Temptation. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s to splurge on an outfit, skip a workout, or cheat on your diet, the urge to do something you know you shouldn’t is near impossible to avoid and can be almost as difficult to overcome. Committing to a Paleo diet means having to turn down and suppress the desire for many foods that have brought comfort for years.
This past week I’ve been staying at a friend’s house out of town and have been faced with opportunity for temptation after temptation. I have surprised myself with how well I’ve done in conquering my goals of eating only paleo-approved foods while staying in someone else’s home in another state (future post to come about how I managed to eat paleo while traveling!), and I honestly haven’t even thought once about deviating from my goals…until tonight.
Tonight my friend ordered pizza. Not just a pizza, but also that yummy cinnamon bread stuff with the gooey frosting, and garlic bread. UGH. As soon as she opened the box the house smelt like cheesy and delicious heaven. My mouth literally watered. I can’t lie – I sorta kinda thought about having a slice.
To overcome the overwhelming desire to eat something that I knew I shouldn’t was difficult, especially watching everyone else enjoying it. Everyone attempting to transition to a paleo diet will be faced with similar challenges, so here are a few steps you can take to overcome your desires to indulge in non-paleo foods:
1. Walk away. That’s it. Just go sit down on the couch and flip through the latest Instagram posts or text a friend. Whatever. Removing yourself from the immediate situation will ensure you don’t slip up in the moment.
2. Always be prepared. This means two things:
- Be prepared for friends and family to eat the way they want, whether you are around or not. Not everyone will understand your choices and decisions to fuel your body with only nutrient-dense unprocessed foods. They may eat your favorite food right in front of you, and you need to be prepared for that. Being mentally prepared for this to happen will allow you form strategies to stick with your goals.
- Always keep food or a snack with you if you know you will be around people who don’t follow a paleo lifestyle. If you are going to a restaurant, research their menu ahead of time to make sure you can order something you can eat. If you are going to a friend’s house for dinner, offer to bring a dish to share that you can eat. If nothing else, keep a snack in your car or in your purse. Trust me, it’s worth it to be prepared, and will drastically increase your chances of sticking with your goal.
3. Visualize your goals. Repeat in your head what it is that you want to accomplish. In my case, this is staying paleo for all of 2014, no excuses. If I give in and cheat this one time, it will ruin everything that I’ve worked for this far. So not worth it.
4. Think about why you made the transition. Is it to get healthier, lose weight, or just to prove to yourself that you can stick with something? Whatever your reasons, think about how cheating this one time would derail you. How crappy will you feel after having that pizza? Your stomach will probably not be thanking you for it the next morning.
Did I give into my temptation to eat a slice of pizza? Hell no! Instead, I heated up some spaghetti squash, paleo-approved tomato sauce with ground deer meat (delicious!!), and a bowl of broccoli and cauliflower. Honestly as soon as I finished my meal, I felt so good about my decision to put real food into my body that I no longer thought twice about that greasy pizza for the rest of the night.