I doubt very much if I’m the only one who deceives myself into allowing the peanut butter snack – “It’s a fat after all”, or the evening potato chips because “I’m going to fast till dinner tomorrow”. These permission thoughts sabotage any efforts at weight loss that I want to achieve.

With the holidays coming, these permission thoughts will be pervasive. “It’s the holidays, my time to allow myself to really celebrate with lots of food”. “I’ll certainly be on track by the New Year”. This never works. We stay off track, usually because we have gained weight and are discouraged and then we continue to eat in the wrong fashion.

I’ll do this with exercise too. “I just did a one hour swim practice, that muffin is certainly ok”. Well, no it isn’t. That one muffin just destroyed any calories burned while swimming. Better that I just rehydrate myself with water.

These thoughts can easily enter at almost any setting where there is food. At a restaurant one can feel quite at liberty to ‘allow’ themselves to have a large portion, way beyond satiety, “because I paid for the food”.

The end of the day is terribly dangerous, as is the evening time. “I’m tired, I worked hard, surely it’s ok for me to have a few snacks”.

Again, this never works. We are just tricking ourselves, allowing ourselves to eat when we aren’t really hungry.

As I’ve said many times before, it’s never the main meals that lead to weight gain, it’s usually the extra snacks. The worst of it is that we are almost always unaware that we are snacking. A few treats here and there aren’t entered into a food diary. They are easily forgotten because the amount is felt to be so minimal.

However, that snack easily spikes the insulin which leads to fat storage.

Be very aware of your ‘permission thoughts’. Don’t listen to them. Don’t try to justify second portions or snacks because of a hard day, or because you exercised, or because you are tired or stressed. We cannot play catch up with our food; as best you can, try to maintain good habits of quality food at your main meals and minimize all extra snacking, no matter how ‘good’ it seems or how small a quantity there is.

Do your best, just never give up trying.

Dr. Doug