“Fighting” the Temptation of Unhealthy Food

Yesterday was a rough day all around and, as a result, I found myself in a rather difficult spot. After a few weeks of eating healthy all I wanted was something BAD to eat! Someone brought donuts in to work so suddenly they were all I could think of. I saw the cookies in our vending machine and they seemed pivotal to improving my day. Eating unhealthily seemed to be the only way to get out of my funk and I couldn’t convince myself otherwise.

Unhealthy food, fighting temptation, sugary foods

Anyone who has ever struggled to lose weight has had this day (or a million of them) so I’m sure you understand exactly what I mean. The good news is that I came out of the day better than I thought I would. The bad news is I still could have handled the day better. I think it’s worth it to explore both of these ideas in the pursuit of breaking unhealthy habits.

What Worked Well

  • Food planning. I’ve stock-piled my office with healthy snacks and I’ve been doing bringing in healthy lunches. Because of that, I was setup to fight temptation.
  • Budgeting. I have options to buy unhealthy food at work. However, I’ve also put myself on a strict budget as my husband and I save for a house. That budget made it easier to resist giving in to that unhealthy food at work.
  • Intentional Thought. In the past I’ve often found myself eating unhealthily before I’ve even realized what I’m doing. But my food planning and budgeting bought me the time throughout the day to think about the temptations I faced to actively decide what I wanted to do.
  • Giving In. I know that giving in to temptation doesn’t sound like a good thing but I think it’s necessary every now and then. I had been eating healthy for about 3 weeks so I decided one splurge wasn’t that bad – especially if it was done thoughtfully and on my own terms.

What Didn’t Work

  • Portion Control. Overeating foods that I love is one of my biggest challenges. So when I did consciously give in, I accidentally over-ate that meal.
  • Excuses. This particular day, my Fitbit battery died and I didn’t have a charger with me. Therefore, I rationalized that it was fine for me to “cheat” because I wouldn’t have accurate tracking of my calories anyway. This happened to line up with my overeating.
  • Low Activity. I try to always maintain my calorie deficit no matter what I’ve eaten for the day. But again, no tracker no activity, so I know I didn’t workout or move as much as I should have.

What I Will Do In The Future

The only way to avoid the same mistakes is to have a plan in place the next time it happens – because I know it will! So here are my thoughts:

  • Fork Down. I’ve read before that if you put your fork down between bites it helps you eat slower and realize how full you’re getting. It’s worked before but I don’t use this method as much as I should.
  • Pre-Planned Portion Control. If I had cut my meal in half and put away that portion the extra food would have been out of sight, out of mind. Again, I know this works but I didn’t use it.
  • Pre-Tracking. I’m tracking my food/calories and I love tracking food before I’ve eaten it so I know how much I can have. My Fitbit died near the end of the day so I probably could have gotten a fairly accurate count still if I had tracked my food beforehand.

No excuses, mindful eating,

See, it all comes down to excuses. Every method above is something I’ve successfully used. The only step I could add is Mindfulness. Getting healthy only works when you’re mindful of everything you’re doing. It’s not easy but every day I practice it. One day, I intend for it to be second nature!

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