• Autumn Bates, CCN, MS

The Power of Treating Yourself Each Week

Updated: Jul 18, 2018

Each week, I have my salads, baked veggies, grass-fed beef, avocados, cauliflower rice, and extra virgin olive oil. I love my food and I love the way it makes me feel ~ My hair is healthy, I rarely get breakouts, my muscles are replenished and strong, I have SO much energy, and my brain is clear of fog. And you know how I know this is due to the way I eat? Because up to one day a week, I allow the crazy foodie in me to be let loose. Hellooooo home-made pasta, grilled pizza, and Justin's Peanut Butter Cups... Sorry, but I'm definitely not sorry.

Now I'm not saying that I binge and pig out. Okay, maybe sometimes. But if I've been craving pasta, then I make some pasta come Friday or Saturday!

And guess what... A recent study actually proves that having one day a week where you plan to have food that doesn't necessarily align with your goals actually helps you to lose the weight you've been aiming for!

Here's what the study explains: Eating those Justin's Peanut Butter Cups or a slice of crispy, yummy bread on one planned day a week helps you to boost your feelings of motivation to eat healthy the rest of the week - probably because you can feel the difference in energy levels, mood, etc. after indulging compared to when you give your body nourishing meals. It also makes you feel happier about eating healthy on the days that you have delish roasted brussels sprouts with salmon or a spicy Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl. (my FAVE).

The thing is, it must be planned. This helps to give structure so that one treat doesn't turn into a daily occurrence. Here's what the study had to say:

This reveals that it may be beneficial for long-term goal-success to occasionally be bad, as long it is planned.

So if you've been craving ice cream all week long, treat yourself tonight with a scoop from your favorite gelateria! Here are my general guidelines when it comes to treating yourself:

1. Make your treat as high quality as possible: This helps so that you don't feel as bad the next day. For example, if you want ice cream, make it organic and as low in sugar as possible. Craving something savory? Try making your own pizza with grass-fed cheese and organic flour.

2. Try making it from scratch: This ensures that your treat is as high quality as possible. You can make your own popcorn with grass-fed butter and organic, non-GMO popcorn kernels then flip on a movie with your loved ones. Maybe nachos are more of your thing ~ buy organic corn tortilla chips and add organic black beans, salsa, guac, and grass-fed cheese.

3. Turn your treat into an event: Adding a sense of celebration to your tasty treat meal will make it feel special. A few years ago for my birthday, I invited friends and family over for dinner where we made homemade pasta together with Italian music playing in the background while sipping on red wine. MUCH more fun than pouring some dry pasta from the package and topping it with premade sauce.

Moral of the story ~ you'll be more successful (and HAPPIER) with your weight loss goals if you give yourself one day a week to treat yourself. Today's Friday... who's planning on a homemade ice-cream bar with your closest friends?! ;)

xx

Autumn