Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Diary of a Diet: All By Myself

It can be really, really difficult to eat healthy or be on a restricted diet under normal circumstances. But what about when the rest of your household doesn't follow strict dietary guidelines the way you might? I've fallen off the wagon plenty of times, because the contents of the fridge weren't diet-friendly, and the mashed potatoes on the table were just too tempting. Here are a few of my helpful hints to staying on track when dieting alone, even when living with junk food lovers and meat-and-potato eaters.

1. You are not an inconvenience. Don't think of your need to alter the dinner menu or the grocery list as a problem. You don't have to feel guilty for feeding your family a healthier meal, or for opting out of what they are having. Don't feel awkward, feel proud of the food on your plate!

2. Treat yourself to really good food. Buy as many high quality ingredients as you can afford to (within reason). If you want broccoli rabe instead of plain old broccoli, then by all means, have a little splurge. Stop by that farmer's market and enjoy fresh eggs and heirloom tomatoes. The more excited and happier you are about the food on your plate, the more likely you are to want it, and not pizza.

3. Variety, Variety, Variety. Do you know why Chipotle is so damn good? Variety and customization. Imagine having all of those chipotle burrito bowl/salad bowl ingredients at your disposal. Most people don't put that many components into a single dish. Prep ahead of time for the week ahead, or buy some shortcuts (like ready made fresh sweetcorn salsa) and give yourself a really colorful, tasty plate of food. It'll be like restaurant quality, every day. Also, check out these great Pinterest ideas for one-bowl meals, most of which are really healthy and delicious. Just steer clear of the cheese-and-pasta jobbies.

4. Don't beat yourself up. I ate a Reese's today in the supermarket parking lot. I hadn't had chocolate in a week, and I just wanted it, dammit. And I do not feel guilty at all. Thinking of food as "good" or "bad" is part of the diet mentality that causes most people to return to their old unhealthy eating habits, anyway. Everything in moderation, as they say, and remember that even those really special treats are totally ok on occasion. When you don't have them as often, they are even more delicious too, trust me.

Have any dieting tips? Stories? Links to recipes? Share in the comments below!

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