Go Ahead, Order Dessert!
Recently, I posted a photo of a dessert I had eaten while vacationing in Paris and I received a flurry of confused and even outraged comments:
WHY would I, a professional who specializes in helping women lose weight, EVER post a picture of some gooey, decadent, chocolaty dessert that I was about to dive into??
I had a very good reason – a reason that is CRUCIAL in order for you to lose weight, and keep it off.
This is for you if you have been avoiding dessert for years, and are still not at your goal. It will explain why eating dreadful boring “diet” food teaches you nothing. It will explain why we only truly learn how to achieve lasting weight loss by confronting temptation, instead of avoiding it.
I think you will like what you are about to read: It gives you permission to order the dessert, enjoy the glass of wine, and celebrate guilt-free with a slice of cake on your birthday.
The photo I posted was of classic French profiteroles: Three cream puffs, full of rich vanilla ice cream and covered in a thick blanket of hot fudge sauce.
What didn’t make it into the picture was the extra pitcher of warm chocolate sauce the waiter left me with, just in case I needed more. (I did). It was divine and I ate the whole thing.
After I posted the photo, I received an immediate response of shock and confusion about why I would brag and post a photo of — gasp! — a decadent chocolatey dessert.
I intentionally posted it as an example of how we can challenge and redefine our old ideas of how to lose weight so we can set ourselves free from the never-ending insanity of yo-yo dieting and finally achieve lasting success.
Here is what I wanted to convey with this photo:
- No food should be classified as “good” or “bad.”
Think instead of food as a well-thought out choice that you have made for yourself. When you stop thinking you have “cheated” by indulging occasionally in foods that are normally considered taboo on other programs, you will start to win the weight-loss battle.
- You can lose weight and still enjoy the foods you love.
The only way to achieve permanent weight loss involves learning how to incorporate all foods into your food plan. You improve these balancing skills the more opportunities you exercise them, which is why is why you will increasingly master these skills over time.
Here’s how: Incorporate your favorite foods while you are losing weight, so that you learn balance and portion control during the weight loss process. This new skill becomes your insurance policy so when you arrive at your goal you will know exactly how to maintain because you’ve been practicing along the whole journey. I suggest reserving about 150 calories daily for what you think of as a special treat, like a couple pieces of chocolate or a glass of red wine.
Be confident making these allowances daily and for special occasions as well. Life is full of celebrations and exceptions to our food plan – the quicker we learn how to navigate through them, the more confident we become. Do not avoid social gatherings because you are afraid you won’t be able to walk away from the treats. That’s the key: walk into the temptation and challenge with confidence, a plan, and your growing self-control.
- Making compromises to eat food that is tasteless and boring will set you up for failure.
Eating unsatisfying food teaches us nothing. It’s unrealistic to think that we are going to stick to a dreadful diet that makes us feel miserable, hungry, resentful or bored.
Instead, include a healthy balance of the protein, carbs, fruit, vegetables and treats that you like to eat daily so that you feel happy and satiated. The only way to lasting success, without being miserable, is to follow a plan that is reasonable, manageable, and sustainable.
I do not eat dessert every day, but I ate the profiteroles because I wanted them. I planned for it, even fantasized about it and did not beat myself up the next day. It made me very happy. And being happy is the key to a food plan that promises permanent, sweet success.
Brigitte Weil is a NYC-based Weight Loss Coach and the founder of The I Hate Celery Sticks Strategy, a life-changing Coaching program that redefines old conventional views of dieting and promotes an approach designed for lasting success without crazy diets, silly gimmicks, or giving up the foods we love. Brigitte is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a Paris-trainer pastry chef, a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and remains committed to developing private and group Coaching programs that support her philosophy of combining passion of food and fitness with balance to create the lives we desire.