Starting a diet is easy. For the first seven minutes, you feel wildly confident, motivated by the thought of you in a bikini and the admiring looks you will get.
Precisely 11 minutes later, you are hungry. You worked out, you tell yourself, so that gives you about 300 "free" calories.
You start thinking about food. You look at photos of food on Instagram. Soon, you are using your expert powers of self-persuasion to convince yourself a diet cheat is actually a good thing. It will boost your metabolism! And you'll get right back on track straight after one little treat.
Woe is you. As all girls know, dieting is hard, boring and, worst of all, it's often futile.
These are the 10 ways we all convince ourselves that cheating on our diet is totally fine.
“It’s my [insert: coworker’s, best friend’s, mom’s, dog’s, own] birthday.”
I hate to break it to you, but this is America. There will always be cake. If you work in a reasonably-sized office, chances are you’ll celebrate a birthday on a weekly basis.
If you cheat on your diet to eat ice-cream cake at every person’s birthday, that is fine, but it is no longer cheating. It is, simply, not dieting.
“I already messed up today, so I’m just going to have a bad day.”
We’re all guilty of this, but the logic is questionable. Sure, it slightly detracted from your diet when you ate that 11 am muffin. But you know what messes up your diet more? Throwing in the towel and eating candy and cookies throughout the day.
“Whatever, I’ll be good this weekend.”
Hahahaha. No one has ever, in the history of girls wanting to be a size 0, behaved better on the weekend than during the week.
During the week, you’re at work, where you don’t have constant access to food, and you’re attempting to get semi-early nights, so you don’t drink much or eat late-night carbs. At the weekend, you drink, eat pizza at 4 am, and get pancakes for brunch. So, good luck with this one.
“But it’s the holidays.”
Again, this is America. So do you mean Thanksgiving, where you’re cheating for pecan pie and stuffing? Or Christmas, for mince pies? Or are you Jewish, and referring to cheesecake on Shavuot? Or maybe it’s the 4th of July, and you want a giant hot dog.
The problem is, it’s practically always a holiday. There are 10 federal ones, lots of religious ones, and when you throw in Valentine's Day chocolate and Halloween candy, “the holiday” is always going to be a reason to cheat on your diet.
“I’ll work it off in the gym.”
Then you have more stamina than I do -- do you know how long it takes to work off a single Krispy Kreme? Well, you’re looking at 417 calories in an original glazed donut.
If you think you want to run for 90 minutes for a few moments of pleasure, that’s fine, but in reality you just won’t.
“I’m on my period.”
That really sucks for you and I’m sorry. By all means, eat chocolate. But it won’t ease the pain or make your period go away any quicker. It will, however, make you fatter and give you food guilt.
I love free food as much as the next girl, and have been to known to eat a day’s worth of food in free samples. (Try the Union Square Green Market or Whole Foods.) Just bear in mind it still has calories.
Calories are very easy to lose track of when you’re constantly eating on the go. (But God, those Union Square pretzels.) This also applies for frozen yogurt samples, which taste better than paying for it but add up worryingly quickly.
“There’s no point starting on a Wednesday”
Ah, so you’re going to start on Monday, right? And when you inevitably mess up on Monday, I guess you’ll just have to wait another week?
In a study conducted by Brian Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating,” results showed that 46 percent of people started their diet on a Monday, and 31 percent of those had failed by Tuesday evening. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and another wasted week. Start in the moment, wherever you may be.
“I’ll just have one bite.”
Oh really? And then another and another? Whether you eat a bagel in one go, or by tearing off teeny chunk after teeny chunk, you are still eating a whole bagel. (Sadly, I know this from experience.)
Psychologically, you can tell yourself otherwise, but it amounts to the same. Remember that the next time you’ll “only eat the crust” or “just the cheese, not the base.”
“Men like curvy girls anyway.”
Yes, they do. Curvy girls like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. Not, sadly, obese women.
When you meet a guy who is looking for a girl who knows no limit when it comes to truffle mac and cheese, please send him my way.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It