- Eat the thing you desire
- Try to resist the urge
- Allow the urge and let it pass
1. Redefine the significance of what a diet mistake means to your weight loss journey. First and foremost, as human beings, mistakes are inevitable and predictable. Recognize the inevitability and predictability of the fact that you will make mistakes on your weight loss journey, and use that knowledge to your advantage. You can start to find strength in the simple knowledge that you WILL go off track at some point, and that going off track does not have to mean the end of the weight loss journey. Redefine it in your mind as “just an expected and simple bump in the road” and carry on toward your goal.
2. Understand what is likely going on inside your body. You didn’t get overweight because one or two times in your life you disregarded a healthy lifestyle, or because you made a bad food choice here and there. Instead, overweight people have a pattern of overeating, triggered in part by an exaggerated desire for food, typically unhealthy foods. Overweight people have usually conditioned themselves to indulge every urge for food, and they likely desire highly concentrated foods containing a lot of sugar and flour. The high doses of dopamine that come with indulging in those foods just makes the urge, and the pattern of satisfying the urge, that much stronger and harder to break. An overweight person feels like they have no control over their eating, even when they have committed to a diet, and in many ways that is true. If you’re overweight, what do you usually do when you have an urge to eat? I would guess you satisfy it as soon as possible. Part of breaking the cycle is to understand that not all urges are true physical hunger based upon the body’s need for fuel to operate. And not all urges must be satisfied.
3. Learn how to allow an urge without satisfying it, and let it pass. In time, the urges will come less and less as your brain learns that you will no longer satisfy every request for food. If you satisfy the urge, you only make it stronger and habitual. If you use willpower to resist an urge, the desire is still lingering there and only gets stronger over time. Eventually your willpower fails because willpower only lasts for so long. The only real choice is to understand that you must re-train yourself to allow urges to be there, and then let them pass unmet. Eventually your body will only signal you when there is a true physical hunger.
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Bingeing. When you consume sugary foods, are you able to enjoy a small and moderate amount at a time…just a little nibble? Or is it a full-on binge that doesn’t end until all evidence of sugar in your immediate area have been consumed? If you binge on sugar, rather than enjoy it in small and infrequent doses, there’s a good chance you are addicted to sugar.