Unfortunately, the words "diet" and "cheating" go hand in hand. When you say, "I'm on a DIET", it usually means you are depriving yourself of something. Diets do not work; they are restrictive and can become exceedingly frustrating, leading you to "cheat". The more you restrict calories and the tempting treats you love, the more likely you are to binge eat. This is counterproductive in a fat loss program and will prevent you from becoming lean.
I'm sure you know the scenario; you embark on a weight loss plan (a.k.a. A Very Low Calorie Diet) fully confident and filled with motivation and willpower. You go out to eat and turn down the dessert you desperately want and then have to sit at the table and watch EVERYONE else gobble down their brownie ala- mode or a slice of Death by Chocolate cake. As the days of deprivation go on you suddenly find yourself thinking about food more and more. You dream about the pint of ice cream that's calling your name. You begin to bargain with yourself, promising to do extra cardio or to fast in exchange for a cheat day.
This, of course, never comes to pass and you find yourself "starting over" on your DIET once a week. Worse yet, you have made no progress and have slowed your metabolism to a grinding halt by eat too few calories. The best way to lose weight is to adopt a balanced meal plan you can stick to for life! This means you can still enjoy the so-called "forbidden foods" you love, only less often and in moderation. If you consistently eat "clean" and "balanced" your desire for the "bad stuff" will eventually disappear.
If you have SEVERE difficulty resisting sugar and constantly have a high sugar craving, this may indicate that your diet is substantially low in "beneficial" fat and it is likely that you have an intestinal flora imbalance. Beneficial fats regulate mood, taste and fulfillment hormones that help you feel satisfied and reduce cravings. An intestinal flora imbalance means certain "shut off" nutrients that reduce the need for sugars are not fully synthesized into your blood stream. Combined, both of these problems cause you to hold onto fat and create cravings for simple sugars.
The solution is to incorporate beneficial fats. Try drizzling 1 to 2 tbsp. of raw safflower, canola, olive or flax oil on your high fiber based vegetables and proteins. Either sauté, grill or make a soup with vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, spinach and mushrooms to name a few. Use any of the oils previously mentioned except flax oil. Flax oil is NOT for cooking.
Chewing your proteins more fully may combat the intestinal flora imbalance. Instead of trying to digest large pieces, chew more fully to give your protein sources greater surface area. Your protein sources for optimum fat loss are eggs, egg whites, white fish (like cod, halibut, and orange roughy), chicken or turkey breast.
Whatever you do, DON'T give up! DO whatever it takes to "clean up" your eating plan and banish your food demons.
My fat loss and fitness plan "Every Body Loses" will give you the tools you need to begin a healthy weight loss program. The style of eating and exercising outlined in my book is one that you can follow for life without feeling deprived. If you're serious about losing fat and getting fit go to www.aim4nutrition.com and get started TODAY!
Good Luck and Be Well,
Personal Trainer & Nutrition Analyst
AIM 4 NUTRITION www.aim4nutrition.com