We have all been there before, “I will just have one cookie.. How much can one cookie hurt?”
If you have been eating healthy for a while, one cookie could do some serious damage! It is not the calories we are worried about here, but the connotation. One cookie opens the door for ‘just one more cookie.’ Also, if you were starting to crave healthy foods you may have taken a step back by allowing an unhealthy taste craving to emerge.
I have found that the hardest part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle (diet and exercise) is finding and keeping your will-power. We live in a world where you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to get fresh baked bread or wait until a special occasion to have cake. It is very easy to allow yourself to indulge in all things tasty and decadent. When we do start to put ‘restrictions’ on ourselves we realize just how easy it is to slip in to bad habits. You should be proud if you have been able to make the switch to healthy living and ignore the ‘bad’ foods.
As someone who has been ‘eating healthy’ for many years, I can tell you it is not easy in the beginning. I gave up ‘bad’ foods little by little. I eliminated fast food, then soda, then excess salt, then excess sugar. I am currently working on eliminating refined grains. What I CAN tell you is that once you clear your body of something, you stop wanting it! The time this takes to occur is different for everyone. For me, after about 2 months of sugar-limitation I stopped wanting sweets. I recall a birthday party where I wanted to be polite by eating the cake, but it tasted like a bowl of sugar to me! Things taste much different when you readjust your palate. The fear with ‘one cookie’ is that some people, especially early in the diet, will not realize that they really want something until they have started eating it again. You may have gone months without a chocolate craving, but after that one chocolate chip cookie you find yourself thinking about candy bars all day!
No diet will succeed if the dieter feels they are missing out on something, but you don’t have to give in to the cookie crash if you feel a craving. Find tasty alternatives for your favorite sweet treats that won’t bring you down. For example, I love key lime pie and carrot cake. I have found a great key lime pie Greek yogurt to stave that craving, and I make whole wheat carrot cake muffins for the latter. Check out some of my personal tips for those difficult-to-satisfy salt and sour cravings.
You can do it! Don’t give in to that cookie! You know what they say, ‘nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!”