This morning I am sitting in Panera Bread surfing the net and feeling very happy. I have just enjoyed my favorite bagel, the pink ribbon bagel, and great cup of coffee. Normally bagels bring fear to the heart of the average dieter, and they probably should because they are high calorie.
But what if you love bagels, like I do?
I don’t want to go the rest of my life without bagels! Pink ribbon bagels only come out once a year to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. I must admit that I look forward to them. =) So I need to figure out how I can splurge on this delectable treat and still stay on tract with my healthy eating goals.
This is something we all need to continue to examine. What less-healthy foods do I want to fit into my diet?
First of all, I don’t eat bagels (yummy, big bagels) all the time. I consider them a treat. And if I am going to eat a bagel, I want it to be a good one. So I won’t waste my calories on a grocery store bagel, only the good ones from Panera or my very favorite, Einstein’s.
Secondly, I want to think about the choices I have made that surround this decision to eat a bagel. Have I eaten mostly high fiber, whole grains the rest of the week? Have I been mindful of my calories? Exercised regularly? Splurged another time this week?
One less-healthy choice, surrounded by a lot of healthy choices, is not a big deal and shouldn’t prevent me from reaching my nutrition goals.
I think a once a week splurge is an acceptable event in a healthy diet. It’s just when once a week turns into several times a week that there is a problem. Remember that healthy eating is a series of decisions. It’s not about being on a diet or off a diet. It’s about the decision you are going to make right now for a healthier body, regardless of what you just did.
A bad eating decision isn’t so bad if it’s thoughtfully planned out. And as soon as it is over, it’s time to get right back to discipline and planned-eating. The bagel I just ate should not send me on a downward spiral to careless eating for the rest of the day. If anything, it should move me to be more conscious, but not in a negative way. I don’t need to feel guilty about my bagel choice because it is one decision amidst many to be a healthier person.
So what’s the moral of the story?
Planned splurges are definitely part of a healthy diet. So relax, enjoy that favorite food, and plan to make your next decision a healthy one.