yourself that if this treat doesn't taste out-of-this-world delicious, maybe you'd be better off saving your "calorie budget" for something that's more worthy of the "expense" later on.  
  • Whether you eat the whole thing or stop after one bite, always remember that everyone deserves to enjoy simple pleasures every once in a while--especially you!  

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