Strategies to Rely on When You're Feeling Weak
If losing weight and keeping it off were as easy as making a decision to eat healthy, then we'd all be in perfect shape. Unfortunately, the truth is that life can get in the way – especially when you've had an off day. Whether you're simply stressed from work and a trip through the drive-thru seems as though it'd hit the spot, or you're dealing with an emotional crisis that makes you want to turn to a tub of ice cream, the good news is that there are strategies that can help.
Expect the Best and Prepare for the Worst
The first step is to always have plenty of healthy snacks on hand at home. If you've had a rough day and you feel yourself wanting to turn to something that isn't on plan, then try munching on some plain popcorn, frozen yogurt, or another healthy treat. While you may think you want a high-fat, high-sugar snack, many are surprised by just how satisfying a healthy treat can be. Just be sure you have it at home because if you go out in the middle of a crisis, you're not likely to come home with a healthy snack.
Exercise Can Be Your Best Friend
To many people the advice sounds ridiculous: If you're feeling down, throw on your running shoes and jog it away, or head to the gym and work out the tension. However, there is science behind this tip. When you exercise your body releases all sorts of hormones that will improve your mood and help you feel more centered. If you have to, tell yourself that you'll indulge in that pint of ice cream – but not until after you've gone for a run. Chances are, once you've run it out, you won't want that ice cream after all.
Call a Friend and Talk it Out
Often when we're overwhelmed and want to eat it's because we're dealing with anger or other tough feelings that we simply don't want to deal with. The trouble is that while your favorite comfort food may sound comforting, it won't actually fix whatever the problem is. If you're feeling down in the dumps, call a safe friend and just tell them how you're struggling. By the time you get off the phone you may find that the urge for unhealthy eating has passed.
Journal Your Feelings – But Be Honest With Yourself
If you're feeling yucky then you want to get those yucky feelings out. Sit down and write exactly how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you think positive solutions could be. Many people feel hopeless and as though there is nothing that can be done, but if you sit down and honestly address your problems head-on then you may find solutions where you last expected to see them.
Remind yourself that not only does comfort food not actually comfort you – but it can have the opposite effect. Whether you're just getting started on a healthy eating plan or you've been following one for years, those days when you impulsively indulge are not likely to make you feel good. Many people report feeling shame, guilt, and general disgust with themselves. This actually feeds into the cycle and can lead to more problems down the road. Just tell the craving no and try out one of the many solutions presented here.