Imagine spending weeks putting together the perfect plan. A plan that will get you in top shape to get you towards that perfect body you always dreamed about. You plan on omitting the junk foods you crave to ensure you will be eating only the foods that will aid in developing this new body.
There’s not an ounce of sugar in this plan. Not even a slice of white bread. Your enthusiasm is great. Your willpower is even stronger. You know that this time will be different.
One day you’re home in your safety zone. Your safety zone is completely clear of all temptations. The foods in the zone are geared towards aiding your diet and training plan. Up to this point, your training and diet have yielded great results in your body.
You feel unbeatable after weeks of success. You know that a big holiday is approaching and you think that it’s finally ok for you to stray from your perfect diet. You’re not even going to think of it as a cheat meal because all you plan on doing is having some dessert to your standard meal. How bad can that bite be?
Three days later you wake up with a odd sensation in your stomach. Your mind is blurry and hazy. You feel like you went on a alcoholic binge but there was no alcohol involved in this unfortunate situation. Your attempt to be perfect for so long has backfired. Welcome to the world of the holiday weekend binge! As you place your hand on your head, you ask yourself
“How much did I give up for that one bite?”
Too often we demonize foods. We as humans have an All or Nothing mentality. This is the mentality that tells you that if you’re going to lose weight you have to be super strict. This is the mindset that tells you if you’re going to eat some pizza, you might as well eat at least half the pie. This is the mentality that tells you that if I take a sip of soda, I should just finish off the 2 liter.
If this doesn’t sound like yourself, congratulations because you are in the minority. Today, there are countless people who suffer from the All or Nothing mentality. I know I’ve been one of those for the majority of my life.
I’m not one to snack away on small portions. I’m the type to go big or go home! When I eat cake…..I EAT CAKE! I don’t tip toe around it. I know it’s something I should not be eating on a regular basis, so I will over indulge.
My Name Is Mike…..And I Have A Problem
Why is this fitness coach telling you this? By admitting that I have a problem it’s easier to identify it and prevent it from happening too often in my life. That’s one of the first steps towards recovery.
I live in the real world. In this world you should be happy. There’s no need to demonize food all the time. The most successful and healthy long term food relationships occur when you can accept things the way they are. That’s why I create trigger food lists.
Trigger Food Lists
Trigger food lists allow me to record all the foods I have issues with. I have two lists, one yellow and the other red. The yellow trigger food list is a list of gateway foods. These are foods that I can control myself around but know that they can lead down a path of binging. An example would be peanut butter and bread. Those items can be in my house without me craving them. But if I was to eat them together, I normally would make a PB&J sandwich would then turn into me craving something even sweeter a few days from now. That’s a yellow trigger food.
My red trigger food list consists of foods I know I shouldn’t be eating. These are the foods that I know I can’t control myself around at all! There’s no such thing as taking one bite with these foods. I will eat it all! These are the foods that keep preventing me from going to that next level of fitness. I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I just can’t control myself around these foods, so they should be put on this list.
If I know I have a problem with cakes consistently in my face, I don’t totally give up on eating cakes forever. No, I just ensure that I do not make them a part of my daily life. That’s why they would be on my red trigger food list.
I’m not perfect so I try to eat red trigger foods occasionally then on a daily occurrence. If I would keep cakes around me all the time, there’s no telling how far I would balloon up too. I would eat sugar so much, that I would become immune to it. The sugar would force my brain to continue to eat more and more. Not out of necessity but more out of dependence.
Food Can Indeed Be A Drug
That’s why it’s important to know what exactly you’re getting yourself into when you do have just one more bite. Right or wrong, be prepared for the results.
If you find yourself two days from now still stuck in a junk food coma, you’re not as strong as you originally thought you were. Those months of perfect planning are now out the door. It shows that you were not quite ready to Release The Beast. Do yourself a favor, and put that food in your trigger food list.
Having that food properly labeled and identified will help you in your long term fitness journey. Unnecessary binges and setbacks no longer have to happen. When faced with the occasional cheat meals, you will have identified whether or not you should attempt to eat that particular food item.
You now have your answer to that question….
“How much is that one bite worth?”
Why keep doing this journey alone? Take a peak at Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside and get the mental help you need!