How to Practice Restraint During a Season of Indulgence


Mint chip ice cream

I knew during the whole sinful indulgence, that I was doing something wrong but desires are powerful and restraint exhausting. I had been so loyal for so long and I was starting to feel like I actually deserved to be bad.  It was all over within a couple exhilarating hours but I awoke the next morning knowing that I’d paid for that delicious night.

It was Saturday. I was tired. I was at the grocery store and every cell in my body was begging for sugar and fat. I considered dried mango, prunes, grapes but the fat content was too low and the sugar too pure.  And then I saw it – mint chip ice cream. It was waiting for me, knowing that I would walk over to it.  For the next 3 hours, I had multiple encounters with that delicious tub and only when I decided to drown the remaining third in warm water in the sink, did the night end.

I’d been on a three-month streak of eating very little refined sugar. My gut had restored the balance of flora so I was energetic, never sick and usually craving-free. I could have a cookie here and there and not feel the effects but it was amazing how much my body rebelled when I recklessly violated the healthy pattern I’d established.

The season of indulgence is upon us – the average person gains five pounds over the holiday season and the number one New Year’s resolution is “Lose Weight”. How can you beat the odds and fit into your pants in January?  A couple tips…

  • Eat before dinner. Fill up on raw vegs before the meal starts. Add hummus if you wish. No one ever ODs on hummus.
  • Commit to yourself (and tell one other person) that you will not go back for seconds to the buffet table.
  • If you’re at home, take only a small portion of the “sinful” food, then shove the package into the back of the cupboard, fridge, freezer and leave it there.
  • If you’ve had people over, force them to take the leftover pie with them. Do not let them say no.
  • If you think you can’t trust yourself, give away or throw away the temptation – better a wasted pie than a bigger waist.
  • Brush your teeth. This technique is 100% effective. When you really want a second bowl of ice cream, the hardest thing to do is grab your toothbrush, not a spoon, but the second you start brushing, the craving will go. I guaranteed it.

As much as it may seem like you are powerless to say no, the more you practice restraint, the easier it gets. And as we all know, the short-lived thrill is not worth it.

Your tips?

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