before you cheat
Are you planning a cheat?
First, ask yourself...what are you really hungry for? If it's an emotional hunger (you're hungering for company, a hug, a good cry, privacy, relaxation, a nap, etc.), try to feed that hunger before feeding your craving. 12-step programs use the HALT reminder: "Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?" Don't feed the wrong need.
If it is a hunger for food, feed it with protein, fat, and salad.
Drink a tall glass of water. Make yourself a pot of soothing herbal tea.
Tried those? Karen and Wa'il often give this suggestion: think through the whole experiment of your cheat before you do it. Most people only imagine through to putting the food in their mouths. But move the film forward--imagine the cheat being over in ten minutes and the food gone, barely remembered, the guilt afterwards, how you'll feel when you step on the scale the next morning, a week or two of strict before you see the same low weight again.
If none of these approaches work, and you decide to choose to cheat, consider using the "it's better to" approach:
* It's better to eat a CAD-type meal than to eat sugar or flour alone. Have a large salad or large serving of LC cooked veggies, have a large protein serving, and then your single serving of sweet or bread or potato. This helps lessen the insulin surge from the cheat.
* For many people, it's better to wait until the end of the day to cheat. A cheat early in the day puts the blood sugar swings into motion, and few people can limit their cheating for the rest of the day after that first one.
* If you're hungry for a sweet, it's better to eat strawberries with whipped cream than a slice of cake, better to eat three slices of a sugar-free cheesecake than one slice of one made with sugar
* If you're hungry for fries, it's better to make one small red potato tossed in olive oil into oven fries than to buy fast food fries.
* If you are going to eat a candy bar, it's better to eat one than three, better to eat three than ten.
* If you're fighting off cravings from yesterday's cheat, it's better to quit sooner rather than later. Remember, in 1-4 days, the cravings will be gone again if you don't keep feeding them
* It's better to eat consciously and enjoy it than to wolf something down with guilt
* For chronic emotional eaters, it's better to eat in public than to sneak away and eat in private