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Last week I gained 3 pounds. How? By falling into I deserve it thinking; “it has been a bad day, I deserve chocolate” thinking, or the “it has been a great day so I deserve ice cream” thinking or the “I am out with friends so deserve to splurge” thinking. Or my personal favorite “I ran 6 miles today so I deserve
a few, 3 or 4 cookies” thinking.
Food is available, food is quick, food soothes but unfortunately too much food, especially of the type that we usually crave for emotional eating can also be very unhealthy. Why oh why can’t I crave apples or carrots when I am depressed.
6 Ways To Reduce “I Deserve It ” Eating
1. Don’t have trigger foods in the house
My kids will be the first to tell you about the lack of ice cream in our home. At around 400 calories for a full bowl I don’t need it around when “I deserve it “ hits. If I have to go out for it, that means I really have to think it through, will it fit in my calorie allowance, my budget, is it worth the time to go and drive and get it 95% of the time it is not.
Your trigger food might not be ice cream whatever it is keep it out of the house as much as possible
2. Replace trigger foods with non calorie treats
You waist does not deserve a brownie but your mind, body and soul does deserve a short walk in the fresh air to think through the emotions that triggered the I deserve it thinking. Unable to get outside? How about putting your feet up for 5 minutes and working on that craft you love, or read a few pages of your book or magazine, or just curl up on the couch close your eyes for a few moments and take a few deep breaths.
Basically find something other than food that releases stress for you.
3. Arm Yourself With Scripture
I love the book Made To Crave and its accompanying Craving God devotional (could find the devotional on kindle). Both contain many scriptures relating to food temptations. Whenever I notice food is taking over, I read through the devotional day by day. You might also want to try writing down the scriptures shared in these books and posting them in the kitchen, where you will see them as you grab for your favorite “I deserve it food”.
Don’t misunderstand me it is not wrong at all to have the occasional bowl of ice cream or chocolate bar, what it wrong is when we let emotions drive us to it.
4. Plan Your Indulgences
I allow myself around 100 to 200 calories a day in chocolate or cookies, or…… This is just enough to keep me from binging out . I know others who prefer a one planed big splurge per week. Whatever works for you, just work it in you daily calorie allowance.
5. You Deserve Better
Next time your fighting a “I deserve….. because I….” remember this. You deserve to be healthy, You deserve to be fit, You deserve to be the best you that you were created to be. My guess is when you think on those things what ever food reward you thought you deserved won’t be worth the temporary happiness it brings.
6. Forgive Yourself
When you goof up like I did last week and you over indulge, forgive yourself. Don’t spend another day sitting on the couch eating a huge mound of ice cream thinking, I won’t ever get this right! (and yes I have done that). Don’t panic and go flying off the the gym to work off every last bite (and yes I have done that). Instead, take a deep breathe, admit to yourself that you have failed, take a few minutes to brainstorm what caused you to indulge and how to avoid it again, and then go right back to you set plan of healthy eating and regular exercise.
And that is exactly what I am doing, I am forgiving myself and moving on. Even when armed with these 6 tips I still mess up and that is okay, I am human. What is important is that you don’t let your mess ups lead to failure and you have not failed until you give up trying. Every time you mess up yet start again you are winning.
This weeks weigh in: My goal is to lose 10 pounds this year, each Wednesday I am sharing what works for me and giving an update on my progress. Lost 1 of the 3 pounds I regained.
I highly recommend the book Made To Crave to all those who struggle with emotional eating.
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