Even in the world of Rock-Solid eating, there are a number of delicious snacks and treats available, like certain vegan ice cream and cookies, non-dairy chocolate bars, organic chips, etc. These foods are, of course, a godsend to those folks with a sweet tooth who are trying to eat healthier, and most of these goodies are pretty harmless when you enjoy them in moderation.
BUT – the question that I continually have to ask folks who come to me for dietary advice is: How often is your “occasionally”?
And the reality is, whenever I have someone document their exact eating regimen over a period of four or five days in an eating journal, we invariably find that their “occasionally” is far more often than they thought. A few vegan cookies here, a glass of chocolate soy milk there, some kind of oily vegan “chicken” patty for lunch, a handful or two of “healthy” tortilla chips an hour before dinner, and on and on it goes. Next thing you know, these second rate food sources begin to represent a tangible percentage of your total caloric intake…and now your nutrient-dense regimen is diluted.
Those Extra 15 Pounds
Another problem with these “occasional” indulgences is that the extra calories can really add up. For example, let’s say that you’ve established a consistent eating regimen where you are maintaining the same body weight, week after week. This means that you are basically taking in as many calories as you’re burning off. Now, let’s add roughly 150 calories per day to your regimen, or just over 1000 calories per week. This is not hard to do, especially when you consider that 150 calories represents a couple vegan cookies, a glass of soy milk, a serving of chips, etc. Now, 3500 calories equals a pound of fat, so if you have a surplus of 150 calories everyday for a year, and then after one year, you would’ve gained about 15 pounds! All from just the “occasional” goodies.
If you really want to know where you’re at with your indulgences, try carrying one of those 3″ X 4″ notebooks around with you for a few days and document absolutely everything you put in your body. it’s kind of a pain in the ass to do, but once you start reviewing the results, you will likely have to rethink your definition of “occasionally” and start indulging less frequently.