The No Diet Challenge: Step 3 BaLaNcE

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I preach balance all the time.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS I LIKE TO BALANCE:

WORK/HOME
GIVING/RECEIVING
SERIOUSNESS/SARCASM
BUSY SCHEDULES/DOWN TIME
TREATING MY KIDS/SAYING NO
TECHNOLOGY/BOOK READING
BEING DISCIPLINED/BEING LAXED
FAMILY or SOCIAL EVENTS/STAYING HOME
BEING THE BOSS/LETTING MY KIDS TAKE THE LEAD

You can easily see why having balance is important.
If any of the scales are tipped, it can lead to problems.

Answer these questions:

Do you make your kids clean their room (do chores) before they use their computer/tech devices?
Do you make your kids eat their vegetables before they get to have dessert?
Do you weed the garden or clean the house before you PIN, Facebook, or go to a movie?
Do you make your kids stay home for dinner at least 2-3 times per week?
Do you only punish when necessary or do you never punish?

Balance requires sacrifice, discipline and planning.

Balancing eating habits works the same way (or should). It’s not always fun, or easy, but it’s necessary for good health and weight control. Rotating healthy eating with the things we like, but that aren’t the better choice, is about balance.

These are some choices we are often faced with:

Will it be a bag of chips or just a handful? Or, maybe it’s a baked cracker that tastes like a chip instead…Find the balance.
Will it be a can of soda or a bottle of water? Or, maybe at least a container of 100% vitamin C juice…Find the balance.
Should we order take-out or make a home cooked healthier meal but add desert? Find the balance.

The No Diet Challenge is about boycotting diets all together and ridding you of the idea that you should ALWAYS force yourself to eat healthy stuff and deprive yourself of the bad stuff. Diets fail because they aren’t fun…nor do they usually involve deliciously bad-for-us food which now and again, we all like to have.

The following habits help my family get a better balance between junk food/healthy food:

We plan meals in advance (a week-to a month-is best) and shop two weeks at a time if possible so that we are never in need to hit the drive-thru because we don’t have anything for dinner.
We eat out only on certain nights once a quarter on good grades night, on some birthdays, and each Friday night we have pizza (take-out or frozen). This saves a lot of money too, because even McD’s costs $36.00 for a family of four).
We don’t buy junk food at the grocery store (yes, you read that correctly…this part does stink because inevitably we all end up salivating over the bakery fresh cookies, pies and desserts and crave the junk food in the chip aisle- BUT we know better, and if we don’t buy it, we can’t see it in the cabinet at home, and then we can’t want it-and surely can’t eat it). We do have ice-cream every Friday night and we store frozen cookie dough for those ‘gotta have a treat cravings’ but only bake what we will eat in a sitting (2 or 3 cookies a piece).
We have milk or water at meals, juice is for snack, and we don’t store *soda-pop in the house (*pop is not off limits when we eat out or go to an event where they serve it, and about once or twice a year mom does splurge on a 2 Liter with pizza). Again it’s the mindset that if it’s not in the fridge, it’s not even a choice.

These are the main things we do at home to keep the balance between healthy food vs. junk food and it’s been this way for years. I’ve never heard anyone complain.

If you notice, I do not teach my kids that junk food is taboo and that they shouldn’t eat it.

THAT IS NOT A GOOD MESSAGE AT ALL AND CAN LEAD TO REBELLION, SNEAKING IT, BINGING or RESENTMENT (just ask any husband whose wife has instructed him to “start eating healthy- stop eating junk food- and quit ordering form the dollar menu”, and he will tell you that he picks up his pop and chips at the convenience store and is sure to throw away the wrapper evidence).

And that my friends, is exactly why diets don’t work. Kids are kids…(and husbands are boys) and we should all have a choice of unhealthy food sometimes…. and in moderation, it won’t hurt.

Your homework this week?
Implement one of the four habits above & continue your log.

Next Week is Step 4: How and Why to Read the Nutrition Lables.

If you’ve just joined us, check out Step 2: We Don’t Own a Scale and Why Diets Fail– that should cover most of what you should get started with. If you haven’t done the log/list yet, click here to begin and stay tuned for: “I wasn’t always skinny (and other pictures)”.

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