Healthy Eating and Dieting: How to Avoid the Unavoidable Danger Zone

Healthy eating and dieting tips…To Keep the bad stuff off your lipsJust keeping unhealthy foods out of sight will dramatically reduce your consumption of them.But sometimes you don’t get a choice on how your environment is arranged – someone else has control of what’s visible – they have a bowl of candy at their desk, or they have put a batch of cookies out on their kitchen table. So what do you do?Dr. Phil was undone by temptation…So he avoided the whole situationFirst, don’t give up control that you do have. Sometimes you can choose an alternative route, and not pass the danger zone, and just make that a habit. Dr. Phil tells a story in which he changed the door he routinely used to go in to his house in order to avoid the danger of fresh baked cookies and similar temptations. If you can’t avoid the kitchen, maybe there’s a cover you can put over the cookies, or maybe you can move them to some place less conspicuous without getting busted.

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But of course there are times and places where there’s just nothing you can do to change the environment or to get the bad food out of your line of sight. What can you do then?One trick is to set a goal – how many times you’ll pass them up before you eat one. “I’m going to pass by here ten times before I eat a cookie.” Then keep track each time you go by and if you haven’t forgot all about it by the time you reach the goal, then you eat one of whatever it is.If you find yourself making excuses to go by the temptation just to count it, don’t worry about that. Just make sure that the number of trips is high. You might be willing to make ten trips for one cookie, but are you really going to make thirty trips to get three? If you lose count, don’t stress about it. The idea is designed to distract you from that immediate craving and give you time for it to pass. Plus you get the reinforcement that you can control yourself each time you go by.If someone has out some treats just too tempting…Let them know what you’re attemptingFinally, you can ask the person who is providing the unwanted alternative to remove or move the food you are avoiding. If you explain what you’re trying to do, they may be willing to help you out.That’s a hint, to you. People are much more likely to work with you if you ask them to help you than if you tell them they are creating a problem. If they say no, accept that graciously and use one of the other techniques above. It’s destructive to you to argue about it or to harbor resentment. And anyway, you’re the one trying to live up to your values; you’re not trying to make other people do it for you.

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Can you think of any temptation you often see and sometimes give in to? An unfortunately placed vending machine, the cook’s cooling shelf, or butterscotch candies on the receptionist’s desk might be the unwanted temptation.Decide how you’re going to deal with it the next time you face that temptation, either by hiding it yourself, or going another route, or giving yourself a goal to reach before giving in.