Summer is finally in sight. The weather is warmer, the grass is green, and we’ve officially launched the Minnesota Lake Season. With Summer comes grill-outs, parties, festivals, camping, and all kinds of social activities. It’s easy to say “It’s summer, I’ll let my hair down a little, I’ll cheat just a little, but I’ll be good next weekend.” But guess what? Next weekend there will be another event, another reason to put off your health. The truth is, especially in summer, there will always be an excuse NOT to eat healthy. Summer is full of sugary foods, hot dogs, potato salad, and beer. There’s always another special occasion, long week, busy day, or whatever the excuse is. There’s never a “good time” to be on a diet, it just has to be now. If you’ve found yourself starting to make excuses, and cheating more and more - here are a few things I suggest to help you stay on track.
Ask yourself WHY you’re trying to lose weight in the first place. I think you’ll find revisiting your motivation before making your food choices is all it will take to stay on track.
If that doesn’t work, begin to set smaller short term goals. Decide what you want THIS week, and go from there.
Journal your feelings and your daily stresses. Sometimes writing down how you’re feeling can really help you see how eating the wrong foods can effect your body and over-all mental health. Not only that, but journaling can be a good outlet for anxiety, giving you something to turn to on a bad day that isn’t stress eating.
When you’re feeling cravings, or you’re tempted by something around that you shouldn’t eat - Go for a walk, drink a glass of water, try to divert your attention towards something better for 5-10 minutes. I think you’ll find that’s all the time it takes to make a better choice.
If you’re in a tough spot surrounded by temptation - Reach out to someone supportive. You know they would talk you out of it - Wouldn’t you do the same for them?
The bottom line is, life is always going to be happening, and cheating “just this once” is never actually just once. When you have a craving, one of two things will happen - You’ll break, or you won’t and it will go away. This is helpful to remember - a craving is just a craving, they come and they go, but the negative effects of unhealthy eating last much longer.