By Monica McCarthy
For many of us growing up, “treats” were our go-to rewards for good behavior from our parents: A lollipop after a doctor visit, a slice of sugary cake for turning another year older, a few cookies if we ate our vegetables with dinner.
As adults, this reinforcement of “naughty” foods continues: an alcoholic beverage (or three) after hard day at work, a pint of ice-cream to get through a difficult break-up, fried just-about-anything to support our favorite sports team on television.
The side affect of this junk-food-as-a-reward mentality is that we start to look at “health” foods as boring necessities instead of the nutritious (and delicious!) foods our body truly craves.
The next time you find yourself with your hands in the cookie jar when what you really want is a pat on the back, try out one of these three helpful tips for treating yourself well:
Create A Food Diary. Food diaries are terrific tools for tracking which foods you desire throughout the day. Does a stressful meeting make you run for the doughnuts? Do you head straight for the Happy Hour every time you talk to your sister-in-law? By keeping track of the foods you eat and when you eat them, you can gain tremendous insights as to where you can break poor eating habits.
Plan Non-Food “Rewards.” Although grabbing that cup of java or that slice of pizza may provide a quick moment of glory, they leave us feeling worse for the wear. Why not leave the food for nourishment purposes, and have other forms of enjoyment as for rewards? You can watch a movie, or get a manicure, or meet a friend for a stroll in the park. The important thing is that you feel like you are indulging yourself, not simply adding another To-Do to your list.
Eat Healthy Versions Of Your Favorite Treats. Often times, it’s the idea of certain foods that act as our dangling carrot (pun intended!). Craving a slice of pie? Try the Reboot Apple Peach Bake. Want a snack food? Munch on some Reboot Kale Chips. Looking for an ice-cream shake? Cool down with a Reboot Very Berry Mango Smoothie.
In short, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to rewards for a job well done or a difficult experience! Just be sure to feed your body the satisfying healthy deliciousness it deserves!
Got any other helpful hints? Don’t be shy, share the love in the comments section below!