You Can’t Suffer Or It Won’t Work
If it’s time to eat and you feel glum or resentful about the meal then you’re not doing it right.
Sure sacrifices need to be made and some discipline needs to be enforced but eating should be a time to relax and FEEL GOOD.
A university experiment was carried out where subjects carried a notebook with them all day long. Every hour they had to stop and write down what they were feeling and on what scale from 1-10. As predicted, people felt differently at different times of the day but one consistent report by almost all of the subjects was the feeling of happiness at meal times.
Let’s look at why:
1- Food is Pleasurable. Obviously but it is also satisfying. It makes us feel good when we eat and taste the different flavors, sending pleasure signals to our brain and increasing our serotonin levels. It also satisfies us for several hours afterwards, leaving us feeling more calm and reducing the amount of anxiety we experience.
2- Food is Social. We are social eaters and tend to enjoy food with others. When we sit with other people and talk face-to-face, we feel connected to them and our bodies release more positive, neurochemicals that elevate our mood and help us form strong, social bonds.
IT’S MORE THAN JUST SURVIVAL
Imagine you took on a harsh, calorie restricting type diet to lose some weight. You sit at the table and look gloomily at your plate. You eat little, barely enjoying it and then have to GET THROUGH the next portion of the day until your next meal.
In this instance you’ve not olny lost both benefits of eating, but, you’ve also made everyone else at the table lose a little bit of the social benefit of eating together, because of your mood.
3 meals per day X 365 days = Over 1000 lost opportunities for pleasure, satisfaction and bonding within a year. That’s if you even make it that far. And if you do, you only have 20 more years of this misery to go since your new weight (from the pounds you lost) has to be maintained.
THE SOFTER, LONGER LASTING, MORE RELIABLE & FUN APPROACH
Many people crash and burn with the harsh, calorie restricting diet and aren’t surprised when that happens either. So why do they do it? Because they are understandably frustrated and are having a difficult time tolerating, or accepting the way their body looks at the moment.
So what is the fun approach?
Here are a few of the main principals of dieting the fun and enjoyable way:
- Accept a longer time frame to achieve your weight loss goals.
- Know that the time will pass by anyway, and after it does, it won’t feel like it was that much of a wait.
- Select a low carb diet you feel you can stick to.
- Build in cheat meals.
- Enjoy special occasions. Allowing for these helps keep you disciplined.
- Eat A LOT of the foods you are allowed to eat.
Cheating once in awhile and enjoying birthday parties with others will slow your progress somewhat, but they will also help you stay on your diet since you never have to completely give up any of the foods you love.
This requires a more patient approach which can be a deterrent, but it is usually also a relief. It means that you won’t have to have an anxious tug-of-war with your willpower and so you’ll feel more confident in your ability to see the diet through.
*** These ideas are based on a diet that is low in carbohydrate and is mindful of insulin levels (important aspects to any successful diet, and tenets that this website values.)
– Trying having a HUGE bowl of Cesar Salad before your meal. The only carbohydrate comes from the croutons so limit them some but enjoy the high fat dressing and bacon.
– A large vegetable platter with high fat dip.
– Italian sausage pieces grilled or pan fried.
– A large serving of steamed vegetables again with high fat sauce or cheese sauce.
– Cheese and cold cut platters.
– Ultimate Burger! (See the main image above) If the bun is the only source of carbohydrate you eat that day then there is no reason why you can’t enjoy that monster, or any variant of it in size. It’s mostly meat, veggies, bacon and cheese, all items that fall within the allowed foods for low carb diets.
– Ribs and Chicken Wings! Who doesn’t like those? Make sure the wings aren’t battered and that the sauces are lower in sugar.
– Fondue. Dipping vegetables into melted cheese.
– Air popped popcorn. You can even add real butter and salt as long as your portion is moderate. Popcorn is a carbohydrate but with so much of it being fiber and air it’s not all bad of a snack or dessert.
– Sugar Free Jello! A favorite. At almost zero calories you can eat the entire bowl worry free.
– Fruit platters. Sweet, healthy and satisfying.
NOT BAD SO FAR
I wouldn’t call anyone eating that list of foods deprived. It may actually be the most FUN diet in existence. And certainly one that is not too hard to stick to. Feeling full never has to be an issue with those foods to choose from.
If you look around on Keto recipe sites you’ll find a lot more ideas (in the hundreds) for delicious meals and tasty desserts.
By making sure you are really enjoying your diet, not just tolerating it, you ensure that you can stick with it over the long haul. Over time, the results will come and you won’t look back.
Joy over Deprivation