How Bad Foods Drive a Negative Cycle
Do you put foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories? What makes you think of them in this way? What happens when you label a food as bad? First, you might stop eating it on a regular basis. Then, you try not to think about it. Then, it backfires and makes you think about it even more! What next? You are unprepared to manage your cravings and you might say ‘What the heck? I blew it already – I might as well eat the whole thing!’ If this leaves you with feelings of guilt or shame, those negative feelings may make you want to overeat even more.
It’s easy to go from labeling foods as bad to labeling yourself that way, too. Your food choices don’t make you good or bad. They just make a difference in your outcome. Want a different outcome? Develop a plan to make a different choice next time.
- Use your menu planner to plan the foods you want to eat in a given day.
- Play around in the planner with different foods to see how the calories and nutrition facts vary. This can help you understand the impact of your choices.
- Track your calories and activity.
- Give yourself the flexibility to mix it up once in awhile.
Stop judging yourself, and start making choices that will help support your weight loss goals.
- Forgive yourself! Even though you made some less healthy choices, you can learn from them and move on.
- Analyze the situation. Think about the circumstances, emotions and thoughts that lead to your lapse.
- Plan your strategy. What can you do differently next time you’re in a similar situation?
- Rehearse. Review the plan in your head. Imagine and repeat to yourself what you will say the next time you are challenged with making a food choice.
It’s ok to splurge sometimes. The key is to plan a splurge in advance, and compensate for it as you plan and track your foods for the day or week. This can help make you feel more in control.
Instead of thinking of your favorite splurges as good or bad, think of them as foods to enjoy in moderation. Jenny’s Cuisine® features many lower-fat, full-flavored choices – so you don’t sacrifice taste for healthy eating. You can also consider low-calorie, low-carb and sugar-free foods, or choose smaller portions of your favorites. Variety and moderation provide you with greater balance and flexibility – helping you break that negative cycle once and for all!