I see my nightly cookies and milk as a treat. I see the split slice of cheesecake as a splurge. That's just the language I've used. I used to always have a cookie or 100 calorie snack or other sweet treat either at home or when I was out (Barnes and Noble used to have 100 calorie chocolate covered pretzels that I got almost nightly). Once a week, however I would go ahead and order the triple chocolate meltdown from Applebees. Nowadays, I do go out with friends from church on occasion as well as my best friend, so the twice a week allowance for a larger splurge will allow for me to get frozen yogurt with my youth group on Wednesday and still get dessert at a restaurant on Saturday night with my best friend. On most weeks, I will only have one big splurge, so I don't see having two in one week as being a huge deal.
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I don't see any problem with this. As long as the bulk of your nutrition (at least your minimum) is met using healthy whole foods, what you do with your occasional snacks isn't a big deal. I do kinda agree that using language like "treats" may be a bit of food-as-reward thinking, though. "I deserve to reward myself with something sweet."
I incorporate sweets and snacks into my diet that aren't perfect, and I don't call them treats. :) They're just part of my intake. I am really trying to adjust my relationship with food, and as a result am trying not to reward myself with it. It makes it easier to not punish myself with it, or turn to it as a stress response.
In the end, we are all experiments of one. It sounds like this is really working with you, you're making smart choices even with your treats, and it's making you happy. THat is what matters. :)
And several of my treat ideas aren't too far from something I would have any other time of the day. I do like Chobani yogurt, and I try to have some a few times a day. However, a Flips is about 150 calories and 10 grams of protein for a 5.3 oz portion. A regular 6 oz cup is closer to 14 grams of protein and 140 calories, so I'd rather have two 6 ounce cups and limit the Flips to once a day at most.
I'm also fine with cereal and milk for breakfast, but a serving of Frosted Mini Wheats doesn't keep me full for very long, so it makes more sense to stick with Kashi GoLean Original cereal for a more substantial breakfast, and have the sweeter cereal and milk for a bedtime snack/treat.
Of course, that's not saying I can't have a banana and maple almond butter as my snack at night. I'm sure there will be nights where all I need to satisfy myself is some fruit and a glass of milk (and possibly a square of dark chocolate with peppers, sea salt, or oranges)- if I even need the bit of chocolate at all. I just know that if I say that I'm only allowed to have fruit for dessert/a sweet bedtime snack on most days it will backfire on me.
Kris- I tried that approach of having a treat once a week and it backfired on me. I ended up going too overboard. I've learned that having something sweet every day is a good thing for me. For some people, it's a square of dark chocolate. I, however, need a bit of variety. Two snackwell's fudge cookies (about 100 calories) and half a cup of whole milk is a daily treat (I only drink whole milk for personal reasons regarding the taste, texture, and nutrition). Half of a slice of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake is a once weekly treat (and I'll stick to fruit and a possible glass of milk before bed and I'll skip the cookies I would have eaten if I didn't get dessert when eating out).
I do think you have a point with your definition of "treat." I just tend to use the word regarding sweets. Perhaps a better way to put it is sweet snacks (specifically a sweet bedtime snack)
I think one of the ideas I have is that if I get myself in the habit of having a sweet snack at bedtime, even if I go out to eat I'll be able to hype myself up over my cookies and milk and it'll make it easier for me to avoid the dessert. Of course, I'm also going to have it with some fruit and possibly a glass of milk so it won't be completely nutritionally void, but it will still be a way to keep myself from going overboard. It might even get to the point where on most nights, I end up being satisfied with a yogurt, but I don't want to punish myself if I have a week where I just need those two Oreos every night. I figure it's better to have those 14 Oreos in a week than it is to have too many slices of Oreo Dream Cheesecake.
On some nights, I might even have a Kashi GoLean Crunch (or whatever they call it these days) cereal bar or a Lara Bar.
