Sticking to a summertime
diet can be tough, especially when you falter
and "pig out" on that box of cookies
or banana split.
But missteps like that don't have to turn into
diet failure, according to experts at the Mayo
Clinic. In the July issue of the Mayo Clinic
Women's Healthsource, they offer the following
tips to keeping diet resolutions on track:
Forgive yourself, and move on. Accept that
you will have setbacks. No one is perfect.
After a splurge, don't punish yourself by
avoiding your favorite food or skipping meals.
These perceived "solutions" are
more likely to fuel your craving and lead
to more overeating.
Stay focused on the basics: healthy foods
and smart portion sizes. If you indulge in
a rich dinner one evening, plan on a low-calorie
meal for the next day.
Learn from experience. Reflect on what triggered
overeating, and come up with creative ways
to circumvent your temptations. If stress
is a trigger, call a friend instead of opening
a bag of chips. If your downfall is the larger
portions often served at restaurants, ask
for a box at the beginning of the meal, and
save half for tomorrow's lunch.
If certain foods are simply irresistible,
find a sensible way of incorporating them
into your healthy-eating plan. Avoiding them
completely can increase your craving and trigger
a binge-eating episode.
Think about enjoying your "problem
food" in a safe setting -- for example,
if sweets are tempting, don't bake cookies
when you're home alone. In contrast, if you're
going to a birthday party, plan ahead on enjoying
a small serving of cake.
Celebrating your success, no matter how
small, can help you avoid setbacks. Reward
yourself with something unrelated to food
when you've stayed on track from several weeks
in a row. Taking time to notice your successes
will help you build your confidence to recover
from future mistakes.