One thing that helps me not be perfectionistic when trying to practice my latest eating style (forgive me the uppity euphemism, I kinda hate all the negative connotations of what should be a neutral word – ‘diet’) is knowing that my triggers, flour, excess carbs and sugar (especially sugar), set me up for cravings later. Sugar especially is fiendish for this effect.
I used to never understand when people talked about cravings. I actually thought I never had cravings. My love for sweet things and almost constant desire for them had been with me as far back as I can remember. I ALWAYS have room for dessert, ya know what I mean? It was so much a part of me, that I never considered these desires as ‘cravings’ ….I thought of cravings as something that comes on intermittenly and intensely and then leaves. What a revelation when eating lchf! Suddenly I have zero desire to eat more, especially no desire for dessert (not even fruit)?!? You mean that I was just in a CONSTANT state of craving….? Here I had framed my desires as greed/gluttony, pleasure-loving, etc. (e.g. I am such a bad girl) and really it seems to me now that my body has just been much more sensitive (or less sensitive technically) to the onslaught of carbs and thus would drive me to crave more and more….it was a hormonal thing NOT a will power thing. Man, what an awesome thing to learn!!
So empowering as now if I eat a bit more carby, I know that later I will feel the munchies…and that said munchies, will pass…I don’t have to give into them and that feeling, which I used to own as genuinely my own, will go away. I can tell myself that I will not always feel this away, that it is just the hormones.
People used to tell me before the same things about healthy living and eating…that things become habit and much easier, that it won’t always feel like major deprivation. But the problem was that before, I was always trying to moderate every food and it always felt like restriction and having to excercise lots of self-control…and maybe over time that would have been easier, but who knows? I could not go even 1 straight week with the deprivation and restriction. Only after going lchf and so quickly feeling how incredibly and truly I can feel indifferent towards sweets, did I become a believer. Knowing that indifferent feeling is just a few hours away if I resist the sweet now gives me the strength to resist the hormonal urges and wait it out. Before it just felt so hopeless and difficult. Trying to moderate sweets and other carbs is just a losing game for me. I was continuously triggering myself and never feeling the complete freedom of low carb.
It is so cool to learn how your own unique system works and work with it in the direction you want to go. It allows me eating flexibility and power to quickly keep humming along despite stumbles.