Low Calorie Foods Can be Just as Lethal as Chocolate Cake a la Mode (With Fudge Sauce)
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When you’ve been a life-long dieter (sigh – seven decades for me), you learn a lot of lessons about the slippery slopes of dieting. At least, you should learn lessons from every successful (or failed) diet you’ve been on.
Walking through the grocery store this morning, I spotted some diet foods that pretty much destroyed my past diets. Too much of anything – even diet foods – can undermine a diet.
Here are some of my personal examples. Over the years, I was a member of popular diet group many times. It’s a fabulous program: Good, healthy and common sense approach. Plus, they have some excellent food products, including terrific little snack bars (like a little candy bar) and yummy little cakes. What a treat. Unless – like me – you eat the entire box in a sitting. Diet foods are not diet if the dieter has no self-control.
A nutrition bar for lunch – what a great alternative. Depending on the nutrition label, they can be under 200 calories and they are certainly a healthy choice and much better than a meatball sub! But for me, one is not enough. Nutrition bars may be healthy, but they aren’t all that filling – why not have several? Bad decision!
Low calorie ice cream. Seems like a nice alternative, but when was the last time you had ice cream and actually measured that half cup 120 calorie serving? Don’t tell me you were satisfied with that amount and didn’t scoop just a smidge (or perhaps a lot) more into the dish.
Don’t get me started on low calorie puddings. Perhaps that tiny little plastic cup serving is fine in itself but it’s the low cal whipped topping (several large scoops) that is bad, bad, bad. And don’t even consider a “few sprinkles” for texture.
I could go on and on with examples of low calorie foods that can destroy a diet, but here’s the point: When it comes to willpower, low calorie foods can be just as lethal as a slab of mile-high chocolate cake a la mode with fudge sauce.
It comes down to dieting being a head game and having willpower. Buying something because it says “Low Calorie” on the label is – on one hand – smart, but it can be a setup for failure. If diet bars are the best thing you ever tasted, but you know you can’t handle them, don’t buy them. If you’re in front of the store freezer eyeing that low calorie ice cream, consider whether you can handle the portion control and how long it will take you devour that entire container.
Consider past mistakes. If your history shows that every time you buy those prepackaged 100 calorie snacks you binge on them, then what are you doing buying them again?
If you can’t handle some foods – don’t have them in the house. Food is an addiction. I know how to diet (don’t most of us?), but put the wrong foods in front of me, and my addiction kicks in. I may be a successful dieter right now, but I know my food triggers and how easily I could backslide.
I can be proud of myself when I am out with friends and refuse a chocolate mousse dessert. But I also know that if I am not careful and draw on all my willpower, I could easily go home and eat six low calorie biscotti cookies (only 50 calories each) when no one is looking. If I did that, who am I kidding?!