I’m sure you’ve come across the plethora of dietary advice in search for the perfect “get wedding dress ready” diet.  And most advice is conflicting, “limit carbs, eat as much good fat as you want,” “eat carbs, stay away from fat,” “count calories,” “calories don’t matter,” “eat breakfast,” “don’t eat breakfast.”  The varied information is daunting when you are depending on the advice of the “experts” to guide you down the dark and confusing road of what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat in order to get fit & fabulous for the big day!

I want to talk about the classic dietary advice that we have all heard, “Eat whatever you want…IN MODERATION.”

Would someone please define what moderation means?   Would one Oreo a day be “moderation?”  Have you tried to eat Cheez-Its, SnackWell cookies or Dorito’s in moderation?  It doesn’t end well!  “I’ll have just one more” turns into the entire bag or package and results in feeling “bad” and “weak” because you have no Willpower!  This is followed by “punishing” yourself by only allowing celery sticks for lunch the next day after an hour of a boring and torturous treadmill session!  NewsflashYOU ARE NOT WEAK OR BAD for overeating food that is engineered to be addictive!  Moderation of food made with enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, and mystery flavorings is impossible for most humans.  These are the food-like substances (fake food) that is all over the shelves at the grocery stores disguised in packages that look pretty (wolves in sheep clothing) with words like “natural,” “low-fat” or “healthy” in order to make the consumer believe the contents of the package will actually make them healthy.  How do we accomplish moderation?  Shouldn’t you be able to eat whatever you want in moderation?  That’s the advice for a successful “diet” that we have all heard thousands of times.  I’m going to present another option….ELIMINATION of certain foods like DONUTS!  Let me quickly say that you can bake a healthy donut made with real food ingredients so don’t panic!  I’m talking about the Entenmann, Dunkin and Tastykake ones!

I’m in the camp that believes that eliminating certain foods all together is a much easier and effective in comparison to moderation which requires a great deal of willpower.  I know what you are thinking… “I want to enjoy my life and eat ‘good’ food.”  My question is, “does eating fake-food enhance your life experience?”  Probably not!  Why do we associate crap food with happiness?    That’s a whole other topic!  I believe every “yummy” food can be reinvented using amazing, delicious and satiating (satisfying) real ingredients, so there is no sacrifice of what most consider “good food.”

Let’s talk about willpower.  We beat ourselves up when we overeat and cross the “moderation” boundary.  Is it really your fault if you are relying on willpower to resist certain foods that are created with flavors that are hyperpalatable?  That’s the food that is deliberately engineered in such a way that they surpass the reward properties of traditional foods, such as vegetables, fruits and nuts.  They contain sugar, flavors and food additives that are combined in specific ways.  They tap into the brain’s reward system, stimulating a desire to eat and leaves us wanting more, even when you’re full.

Willpower, or “self control,” is what people use to restrain their desires and impulses.  Based on a study of 200 men and women in Germany, it was found that people spent between 3-4 hours per day resisting desires, the most common of which were urges to eat, drink and sleep.  In addition we call upon our willpower to resist urges to check social media, surf the web and check email when we are supposed to be “working,” or giving someone out undivided attention.  Do we have an unlimited supply of Willpower?  The answer is NO!  The willpower “bank” is limited and begins to deplete after just a few minutes of exercising self-control.  Many researchers have observed that self-control tends to break down late in the day, especially if you’ve been under stress (raise your hand if you can relate)!  All of the self-control tasks drain the same reserve of willpower.  Forcing yourself to be calm when you find out your future mother in law bought a dress in a color that will clash with the brides maids dresses, saying “no thank you” to your co-workers cookies, and resisting the urge to check Pinterest before diving into your work project all tap into the willpower reserve.

Important fact:  If you encounter too many temptations during the day, which depletes your willpower “bank,” will compromise your ability to raid the pantry at night.

So, what’s your action plan?  Remember the goal is to be GLOWING with confidence and health, and be “wedding dress ready” on your BIG DAY!

 

  • Eliminate tempting foods or beverages that trigger overindulging. If you still have crap in your house, get rid of it.  Throw it out right now!
  • Avoid co-workers, friends or family members who are junk food pushers and attempt to sabotage your healthy food habits.
  • Avoid places where you know you’ll be tempted. Heading to the bar after work, when you’re tired, stressed and hungry, may be a bad idea.
  • Unplug as much as you can! Knowing that media-related temptations are even harder to resist than others, and deplete your willpower “bank” throughout the day.  The same willpower you use to resist the call of Twitter is the same stuff that you need to stay out of the cookie jar at 9PM.  You have already thrown out the crap but you still need the extra reserve of willpower to keep you from getting in the car and driving to the store!

 

Next time someone suggests you can have a “piece” of the donut because “everything in moderation” is fine.  Politely respond, “Thank you but skinny brides don’t eat donuts.”

For support in all your lifestyle, fitness & nutrition goals and to learn the SECRETS to becoming Bride Fit in your body, mind, home & relationship, join 12 Weeks to a Fit Bride TODAY!  Leave your comments below, looking forward to hearing from you!

Sheila Piehler

Sheila is a health coach and creator of 12 WEEKS TO A FIT BRIDE.   She works with BRIDES in the area’s of fitness, nutrition & lifestyle to create a life of “happily & healthily ever after.”

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