From Coach Joe at ITG Diet
I'm sure many of your dieters have admitted that they ate something off-program before and noted afterward that it just didn't taste very good. Did they mention it wasn't as delicious as they remembered, and totally not worth eating? Maybe they went a little overboard with some cheating, and now ITG foods and vegetables no longer satisfy? It seems more difficult to get back on track with the program?
I've been coaching a couple who have been on the program together for several months. They've been doing a great job losing weight and have never cheated, and both are still in Step 1. To protect the innocent, we'll refer to them as Jim and Pam.
Recently, they went on vacation so we talked about their food plans before they departed. Since they were going to New York City they knew they were going to eat some off-program foods and planned their restaurant visits in advance. Now that they're back, we discussed the short "break" from the program and how each of them viewed the experience of eating off program.
Pam was excited to enjoy some fun foods such as pizza and pasta. However, she admitted the food didn't taste as good as she remembered. She said they upset her stomach and didn't bring her very much pleasure. She felt like she was missing out on vegetables and began to crave them, along with her chocolate wafers. She noted that she felt a little tired and fatigued and contributed it to the foods she ate and a lack of water.
Jim, on the other hand, might have enjoyed his break a little too much. He's having a rough time getting back on track. He told me he ate way too much, to the point of discomfort. All the foods he looked forward to eating were delicious and made his cravings feel more intense in the following days. His favorite ITG bars and daily vegetables didn't seem to have a taste anymore. It took several days to get his motivation back but has been taking it one meal at a time.
Even though we tell our dieters not to cheat, it's unrealistic to expect that no one ever will. However, we can turn these experiences into a positive conversation to help educate them on the pitfalls of cheating as they continue their progress. Eating high fat, sugar, and salty foods can cause digestion issues and make healthy foods unappetizing. It causes dopamine to be released which makes them feel really good when they eat these foods. In extreme cases, cheating can eventually lead to falling off the program. Cheating isn't always a bad thing if we use it as a tool for nutrition education. We can teach dieters how they can turn these fun foods into rewards in Step 3, rather than thinking of them as a cheat!