Let's Talk About 'Treats' - Opening the conversation

in health •  last year 

I'm into a new podcast: Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu

I'd put it down as a wellness, self-improvement kind of deal and i'm totally hooked. Today it was:

 'Why Being Perfect Will Ruin You | Rangan Chatterjee on Health Theory'

Not so much about being perfect (bad title choice), but more about living a balanced life with all things considered. There are a couple of things in here which really stuck with me that I want to open the conversation about in my next few posts.

The first thing is treats, meaning the kind of foods we reward ourselves with for being good, healthy, active etc.
Personally, I try to live by the mantra:

do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog

Have a walk and then you can have a Snickers bar. To me, it's the mindset we need to tackle, ahead of the cravings and because of that i'm going to call 'treat mentality', instead of treats.
So when we talk about 'treats' what are we talking about? In recent times it's come to mean raw cacao coconut balls, but for the most part we are talking about shit, aren't we? Processed shit. We reward ourselves with carby, sugary, colourful crap that our bodies probably won't be thankful for, but our minds are somehow satisfied by. 

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By labelling certain foods as 'treats' it makes them more alluring and tempting. There are lots of theories on this which stem way back to childhood and the way we teach our children to approach certain foods.

'Eat your vegetables and then you can have a treat'. 

Vegetables are bad. Cake becomes good. And so the mental framing continues way into adulthood - and that's a conversation all of it's own.

The mental restriction is broken and we are momentarily free to gorge on refined and processed foods, often filled with chemicals.

Chatterjee speaks about how keeping these kinds of foods out of your house is key to avoiding them. I couldn't agree more. It's very easy to get a craving for something, but fend it off for long enough and it will pass. Or in my opinion, fuel it with something else.
One of my worst cravings is chocolate. I crave it after I eat absolutely anything savory and have spent the past month really trying to crack down on this chocolate obsession. If you're craving chocolate, try eating some very sweet fruits instead. It's harder to break a habit than it is to swap it.

For me, my away around incorporating treats into my lifestyle is to flip my thinking on it. I try and see wholesome, nutritious food as a treat for my body and convenient crap as something I would rather not consume unless I need to.
Also I try not to limit anything out of my diet (besides meat) and be more in tune with what my body needs and when. Fueling yourself properly is key to not giving into 'treat mentality' and the two really do go hand in hand.

What is your relationship like with 'treats'? What kind of food do you see as 'treats'? 

If you're a parent, do you give your children 'treats'?
Would love to hear your views on this.


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Ohh!! I've been watching a few of his videos on youtube and love them!

Personally, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I never usually feel the need to have a sweet "treat". For me, my "treat" is eating whatever I want, since 70% of the time what I do want to eat are usually foods that are actually nourishing for me anyway, so I rarely feel guilty with my choices nowadays. And as I continue to educate myself on what's best for my body, my food choices will hopefully just get cleaner and cleaner as well.

For my kids, I feel that unless we are living in a remote farm or something, it is almost impossible to keep them away from sweets and processed foods, without feeling like I am being the most controlling mother ever. Especially when they're with friends who all have different eating habits. I feel the best thing I can do is educate them on what nourishes their body and what doesn't. I want them to learn to self regulate instead of me dictating everything they eat, which isn't sustainable anyway in my opinion.

Great topic of discussion! Looking forward to chatting more next Sat :)

A very important point and, although I don't have kids, I think education about food and what nourishes you is KEY. Especially at a young age. Thanks for your input, @redrica! See you on Saturday!

do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog

This is perfect, lol. I like that one.

I one of a few that eats to survive, and doesn't live to eat. Some of the people I know think different and teh whole day rotates of what they will grab for lunch, brunch or pour into themselves.
I couldn't adopt to that mindset, so majority of my social contacts got annoyed. In theory this works, but in practice, it is quite a different environment.

I have started to become more that way too. I used to revolve around food, but now i'm starting to realise there is more to life and just eat to survive.

You have a minor grammatical mistake in the following sentence:

And so the mental framing continues way into adulthood - and that's a conversation all of it's own.
It should be its own instead of it's own.