Avoiding sweets is important in order to maintain a healthy diet, but is avoiding them entirely realistic in your everyday life? For some, maybe—but for lots of people, it doesn’t make sense to plan on completely avoiding treats as a lifestyle. With Valentine’s Day—the unofficial holiday dedicated to chocolate—around the corner, sweets and treats will be hard to avoid. If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with sweets, you’re not alone. Read on for tips on how to moderate, avoid temptation and stay motivated while making healthy happen.
Find Ways to Indulge without Getting Off Track
Unless you’ve got Olympian-level willpower (congrats to you if you do!!), chances are you will find yourself indulging from time to time—despite your best efforts to consistently make healthy happen. That’s okay! Figuring out how to indulge intelligently without ruining your healthy habits is the key to finding dietary balance. When you maintain a healthy relationship with sweets, remember that not all indulgences will be avoided. If there are certain occasions you’re anticipating, and you know you’ll be tempted—plan for it! Whether that means reserving calorie intake for the special occasion or adding in an extra workout during the week, proactively planning for deviations from your typical diet can help you stay on track.
Don’t get discouraged if you succumb to the sweet stuff. It’s going to happen! Just remember that each new day is a chance to build better habits and make healthy happen. Try and pinpoint your moments of sweets-related weakness to understand if there are common themes to help you avoid those pitfalls in the future. If walking past the breakroom at work leads to mindless snacking, take the extra steps and find a new route! Or maybe late-night snacking is your kryptonite. Try brushing your teeth after dinner and send a message to your internal snack monster that the kitchen is closed for the night.
Satisfy Cravings with Better-for-You Alternatives
We get it, sometimes you just want the real deal—but when you’re willing to go for the next-best-thing, there are plenty of swaps that will satisfy your cravings. You may be pleasantly surprised that the imposter desserts make for a deliciously sweet alternative.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Are you trying to lose weight? Or maybe you want more energy in your day-to-day life. Whatever your goal is, use it to power through moments of temptation. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with sweets, stay centered with your goal in mind. Making healthy happen isn’t about hitting a number on a scale or fitting into a beloved pair of jeans, it’s about making healthy choices that enable you to get the most out of life.
Do you have a friend who is also striving to make healthy happen? Keep each other accountable and work together to stay on track! There’s power in numbers when it comes to making positive choices to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Focus on the Big Picture
Instead of getting bogged down in the details of your daily life, remember that creating a healthy lifestyle isn’t about one particular habit, it’s about making healthy happen in all areas of your life. The wonderful thing about positive choices is the halo effect they have on your life in total. When you make one healthy decision, the next becomes easier to make, as well. Look at the forest, not the trees when making healthy happen!