It was always a Sunday, because, of course, Monday is the only possible day to start a new "diet". I used to plan out every meal , snack, and treat all the way up to 11:59 on Sunday night, making sure to include every unhealthy food I could possibly imagine. I'd actually plan out the day so that I didn't miss a single meal or snack because, after all, it was my last day of "freedom". The sad part is that this "Last Meal" was actually sabotaging my upcoming diet. Today, I'd like to explain why... "Read More" below:
1. Last Meal = Pain and Suffering is Coming
Giving yourself a "Last Meal" puts your upcoming diet in a negative light. You are actually convincing yourself that you will be suffering on your diet, even if you might not. Setting up this battle of what you want to eat vs. what you should eat makes you more susceptible to be sad or miserable when you finally start.
2. Last Meal = Feeding an Addiction
Most of the foods you consume for a "Last Meal" are highly habit forming and often addictive. If you ramp up your intake of these foods before you start, you're only making the transition harder for yourself.
3. Last Meal = Vicious Cycle
If you do slip-up on your new diet, it's tempting to give up and start another day. And this means, of course, that you can start planning your next..."Last Meal"
3 Ways To Avoid a Last Meal and Start Smart
1. Single Elimination
Choose one or two things to change in anticipation of your diet. For instance, I recommend cutting out sugary drinks first. Go straight to water only, but keep eating as usual.... don't cut anything out, but also don't ramp up your food just because you aren't having coke or sweet tea anymore. Make ONE change and work towards adjusting to that ONE thing. Then, once you are comfortable with this, repeat the process with something else.
2. Ramp Down
Work down towards your goal, rather than ramping up before a sudden start. I did this with my coffee. I didn't immediately go straight to black coffee. I used a gradual approach to put less and less sugar and cream day by day. I took me about a month, but I eventually eliminated all sugar from my coffee and, down the road, learned to like it completely black. You can do this with many different aspects of your diet.
3. Journey to Health
Start to see this as a Journey toward the eventual destination of healthy eating....NOT a temporary Sabbatical, where you're just taking a break to get healthy and then going straight back to your old habits. You want to always be moving towards your new life as a healthy person, not taking two steps back before you take one step forward...
How about you? Have you ever tried anything like this before a diet? Did it help or hurt? Leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!