No matter your eating style, picking up bad habits and unhealthy ways of eating is something that happens to everyone at some stage, unless you are very vigilant or very lucky. Very much in a similar way when cruising down the hi-way and you’re the only car on the road and sitting at the set speed limit. After a while the speed you are doing seems fine but you feel you are not getting anywhere fast. So you speed it up a little. A little bit of extra momentum will not hurt anyone, after all you are the only one on the road. After a while the increased speed does not feel any faster, so you put foot down a little further. The next thing you know there are lights flashing in the rear vision mirror and you have been clocked exceeding the speed limit when you thought you were just cruising along ok.
When eating in a sensible way, the same can result. It’s what I call “diet creep”. You know the process. Things are going smoothly so why worry about adding in a couple of treats. The treats then turn in to a weekly delight and before you know it – they become a daily indulgence. For me a simple example is toast. I love toast with lashings of melting butter. Before I started eating more mindfully, I would polish off six slices in a go, quite regularly! These days I limit it to one or two pieces on the weekend – and low-carb bread at that. Lately diet creep has taken place and I’ve noticed I’m putting away 3 or 4 pieces, a couple of times a week. So what you may say. Correct, being a non-obsessed eater is all about enjoying what you eat, along with a few indulgences, but within reasonable limits. Stop the creep before it becomes a march on your health.
Over the coming weeks I intend to re-evaluate my “ways of eating”. It’s a retune to eliminate some of the bad habits I have picked up over the last few weeks. I do this reboot periodically to keep a check on my health and the way I look. It’s a practice that everyone should carry out on regular basis. People in the main have no problem getting their car checked over on a regular basis, so why not do the same with our own bodies and our diet.
Today I’m flying home to Christchurch (NZ) from the Gold Coast in Australia, after spending some quality time with my adult kids and grandkids. Being out of routine, and with the tendency to slip into holiday mode at a time like this, is when good eating habits can sometimes slide. The general philosophy behind being a non-obsessive eater is that you enjoy and embrace life and the food that goes with it, but it also means that you are mindful of how and what you eat.
When being mindful and non-obsessive, there is no calorie counting, weighing of food, starving yourself silly or any of those other detractions from enjoying the fundamentals of good living. There is also no martyrdom involved, or the need to inform everyone that I “would love to eat that but I’m on a diet at the moment”. It’s about giving yourself good health food limits while listening to your body; eat when hungry – stop eating when you are full; eat to your body’s timetable not the clock. However no matter how well intentioned you are, this can be difficult to do at times when living with others, on holiday or just out of routine.
I am far from perfect in all this and now it’s time to make some adjustments! Having enjoyed the last few weeks with family and indulging in a few extra treats that I would not normally have, it’s time to take stock. Diet creep has set in. It’s clear that I’ve added a couple of kilos, can grad a bit of midriff fat more easily, and have lost that toned feel. BUT I do not beat myself up about it. It is what it is. This is not “falling off the wagon” or the start of a devastating health issue. It is merely the result of enjoying life and what it has to offer. Weight fluctuations are normal but if the scales rise for longer than a day or two, and you just have that “gluggy” feeling, chances are it’s more than simply water weight or a temporary glitch. Like in all things recognizing and acknowledging the facts is the important part. However the more significant step is actually doing something about it!
So, what has changed over the last few weeks? When home I live on my own, go to the gym regularly, do everything myself and tend to be habitual in my routines. While staying with family I noticed the following: I am spending a lot more time in good company, over coffees and food; I have been tempted with desserts and the odd piece of cake more than normal; I’ve been snacking more often on high calorie treats like nuts and popcorn; I have been sitting around more and been less active with no gym work or daily chores; I’ve been drinking less water; I have been enjoying a wide range of fruit not available at home this time of year; I have been eating less of my normal low carb fare; I have been eating not just more but more often; I have been eating when not hungry (to be polite of course!);
Yes those are my sins! Enjoying family, life and the good things that go with both.
Over the next couple of weeks I will detail my reboot program and how I go about reversing the diet creep.
I am also interested in what you would suggest?