Remember, there are no ‘bad’ foods, just unhelpful eating patterns.
Surely chocolate is ‘bad’?
If you’re used to having your very own mini-chocolate-eating festival most weeks of the year, then yes, that style of eating is probably unhelpful when you’re trying to lose weight. But chocolate itself isn’t ‘bad’. In fact, dark chocolate and raw cacao have been found to contain beneficial antioxidants (the darker the better) and a type of saturated fat named stearic acid that may not affect blood cholesterol levels like animal fats. So, rather than viewing chocolate as bad, aim for a neutral approach to foods.
How many treats can I have?
Well, that depends, first you need to look at your SmartPoints® Budget and think about how your ‘non-negotiable’ treats might work within that budget. Perhaps you feel like you ‘need’ a glass of wine on Friday night? Or a mini chocolate treat some afternoons? Write down your list now, and take note of anything on the list that has a higher SmartPoints value than you thought. Consider whether you could swap those with something else, so you can still feel satisfied, but for a lower SmartPoints spend.
Next, make sure you’re eating a healthy balance of all the different food groups across each day. This needs to be your priority. Then you will be able to decide on how to portion your budget for treats.
Planning ahead has been identified as one of the key skills that supports long-lasting weight loss. Aim to track ahead and schedule your favourite treats into your week, but still allow some room for spontaneity.
- To let your rate of weight loss guide you. If you think too many extra foods are slipping in and affecting your weight loss, speak to a Coach about it.
- That deprivation doesn't work. If you want to, you can use the flexibility of your weekly SmartPoints Budget as a cushion if you need to go over your daily Budget every now and then.
I try so hard, but...
Always find yourself giving into a sweet indulgence that you hadn't planned for, after dinner? Stress, boredom, habit, loneliness and fatigue are just some of the emotional (and hormonal) states believed to trigger cravings. Plus research shows that the overloaded food environment we live in causes us to unconsciously crave pleasurable foods regardless of our hunger or emotional levels. Food temptations are all around us, all the time, and especially on evening TV. Science proves that simply telling ourselves ‘no’ is unlikely to work. Recognising your triggers and patterns is one of the first steps to success.
Make sure you...
- Allow yourself to enjoy something sweet or savoury in a controlled way by tracking ahead and making an allowance in your SmartPoints Budget.
- Always have plenty of healthier ‘treat’ or snack options available in the fridge and pantry.
- Shake up your routine to break any food-based habits. You could brush your teeth earlier, sip mint tea, chew gum or join a friend for an after-dinner power walk and talk.