Friday

Are You Deceiving Yourself With 'Treats'...?


We’re all aware that losing weight brings its own rewards. Better health, a slimmer body, more self-confidence and feeling more energised… but it all takes time. These days, we live in an ever-more impatient culture that seeks instant fulfilment.

We need rewarding or ‘treating’ NOW, and on an ongoing basis..

Psychologically, treating yourself promotes real behaviour change because it gives you a sense of achievement when working to a long-term goal. By rewarding yourself for every milestone reached, that ‘good behaviour’ continues to be reinforced, which helps to keep you motivated throughout your weight loss journey.

Not only that, but treating yourself can also prevent binges. Research has found that when people crave a particular food and prevent themselves from eating it, that often ends up having an adverse effect on their weight.

One of the reasons for this is because when we crave a particular food, we’ll often find ourselves eating lots of other ‘healthy’ foods in an attempt to satisfy our craving. Of course, these foods often don’t do the trick, so we end up eating more calories than we would have if we had simply eaten the food we were craving in the first place.

So the good news is that science and psychology tell us that treats are a good thing J

The bad news of course is that most of the things we classify as ‘treats’, are just the opposite, undoing all our hard work and effort.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s when I was a kid, sweet things were a piece of fruit or the occasional plain biscuit. Trips to pizza or burger places were special occasion or holiday treats. Fast forward to today, it’s common for people to visit McDonalds for lunch virtually every day and our concept of what is and isn’t a ‘treat’ has become warped.

So, NOW is the time to mindfully have a reality check to yourself, and decide what you think a ‘treat’ really is. I’m not saying you should necessarily give-up chocolate, ice-cream, cakes or crisps… what I’m saying is that you should no longer see these foods as ‘treats’.

Have a McDonalds, a Kentucky, a pizza or a take-away if you wish to, but don’t ‘treat’ yourself to one.

A ‘treat’ for yourself may come in the form of your favourite exotic fruits, a healthy smoothie, a sugar-free desert or a ‘healthy option’ from the menu, changing your perception of what a treat actually is. Treat yourself to health, energy and feeling good (or whatever is your real motivator to lose weight)

It’s funny how so many people equate eating junk food with, “living a little” - Is ‘enjoying life’, all about the 2 minutes it takes to devour a piece of cake? What about feeling fantastic the rest of the day, week, year? Wouldn’t you rather “live a lot”..??

The reality is, you can choose to “live a little” and enjoy those 2 minutes of chewing junk, then pay for it by feeling bad the rest of the day… or you could just skip those 2 minutes and feel fantastic the entire day long.  Live a little or live a lot, the choice is yours!

By the way, don’t you think you deserve ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’..? Your ‘treats’ should be something you really enjoy the taste of and at a time when you can totally appreciate it. For example, doesn’t, “relishing in the delights of a couple of decadent handmade chocolates whilst curled up on the sofa once the kids are in bed”, sound like more of a reward than, “stuffing your face with a Mars bar while you’re stuck in traffic”..??

Whatever your favourite ‘treat food’, the key is that it’s eaten occasionally, not every day and that it’s truly savoured. A treat will be more enjoyable and satisfying when eaten mindfully, not guiltily. It isn’t going to be anywhere near as enjoyable when it’s wolfed down in the middle of a busy day.

Of course, treats don’t always need to be food at all J

So, if you’re looking for some inspiration to reward yourself, here’s my list of the top 50 non-food treats that were used as motivators by my private clients, throughout 2014.

Top 50 Non-Food Treats of 2014 (They’re in no particular order..)

1 A bubbly, scented baths
2 Body products
3 A new gadget for the kitchen
4 A Spa day
5 A new CD or DVD
6 A new book or kindle eBook
7 Scented candles
8 A trip to the Cinema
9 New shoes or boots
10 New purse

11 A new camera accessory
12 New ear-rings
13 Make-up
14 New scarf
15 A soft, fleecy sofa-blanket
16 New handbag
17 A new flavour of tea
18 A bunch of flowers
19 A pamper day
20 New underwear

21 A walk in the park
22 A session on the games console
23 Frame your favourite photograph(s)
24 A new item of clothing
25 Sex!
26 A new App for your phone
27 New running shoes
28 Shellac nails
29 A Tattoo
30 New wii fit game

31 New Sunglasses
32 Treat the kids
33 A duvet day
34 New hair style
35 Eyebrows treatment
36 New phone
37 New jewellery
38 New pair of pyjamas
39 A romantic weekend away
40 A new charm for a Pandora

41 Rent a movie
42 Fragrant soaps
43 New slippers
44 A walk along the beach
45 Zumba session
46 Spray tan
47 A onesie
48 A puzzle/crossword book
49 A swim
50 New headphones

By the way, now that we’re into the New Year, if you’re thinking of starting a detox plan, you might just want to glance over last month article in the Observer first..

You can find it – HERE