From the front door, no, make that the sidewalk— you catch a whiff of the gooey goodness that tantalizes your taste-buds and fills your imagination with all manner of sweet, melt-in-your mouth lusciousness. That is the experience of tasting a Krispy Kreme doughnut if you’re lucky. Some people—my clients included—describe eating these doughnuts not as an experience but an event! Many call it a “virtual orgasm!”
And try as they might, it is nearly impossible to have just one. Ahhh, but tasting one of these hot, freshly baked jewels can blow your plan if your goal is weight-loss. In fact, there are about 1,100 reasons why you should pump the breaks each time you reminisce about how good the experience might be. That’s right just 1 doughnut can cost you a whopping 1,100 calories! Translation? If your calorie budget is 1,200 a day, you’ve got maybe a piece of fruit, or 2 servings of leafy green veggies and water left to consume the same day without blowing your diet.
Wowzers! Are you still willing to take the Krispy Kreme plunge?
Willpower is a good enough strategy to abstain, if you’ve got it, but who are we kidding? Many of you had already abandoned your food and diet resolutions by the end of January and you know its true. Believe it or not and I do want your buy-in here, you can use the foods meant for your greatest pleasure—to as counterintuitive as it may seem, be your deepest motivators to win the battle of the bulge.
My True story: I confess, I’m an ice cream lover, a connoisseur of sorts. My go-to favorite choices were Haagen Dazs Belgian Dark Chocolate or Banana Split ice creams, which I used to inhale by the pint. Yes, America’s Nutrition Coach confesses, she never a met a pint of either flavor she didn’t love! But for obvious reasons, I knew I had to quit. I started the process by convincing myself that everything about the ice cream was bad for my body: it contained too much fat, sugar, and far too many calories for my body and therefore had to go. So I set my mind on these thoughts:
I made it disgusting—the smell of banana split was too sugary and the chocolate, too chocolaty and it made my breath smell of milk. I also decided it was too expensive and that other brands were more fairly priced. Each time I went to the grocery store I made a point not to trot down the ice cream aisle just to maintain my resolve. The alternative would have rendered me weak at the knees and many days it did. I should mention here that Banana Split is a limited edition offered by the brand, only at certain times of the year and for a LIMITED TIME. Because of this, the urge was strong to take the ice cream route on the way to the seafood or any other area of the store. It was as if the ice cream had some sort of gravitational pull, a real hold on me. Suffice it to say it was hard, people!
I convinced myself that it not only tasted horrific, but that it also gave me brain freeze, and not worth the economic “hardship.” On this point I decided that I could use the money for things more important to me. So each time I bought and ate the ice cream, I became increasingly more convinced that this was a horrible experience for me and it had to stop.
Here’s a fact. When you talk (to yourself), even as a thought, your brain, your whole body listens! And this may sound kooky, but I will tell you that your spirit, your very soul listens too; a very good thing, because all of your body’s important parts respond in kind.
Back to my ice cream story—
One day after having just purchased a fresh pint of Banana Split, which is 560 calories, 32 grams of fat, and a whopping 54 grams of sugar per cup serving, I had had enough. I rationalized that the calories alone were just under half of the calories I should have been eating all day. The 18 grams/serving of saturated fat in the ice cream far exceeded the maximum 13 grams I should consume in a day. There was no win here, for me the nutrition coach who had gone rogue.
But there was something different with this pint of ice cream that hadn’t happened before. I noticed that after all of the self-talk and demonizing, my desire for what had controlled me and my behavior for too long, had waned, much like summer comes to an end. I took a tablespoon from the kitchen drawer, scooped 2 level spoonsful of the ice cream, ate it, and decided that was enough.
What happened next was even more surprising. I didn’t eat any ice cream the next day, nor the four days that followed.
Weeks raced by before I did have banana split ice cream again, and not more than my decidedly level-headed, 2 level tablespoonsful. I allowed myself to savor the ice cream and realized that I could be just as satiated with 2 spoonsful as I had been with an entire pint.
The point is…just as you can savor an uber-pleasant experience about something that causes you to spin out of control, whether its ice cream, cigarettes, or foods that blow your weight-loss plans out of the water…you also have the same power to convince yourself of their unpleasant, detrimental, horrible, disgusting, diet-sabotaging effects. See what I did there? Now you have even more adjectives to add to your arsenal the next time you happen upon your personal “Krispy Kreme” moment.
Here is the Krispy Kreme Strategy in a Nutshell:
- Convince yourself that the food you crave, is the demon in your diet, then purge its warm, gooey memory from your psyche
- Make your demonized food-fave disgusting, repugnant, and offensive in your mind. Think of it as an upset to your digestive system
- Feel the uneasiness and discomfort of being too full of the food to the point that it becomes difficult to keep it down
Still want that pesky old food that represents the bane of your dietary existence or nah?
You have my permission to take this mental exercise as far as your imagination will travel. Remember, the reason you crave the food is because you have fond memories of deliciousness when you think of it. The goal is to make your thoughts about your food demons, especially those that you crave, work for you rather than against you. Thoughts are things too, and in this case your thoughts can make or break your diet and healthy living success.
Repeat these steps and remind yourself each time a pleasant memory tries to inch its way into your thoughts that it’s a trick that you’re not falling for this time.
Now breathe—release and let it go!
With Love and Happiness,
Rovenia Brock, Ph.D. is a medical advisory board member and contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show,” where she helped more than a half-million Americans lose more than 5 million pounds. She is the author of Dr. Ro’s Ten Secrets To Livin’ (Bantam). For more health, nutrition, and fitness tips, join Dr. Ro and her social media community and get a FREE Download of her new eBook of super-easy tips, “You Healthy and Happy” at http://www.everythingro.com