Following diets or food plans has always been hard for me. It’s hard to find time to shop and prepare the food and then actually swallow the healthy food. I mean, even if there is cooked cauliflower in the fridge, am I actually going to get it out and eat it?
Tasty food is cheap and convenient, and how often am I actually at home when I need to eat my next healthy meal? It seems like everywhere I go, I’m being offered sweets, (even, ironically at the pharmacy) and stress seems to trigger my need for sugar.
But what’s really frustrating to me is that I no longer trust myself to keep commitments. I may have a great food plan, but then I’m offered samples at Costco or one of the kids gets a chocolate chip cookie out of the freezer, and if I’m having a weak moment (which seems to happen frequently), I’m toast.
So, if I’m serious about eating better, I must learn how to keep a commitment. That being said, my expectations have to be realistic. If I were rank myself on my ability to keep a food commitment on a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably give myself a 2.
So my commitment plan has to match what I know I can actually do. Right now, I have one day a week that is calm enough and organized enough for me to stay on a plan. And when I’m really craving a certain food, all I have to tell myself is, “I can have it tomorrow.”
My favorite food plans are the ones designed by Dr. Oz that can found here and here and here and here on Good Housekeeping-s website. (They are all different food plans. The last is my favorite.) Even with these plans, I allow myself some flexibility. If I can stay within the calorie allotments of each meal and snack, I can change things around. Dr. Oz says that if followed every day, you should lose about ten pounds in one month.
But one day is really stretching me. My last two weeks came down to the wire with me finally coming through on Saturday. I really struggled when our in-laws treated us to the Pizza Pie Cafe on one of those Saturdays. I came SO close to caving in, but I had a delicious salad there and had a huge plate of green beans when I got home. The pay off? Well, there is nothing like waking up in the morning and remembering that I kept my commitment the day before. I just feel so good about myself.
I’m also proud to say that I’ve finished my fourth week, and I’ve lost four pounds. Not bad. How have I lost four pounds by staying on a food plan only one day a week? Well, let’s just stay that I go through a lot of false starts before I get through a day where I’ve followed my food plan. (My commitment is that I have to follow the program one day a week, but it doesn’t matter which day it is.) False starts help though—if I’m still getting a good breakfast and lunch in, I’m still eating better. And eating on a plan even on day a week seems to help me with my self control the rest of the week (although I still have a weakness for brownies).