I think it depends on your definition of a treat. My definition is one that we only have occasionally. When it is eaten on a near-daily basis, it is no longer a treat, but rather part of our normal diet.
The healthy lifestyle isn't just about eating calories within a normal range, and/or getting in some exercise. It is also about WISE choice of foods MOST of the time, along with regular exercise.
I think that when we are on a weight-reduction journey, we have to be a bit stronger in our mind-set. The reason being we are getting reduced calories which means that the calories we get must be good nutrition, otherwise we tend to starve our bodies of things like healthy fats, healthy carbs, good protein and fibre, along with essential vitamins and minerals.
That having been said, I always practiced eating whatever I wanted one day in every two weeks. I very seldom went overboard, and still weighed and measured all my food and entered it into my tracker, but I gave myself permission to have the higher calorie things I didn't otherwise have. After I reached my goal, I still ate on my weight-reduction calorie range, but gave myself permission to have this treat one day PER WEEK. Of course, it doesn't mean that I always have it like that. It might be 8-10 days, but on occasion it might be a couple times a week. It has worked well for me - I have been maintaining for just over 2 years.
I hope that you find what works for you, but remember, good nutrition is important, otherwise you could be fooling yourself.
I used to go out almost every day and have some kind of treat. On most nights, it would be a 100 calorie pack treat (like the Hostess 100 calorie cupcake pack) or half a packet of Black and White cookies from Starbucks. On nights I sat in, I would have a few Snackwells Fudge cookies or some sweetened cereal. If I wanted something salty, I'd go for some popcorn with only one cookie or a smaller sweet treat (or I'd mix in dark chocolate chips with the popcorn).
Around the time WW switched to Points Plus, I started becoming more stingy about treats. I was worried about wasting my points (and then calories) on junk food, so I didn't have a treat every night. I'm wondering if that's part of why I go all or nothing. I'll either an entire box of snack cakes or none at all.
I want to set a rule where I only have a real big sweet treat once or twice a week- once on most weeks. A real big treat would be splitting a cheesecake slice with my best friend or having one of my friend's homemade cupcakes. I do want to have a list of smaller treats that I can have on the other 6 days of the week. (And on the day I have the cheesecake, I'll just stick to fruit and a possible glass of milk as my bedtime snack).
My ideas are:
- A Starbucks black and white cookie (half a package split with my best friend) -A Starbucks cake pop -A Starbucks marshmallow dream bar (the highest calorie treat I'll have on a semi-regular basis- all of the other pastries will be more limited). (On occasion, I'll get a decaf soy latte with my treat. Most of the time, I'll just get unsweetened tea). -A Chobani Flips (they're around the same calories as the 6 ounce container with a smaller serving size and less protein, so I'd like to keep them as my treat for the night; the regular yogurt cups, Bites, and Tubes will be ok as snacks on a regular basis) -Frosted mini wheats cereal and milk (to dip the cereal in) [or another sweetened cereal with milk] -Snackwells fudge cookie with milk -A single serving of ice cream -Popcorn with dark chocolate chips (mixed in so they melt) -A piece of high quality dark chocolate -Cinnamon graham crackers dipped in applesauce -Chobani yogurt with dark chocolate chips.
I will probably pair all of these treats with some fruit (even if it's adding berries to the yogurt or having a fruit cup with the cookie at Starbucks), and I'll try to have it with a glass of milk on a regular basis.
I'm just looking for some other ideas. I know that, sometimes, I'll end up going for a banana with maple almond butter as my treat (even though that's something I'd also have as a mid-morning snack). On other nights, I'll just have a 6 oz cup of Chobani Pear yogurt or a Champions Tube. Those are things I'll have as an afternoon snack, part of a breakfast, or a side for my lunch. My bedtime snack doesn't have to be something outrageous, but I do want a list of treats I can have once a day every day (that I don't have a dessert at a restaurant etc). And anything that isn't in line with my list will be a once or twice weekly treat.
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