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{May 2, 2012}   Give yourself a break

Diets are hard. We say “no” to ourselves constantly, keeping our sub-conscious cravings in check. But this can become a tiring, 24-hour job, and immersing ourselves in it can actually be counterproductive.

I’ve talked about body image before, but it can’t be stressed enough. We punish ourselves for bad food choices, for not being strong enough or having enough will-power to say no. What many people don’t know is that self-criticism is actually harmful to a diet, and can make you indulge more. Instead of punishing yourself for eating badly, reward yourself by eating well. Remember, no one is forcing you to make healthy choices. This is a lifestyle, and it cannot be maintained without a desire to be healthier and in-shape.

Dieting isn’t about denying yourself; it’s about giving yourself what your body needs to be at its strongest.  When you eat something off your diet, don’t lose your mind in a frenzy of self-loathing. Instead, take a portion that will give you a taste of what you’re craving; don’t go over the top. And when you’re done, you will have enjoyed something. Food is meant to be enjoyed, by the way…remember that. And then plan the rest of your day accordingly. For example, if you get dessert with lunch, make sure your dinner is a bit more calorie-conscious. You’re not doing yourself any good by giving in to self-hatred. Life is about enjoying what you have, not depriving yourself. Just make good portion choices, and keep “everything in moderation” in your mind.

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