Having read copious amount of academic literature about the negative effects dairy has on our bodies, I am conscious that every time I consume it I’m not doing myself any favours. However, having said that, I find it hard to resist dairy in my day to day life; I’m such a fiend for a cappuccino and there really isn’t a lot of coffee places that provide tasty diary alternatives.
For me it’s the dairy food group that I find hard to eliminate but for you it might be bread or chocolate OR meat. The food might not even be prominent in your diet but the thought of eliminating it makes you sad. For me, getting a cappuccino a couple of times a week is almost a little ritual and it makes me happy; when I was smaller I couldn’t wait to be one of the ladies in the street that had their cute cups of coffee and strutted their booties down the street. And so the cappuccino is something much bigger for me as it has emotional attachment.
The second reason eliminating anything completely is hard because things that are bad for you taste 1,000,000,000 times better than the alternative. Ordering a pile of leaves instead of the FIYA FIYA fries or eating a corn burger patty instead of the quality beef burger does not make you salivate. Sometimes they might not even taste bad but you are so used to the taste of the original that the brains find it hard to accept a newbie food into its ‘sexy food’ list. And for most of us the conditioning to like all these things is completely normal because most of our parents didn’t have almond milk, mocha green tea and coconut oil in their local supermarkets as it wasn’t a ‘thing’. Moreover, the media didn’t highlight how some food groups might be better of avoided OR perhaps they were much better quality back then so the issue wasn’t as big.
This leads to the point that if you have had certain foods in your life and you feel you should give them up to lead a healthier lifestyle then don’t beat yourself up for being weak and struggling to stick to it; it’s not just your stomach that’s craving it, it’s your brain too, trying to create more of those beautiful mouth-watering memories. Moreover, because these foods do make you happy you shouldn’t see them as enemies and shun them. Otherwise, we might be slim but we will forever have the sad puppy eyes when we walk past Krispy Kreme, Five Guys or see a new Frappuccino advertised in Starbucks.
Yet, we can’t always give in to your craving as we need to consider our long term craving to be fit and healthy now and for many years into the future. Therefore, we need to somehow find a balance of still keeping our soul happy and leading a healthy lifestyle even when we’re 80+ years old.
How can we do that? We need to go back to the way treats were considered as treats and not as bad foods. They were considered as treats and they were treats. No one felt bad for eating those foods because they were scares and you had to spend a lot of money or energy to get source them. They were a limited commodity that wasn’t littered on every street corner. Now, for some, it’s a constant battle to resist them from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed. It’s a bit of a sad outcome to a love story that should end in happily ever after.
But anyway I know that we can’t pretend that they don’t exist and that they are super hard to source because that would be asking you silly. So we have only one option which allows us to finally have that happily ever after with treats. We need to understand that they will always be there for us and the only way we can get only happiness from them is by promising ourselves that we will not regret eating them. And we don’t regret anything when we feel that we are not jeopardising our long term goals.
This outlook on them naturally leads us to consciously thinking about the food we eat rather than following our caveman instinct of ‘I must eat everything I see because I don’t know when I will eat again’. And if we do that then course we won’t munch down a big mac meal every day because we all know that after a week of binging (because we’ve gone off the rails of our super strict diet that didn’t allow the carbs food group) we feel crappy and regret it. We also won’t go on that week’s binge, of the chocolate we were craving, because we will have our long term goals in sight. AND lastly we won’t go on binges at all because you only feel the need to binge when you have starved yourself of that certain thing*1.
The definition of temptation is:
The desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise
So when you a)apply conscious thought and strive for the best for yourself and b) allow yourself the option of that food then you eliminate the psychological temptation.
The theory is simple but obviously everything is much more challenging in practise. I went HAM last weekend over bread and apple jam because I was trying to limit my carbs for a holiday I am going on in a bit; then whilst munching down on my bread I was laughing at myself like ‘babe you knew when you banned bread that you will probably end up in a bindge…this is what happens all the time…and you thought THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT…THIS TIME YOU WILL BEAT YOUR METABOLIC CRAVINGS….ohhh honeyyy when will you learn that you can never fool your body’- who else can you rely on to tell you the brutal truth if not yourself?
ANYWAY so it is super hard to be balanced but at least the more you try to work with yourself the more the slip ups will occur less frequently (as they are for me). And the more you will realise that you don’t have to cut out bad foods the more your perspective will change and hopefully that sprinkling of guilt will banish.
*1– I just realised that this logic can kinda be applied to a love relationship too- when you feel unloved and someone comes into your life and you throw yourself into this over indulgent binge on them, you obsess about them you give all your attention, you go cray cray and all that over spill sometimes leaves you hurt. You over binged on the man and forgot the hobbies that you should also have like studying or reading or gym or friends or charity work or ya get it – ya knoe the vegetables in your life.