30 Day Health Challenge – Day 9

For the last 6 days, we’ve challenged ourselves to drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, and eat higher quality carbs, fats, and proteins. We’ve also been logging everything for the last 8 days.

Today, we’re going to have a little fun… Controlled fun. 🙂

Take a look at your meal logs and get an idea for your average daily calorie intake. Mine is usually about 1,400 calories. Now, I want you to plan a treat today that is 10% of your daily calorie intake. I was feeling terrible Wednesday, so I indulged in some frosted oatmeal cookies then.

What’s the point of this? We’re exercising the 90/10 rule. No one is perfect, and the more you deny yourself something, the more you’ll want it. We crowd out unhealthy foods 90% of the time with healthier choices, but 10% of the time, we let ourselves have what we want.

What you find is that you stop thinking about those unhealthy foods 24/7, and you start making healthier choices.

A few tips for keeping the portions controlled. If you have it in the house, you’ll eat. I know I will! If there’s a sheet cake in the house, I will eat it in two days and hate myself for it later. So how do I eat cake without overeating?

I eat my treat out of the house whenever possible. There’s a local ice cream place that carries vegan flavors. Instead of stocking up on pints from the grocery store, I go to the ice cream place, get a cone, and eat it there.

When I do eat my treat at home, I make sure I only buy the portion I want to eat. I LOVE cake from the local grocery store bakery. When I decide to indulge, my husband goes to the store and buys one slice for us to share.

This is also a good time to talk about cravings. I mentioned on day 6 that sometimes when you have food cravings, you’re really dehydrated. There are several things that can cause you to crave food. It could be that you ate it yesterday, so you now want it today too. It could be that you’re bored or lonely and are eating as an emotional substitute. It could also be your body telling you your body needs something.

I struggle with late night cravings in the winter. The rest of the year, I’m out riding horses in the evening. I come home, shower, and unwind for bed. In the winter, it’s dark so early. I get bored and restless and start thinking about food. Sometimes, I eat. Most times, I try to deal with the underlying cause and find an physical activity I can do.

So… When you have a craving, start by acknowledging the craving. Ignoring it will amplify it rather than making it go away. Then, take some time to think without judgement about how you’re feeling to see if you’re really craving the food or if there’s something else you need. Finally, decide whether this is a time to apply the 90/10 rule or take other action.

Happy Eating!

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