I have a huge sweet tooth. Always have. I also hate to miss out, especially on treats!
So when an opportunity comes about that I just can’t resist (or don’t want to say no to), but it doesn’t fit into my macros or I don’t feel like I want to indulge right then, I put it aside for later - usually in the freezer so it’ll keep :)
I really began leaning on this strategy when I was working in sales a few years ago and was stuck at my desk all day. At my office, there were tasty homemade baked goods floating around all the time and it seemed like it was always someone’s birthday…
I hated saying no to something that a coworker had lovingly made to share, or to a celebratory birthday cupcake or whatever, because I love participating in special occasions and appreciating my friends! But, at the time I was also training for a high level CrossFit competition and was really working on keeping my diet as straightforward, unprocessed and performance-friendly as possible, which for me meant indulging in treats less often by choice…
So here’s how I handled it: I’d gratefully accept whatever was offered to me, sometimes take a little bite to show my enthusiasm, and then take it back to my desk and set it aside. When I left for the day I’d bring it home, throw it in a Tupperware and put it in the freezer - that is, if my roommate or boyfriend hadn’t gotten to it first! Bringing home something special for people I care about is always fun too :)
But when I did get to save my treat, I knew I could have it later if I wanted, so abstaining in the moment in order to stay true to my nutritional goals didn’t bother me really at all. I also liked to be able to accept whatever was being shared, so I could be part of the special moment but still stick to my plan that I knew helped me to feel, look and perform my best.
Some of the hardest parts of getting and staying in shape and maintaining a healthy diet are feeling like you have to say no to things sometimes, or choose between important occasions, or decline nice offers. It’s also hard for some people to deal with the pressure or judgment (either real or perceived) from those around them when they decide to opt out of less healthy situations.
I love this treat-saving idea because you get to say yes (which, let’s face it, feels really good!), you still get to participate in fun and celebratory occasions, and you have a plan in place where you’re not really missing out on the tempting treats, you’re just not going to have them today.
What I found was that just having this option made me so much less interested in indulging in the treats themselves - they no longer had the irresistible pull they once had when I felt like I was missing out on an opportunity forever.
I also noticed that the treats started to pile up in my freezer and cabinet, out of sight and out of mind, and I never really thought about them again until I was adding to my stash :)
Granted, I was very goal-oriented at the time and not really practicing flexible dieting in the way that I do now - instead, I was very focused (especially on performance) and actively chose not to make much room for unhealthy foods in my diet. I found that I personally felt, performed, and slept better when I adhered to a certain nutritional approach, so I was pretty disciplined in order to maximize my athletic abilities and body composition.
If you do practice a more flexible approach though, this strategy totally still works! Nowadays, if I ever feel like having a few bites of something special that I’ve received, bought, or made, I’ll enjoy the hell out of it and then put the rest right into the freezer. It’s kind of the same concept as boxing up half of your restaurant meal before you start eating, you know? Read more about that strategy HERE.
I also think that it’s much easier to forget about treats if they’re not sitting out on the counter and you’re not walking by them 100 times a day… I used to think I could make brownies and leave the pan out until they were gone, but every time I walked by I’d stop to take “just a little bite…” Those little bites add up FAST, let me tell you!
I’ve since learned that it works better for me to truly enjoy my moment with a reasonable portion of treats, and put the rest away - or put them away for later before I even start!
I think this is true for a lot of people, if not most!
It may take practice, but this has been a technique that has saved me countless times from deviating from the healthy lifestyle approach that’s important to me. Temptation is tough and discipline is a learned skill, and staying true to your goals all the time can be very challenging - but YOU CAN DO IT.
To me, the best strategies are the ones that make you feel like you’re not missing out on much - and I think this is one of those!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Please feel free to comment, upvote, or resteem if you’d like :)