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Monday, January 30, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 30 Cheat Smart

Photo by Shimelle Laine on Flickr

Planning indulgences can be an effective way to have a treat and stay in control of your weight loss efforts.

While transitioning into a healthier lifestyle, it's only natural that cravings will come up. Ignoring cravings can bring on binges -- or worse yet, cause one to give up on a healthier lifestyle altogether.

The first step is to acknowledge the fact that you enjoy whatever your indulgence is -- for me, it's chocolate.

Next, plan a day that you'll treat yourself. I like to allow a treat once a week. But depending on where you are with your weight loss efforts, you may find a different schedule that works for you. The key is to plan it. Don't allow yourself to get caught off guard. If it wasn't planned, then don't indulge.

If you have an event coming up like a birthday or a dinner party, you may want to save your cheat for that day.

Once you schedule your treat, things get a little easier. For one, you can look forward to the food, which will make it even more enjoyable. Two, you won't find yourself being tempted by every unhealthy thing that comes into view, because you know you're going to have your cheat planned.

When the day comes, and you indulge, you get right back on track. Spend some time thinking about what you would really enjoy for the next time -- and plan it.

Over time, you'll find that some of the things you thought you couldn't live without, aren't even appealing anymore. Also, you'll be able to spread out your indulgences over longer periods of time.

Keep in mind that it takes time to make long-term healthy habits. Perfection is not the goal. The goal is to make better choices more and more -- the time table is unique to each individual person.

Don't compare your efforts to what other people may be doing. Compare your efforts only to your efforts -- you know if you're doing your best or if you can do better.

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