We’re all human. You know at some point you will crave something from the not-so-healthy list (mine is chocolate), so plan for it!
Chocolate is one of my biggest weaknesses, sometimes the cravings are strong! But I know I can trust myself when a craving hits. And you learn how too.
For many women over 40, the quest for lasting weight loss can feel like an elusive journey, often filled with endless diets and restrictions that seem to take the joy out of life.
We've all been there, trying to navigate the maze of conflicting advice, calorie-counting, and the relentless temptation of our favorite treats.
But what if I told you that there's a way to embrace your cravings without derailing your progress?
In this blog post, I'm going to unlock the secrets to feeding your cravings without going off track, especially if you're a woman over 40 who's tired of yo-yo dieting and ready for a sustainable approach.
The key lies in planning your indulgences strategically, so you can savor the flavors you love while still working towards your weight loss goals.
Join me on a journey to discover how to strike that perfect balance between enjoying life's culinary pleasures and finally achieving the fitness transformation you've always dreamed of!
It's time to take charge of your cravings, and in doing so, take charge of your weight loss journey. Let's embark on this delicious adventure together!
Like it or not, we’re all human. No matter how much self-discipline we have or how strong our willpower is, there will come a time when we will ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE Trader Joe's peanut butter chocolate cups. Ask me how I know 😉
Guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that – and I encourage you to go ahead and enjoy them..... but mindfully!
Does that advice sound counter-intuitive to everything you’ve heard about weight loss success for women over 40?
Let's dive in.
Let’s say you’ve been great for 12 days. You’ve been exercising and eating well and you feel amazing! All of a sudden, homemade chocolate chip cookies are right in front of your face, and because you’ve deprived yourself of everything on some “forbidden foods list” (and I hate calling it that because nothing should be “forbidden,” but that’s a topic for another day!), you finally start grabbing them off the plate.
It felt good in the moment, but not too long afterward, you find yourself trapped in a cycle of food guilt. You think things like, “I’m a failure, I ate the whole tray! I’m going to be fat forever, I can’t do this!!!”
Yikes! Now you’re on a downward spiral that is difficult to escape.
Plan For It
Like I said, we’re all human. Knowing that at some point we will all crave something from the not-so-healthy list, let’s plan for it.
The concept of “cheat” meals is SO last decade. That’s because it doesn't work! Planning ahead does – whether you want to lose 20 lbs. or 500 lbs.
A powerful tool in your arsenal for managing cravings and achieving your weight loss goals is maintaining a food diary. At midlife, we are often busier than ever, and that can lead to unconscious and often unhelpful eating habits.
By jotting down everything you eat and drink throughout the day (or snapping a picture), you gain a heightened awareness of your eating patterns and triggers. A food diary can reveal hidden connections between your cravings and emotions, helping you make informed choices about when and why you indulge. It's a supportive ally in your journey, allowing you to identify areas where you can make healthier substitutions or plan for those occasional indulgences, all while maintaining a strong sense of accountability on your path to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
Once you've gotten a handle on your rhythms and patterns, try planning out your indulgences.
I don’t use the word cheat (as in 'cheat meal') because my healthy diet is MY plan, MY way. There’s no cheating when I write my own diet rules!
There are a couple options for your Treat not Cheat Strategy (I just made that up!):
1) have a small daily treat (which might be a small handful of chocolate chips or a few French fries),
2) you can schedule one or two treat meals during the week.
Now, when I say treat meal, I don’t mean a full-on binge (4 boxes of Thin Mints is not a “meal”). Portion size is key - 'family pack' means just that, the WHOLE family.
But if you want to go out on a Wednesday night and have a great steak and a glass of wine, DO IT!
At the beginning of the week, choose your strategy and stick with the plan. You’ll thank yourself afterward.
When you’re planning your treats, it could be tempting to treat yourself to the one food that you crave the most.
However, if you know that after your get a whiff of those cookies wafting out of the oven, you will be an unstoppable Cookie Monster, then choose something else. I recommend a food that you know will give you pleasure but isn’t a trigger. After some practice, you may be ready to integrate your trigger food into your Treat not Cheat Strategy, but make sure you’re ready first.
One invaluable technique to savoring your indulgences while staying on track with your weight loss goals is to embrace the art of eating slowly.
In our fast-paced world, it's all too easy to rush through meals, but slowing down allows you to truly connect with your food. As a woman over 40, you'll find that savoring each bite not only enhances the sensory experience but also provides your body with ample time to signal feelings of fullness. This mindful approach can help you consume less, enjoy more, and ultimately stay in control of your cravings, making it an essential tool in your journey towards balanced and sustainable weight loss.
In the quest for sustainable weight loss for women over 40, mastering your cravings can be your greatest ally. By adopting a holistic approach that includes planning your indulgences as treats, not cheats, you can rewrite your relationship with food.
Remember, a well-considered treat can be a delightful part of your journey, not a detour from it.
At the beginning of your journey, avoiding trigger foods that may lead you down an unwanted path is equally crucial; you're the captain of your cravings, and you can steer clear of those turbulent waters!
Eating slowly becomes your secret weapon, allowing you to relish every bite and stay in tune with your body's hunger cues.
And don't underestimate the power of a food journal; it unveils the intricacies of your dietary choices, enabling you to make mindful decisions and stay accountable.
As women over 40, it's time to embrace this comprehensive approach. You deserve to enjoy the flavors of life while continuing to progress towards your weight loss goals. By weaving these strategies into your daily routine, you're not just nourishing your body; you're nurturing your spirit and fortifying your path to lasting well-being.
So go ahead, savor that treat, and relish the journey. Your health, happiness, and vibrant future await, one mindful bite at a time!
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