By Linda Hilliard - Author of the Book
E-mail Your Weight Away - Diet Dialoges for Women
For me, one of the biggest challenges of dieting is food displays. Whether it’s those luscious looking doughnuts where I buy my morning coffee – or the tempting candy bar display at the grocery checkout counter – bad foods are always in front of us. If you are especially hungry when you see those displays, the temptation to buy can be overwhelming.
Food displays can be one of the ultimate tests of willpower. Let’s break it down – one willpower hurdle at a time.
Battling the Chocolate Frosted Doughnut
I haven’t had a doughnut for years, but I am always drawn to them. The doughnut that called to me the other day was not only chocolate frosted, but had some sort of chocolate cookie dough inside. And sprinkles on top. Be still my heart.
As with all willpower battles – there is a nanosecond of truth. The clerk may be looking at you as a calm person order- ing coffee, but a dieter’s inner turmoil when faced with an appealing – but lethally bad – food is tumultuous. In a split second, a dieter can take the high road “just coffee” or the failure road “and two of those doughnuts.”
A key part of diet failures is that momentary decision whether to buy a doughnut (candy bar, muffin, cookie....). Saying “yes” to a doughnut, not only puts a high calorie food in your hand, but it’s the start of a downward slide that can lead many dieters to say: “Well, I’ve blown the diet for the day; I’ll eat what I want and start again tomorrow.”
So what’s the answer? You know the answer; I don’t have to tell you. Walk away from the doughnut! Of course - easier said than done.
A couple of recommendations when it comes to willpower:
- Obviously #1 is to draw on all your strength and resist making bad decisions (it is NOT easy)
- Find a low calorie alternative (my doughnut shop offers an egg white flat bread, which is low calorie). If I’m in a grocery store, I might buy a protein bar (after ensuring it’s nutritious and low calorie) or I might buy an apple or other fruit.
- I have a lollypop! I don’t know if that’s a recommended diet food, but it’s a lot fewer calories than a doughnut and gets you past the failure hurdle.
- i chew sugarless gum (in a ladylike fashion, I hope) • And finally, I think about a lifetime of impulse purchases of bad food and how horrible I feel after I’ve eaten them.
If willpower wasn’t such a big challenge, we’d all be at our goal weight. It’s the hardest part of dieting success: drawing on inner strength to make the right decision. Just know that success leads to more success. Resist the doughnut once, then twice – and you’ll find that it stops calling to you (well perhaps a whisper, but you can resist that!)