Sometimes even when you know exactly what to do and why, your mindset can get in the way. In my experience as a nutritionist and health educator, there’s one common mental obstacle that tends to keep people “stuck” - all or nothing thinking.
Do you feel like you have to be perfect and if you “mess up” you totally blew it? This kind of thinking often causes people to fall into black or white eating traps with no room for gray: you're either “on track” and follow the rules, or you “throw in the towel."
A lot of my clients will say things like, “I was doing good all day, then I had to go to a business dinner and I wound up having a roll with butter so I thought, screw it, I messed up so I might as well have pasta and dessert and start over again tomorrow.”
When you have all or nothing thinking, sometimes even a taste of something that’s not on your plan can open the floodgates to overeating for the rest of the day.
If this tends to happens to you, try to put an eating transgression into perspective and move forward. One roll with butter may put you over budget by a few hundred calories, but it’s not enough to negate all of your other healthy choices. You’d have to eat an excess 3,500 calories that don’t get burned off to gain just one pound of body fat, which is much more likely if you throw in the towel.
If you get a little off track during an otherwise "good" day, don’t beat yourself up. Let it go and move forward. Being off by a few hundred calories will make a much smaller dent in your weight loss results than a rebound binge. And if those extras are happening because the plan you’re following is too strict and impossible to stick to, it may be time to think about modifying it.
Is this something you struggle with? Please share your thoughts.