The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they can not be done. “-Arnold Palmer
A common tactic is the ‘ all or nothing’ principle. It is easier to never eat anything tasty than one piece of chocolate every day, living in the knowledge that a part of the bar remains in the fridge. When at least one block of chocolate is eaten, it feels to many as if the day has now ‘failed’ and a big binge is made of it.
Actually, that is a very strange reaction. If we look purely at the facts, you at that time ate one block of chocolate. About 5-10 grams of chocolate, depending on the type. Does not sound like a world disaster? That one block of chocolate gave you satisfaction, was delicious and now you can continue your healthy lifestyle with good courage. That cube of chocolate fits perfectly within that lifestyle.
Then why are you tempted to over-eat?
You have eaten 1 cube of chocolate outside of your planning and now you decide to just get rid of the whole bar, but you feel that it is already ruined. In fact, that is a very strange reasoning. That would be the same as when your phone falls on the floor (does not have to be a problem), and you decide to stamp on it until it is completely broken (now you’ve made it a problem).
Or, you accidentally knock someone into the street and decide to give them an extra push so that he falls, you have already hit him.
Or, you cut yourself the finger while peeling potatoes and decide to cut it even harder until it bleeds hard, there was already a cut.
Or, you accidentally drop a cup that breaks and decide to throw your whole service on the ground, there was already a cup of coffee.
You see … that would be very strange reactions.
Why then ‘I have eaten 1 cube of chocolate, now I can just as well the whole bar, plus the cookies, plus all the candy from the pantry and extra wine to work inside, I have already had one block of chocolate’?
What I want to make clear with this is that 1 block of chocolate is no problem. It only becomes a problem if you make it a problem or cause a bigger problem to flow from it.
How do you find a middle way without always having to handle ‘everything or nothing’?
A biscuit with coffee, a block of chocolate, occasionally a piece of cake on a birthday, all of those things that fit perfectly with a healthy lifestyle. When you are on a diet you consciously avoid all temptations and unhealthy food. But you are no longer occupied with dieting, you are looking for a diet that makes you feel good and with which you can occasionally enjoy something extra. That is allowed!
Find a way of eating that suits you and regularly plan something tasty in your diet. That way you can put together your food so that it matches your goals and feels perfect so you can enjoy a piece of chocolate without feeling guilty and without making a bite! Do not see it as ‘ everything or nothing’, because from now on it can be ‘ every day a bit’. Sounds much better right?