What’s Your (Guilty) Pleasure?

How many of us have played the Yo-Yo Diet game, at least once in our lives?  Before I learned that a healthy diet meant not being on a “diet”, but instead, making my actual diet (food consumed) a bit healthier, I’d play the yo-yo game.  I was really good at playing, especially a few weeks before a vacation or an event for which I wanted to lose a few (or more) pounds.  I’d take all the bad stuff away and I do mean everything.  I’d eat salads with grilled chicken for dinner every night, I’d cut out most carbs and I certainly wouldn’t enjoy any of those guilty pleasures, that’s for sure!

In the past that seemed like such a great way for me to lose a few pounds.  Then I’d go away on my trip and go back to my regular eating habits, guilty pleasures and all, and then come home right back where I started or, often times, worse off. 

Why worse off?  How could that be?  Let me tell you… I’d starve my body of certain things that I wanted, let’s say pizza.  Then, when pizza reentered my diet, I couldn’t help myself!  “Oh, pizza, how I’ve missed you.  Perhaps I should have an extra piece or two?”  Yep, that’s exactly what I did. 

I know there are things in my diet that aren’t especially good for me.  I know there are things I should cut out to be that much healthier.  But, I’m realistic and I know myself.  If I try to cut something I love out completely, eventually it will come back to bite me.  If I didn’t have a spoonful of peanut butter every once in a while, one day you’d find me sitting in the corner with the whole jar, I’m sure.  As much as I talk about eating healthy, I do enjoy my guilty pleasures, here and there, just to keep myself from going overboard from deprivation.


  • If pizza is your guilty pleasure (It’s definitely one of mine!), then start with a salad.  Eat that slowly, then enjoy a slice of pizza, knowing you’re already close to full from that salad.
  • If chocolate is your down-fall, don’t keep it in the house!  Ha-ha!  Go to a store that sells small pieces individually and reward yourself once or twice each week. 
  • Ice cream… Who doesn’t love ice cream?  If this is your downfall, definitely don’t keep the ½ gallons in the freezer.  Treat yourself to frozen yogurt once/week while you’re out running errands.  Savor it and know it’s got less fat/calories than your ice cream.
  • Last, but now least… Alcohol.  Go for a light or low carb beer if that’s your thing.  If you’re a mixed drink kinda guy/gal, don’t add juice or go with a low sugar/carb version.  Wine?  Limit yourself.  It’s high in sugar.  As with any drink or guilty pleasure, go slowly and savor your “treat”.

Maybe for you, deprivation doesn’t lead to eventual destruction, but I’ve learned that this is how I have to live and eat – Everything in moderation.  Perhaps part of improving your wellness includes cutting back on some of the things you love most.  I must say, I do enjoy some of them even more now, as they aren’t a part of my daily living.  I’ve convinced myself to enjoy the reward.  Can you?

Carri Nelsen

Do you have a ‘Wellness Wedsneday’ question for Carri?  Send it to blogs@thezonemag.com and we’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.


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