Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rule #3-Deprivation Is Thy Enemy

Okay, I hear you about one thing: you want your sweets, your brownies, your creamy whipped toppings. Got it. But you can't lose weight and have your cake, too. (I really did come up with that catchy slogan on my own!)

Here's the thing: that ice cold Coca-Cola you've been thinking about since I divulged Rule #1? You know, the one you can't get out of your head now that you've gone soda-free for a week and a half now?

You can have it.


But only once. Then try to forget about it for awhile.

So why am I giving you permission all of the sudden after touting how terrible it is for your waistline? Because if there is anything I've learned, it's that we need to feed our cravings once in a while.

What do I mean? Here's an example: Picture this. A young woman, recently discovering she has high cholesterol and watching her cousin die from causes related to weight, decides to try the new fad diet: The Atkins. Armed with literature, she realizes she must not devour carbs of any kind. However, she doesn't care for meat (except the piggy kind), so she goes her own way and more or less chews on a few lettuce leaves.

By 3 in the afternoon, all she can think about is a gigantic bowl of cookie dough. But no, it is not on the list of okay foods, according to her Atkins books. She must resist. She WILL resist.

By five, she is feeling weak. Sick, even. She cannot hold out one. Second. Longer.

She whips up a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies and stuffs handful after handful down her throat. Her knees stop knocking. Her heart rejoices. Energy returns. But she has just consumed over a thousand calories, 75% of it from fat.

That young woman, dear readers, was me. And the bowl? Empty.

Here's the lesson. When we deprive ourselves, we obsess over it until we can't see straight. And instead of taking maybe five bites of the "bad" food, we eat it until we are in a sugar-induced haze of happiness. So my rule #3 is to give in once in a while. That does not mean every day. It means once every two weeks you can enjoy a hot fudge sundae. But the rest of the time, eat healthy.

Otherwise you too may end up with an empty bowl and a stomachache. Because honestly? Very few of us have that kind of willpower. So have that soda if it helps keep you on track. It's the complete deprivation that will have you guzzling a six-pack in no time.