I sometimes hear from folks who are concerned about what is going to happen when cravings or fatigue hits when they are on the Medifast diet. They often wonder if this means they are going to not lose any weight that week, or if they are going to gain weight. Even worse, they worry that this will be the catalyst that takes them out of compliance and puts that at risk of quitting altogether.
It’s my opinion that the fear of cheating is sometimes worse than the cheating itself. I believe that cheating is a fact of life on any diet. And often, it’s not the cheating that sabotages you, it’s the fact that you don’t get back into compliance quickly or that you don’t just pick up where you left off. I also believe that how you cheat is more important than if you cheat. So in the following article, I’ll offer some tips on how to handle the urge to cheat and what to do if you decide to go ahead and give in.
Know That It’s Normal: I find that many people who are considering Medifast think that those who have great success never cheat and are always in perfect compliance. I don’t believe that this is the case. I believe that those who have success stick with the diet until they get the results that they want. And this means that if and when they cheat, they pick themselves up and carry on. It is absolutely normal to have bad days. But the key is to not let those days turn into several days that nudge you into quitting.
Try To Distract Yourself Before You Take Action: Let’s say that you have a sudden craving for a piece of chocolate fudge and you have just eaten you lean and green meal. My first course of action would be to do something else. If possible, it’s optimal to go for a walk or do something physical out of the house. If this isn’t possible, brush your teeth. I find that brushing my teeth makes me less likely to cheat because I don’t want to contaminate my clean mouth, as silly as that sounds. Another thing that I will try is putting on new jeans that look very nice because of the weight loss. This can sometimes work to snap you out of any desire to cheat. You can also try writing in a journal. Sometimes, just describing the food and how you feel about it will be enough of a release to take your attention away from it. Finally, you can post on one of the forums on the company’s website and ask for tips or just for someone to listen. Sometimes, just getting some friendly encouragement will allow you to move on.
If These Things Fail, Look For Safe Alternatives Within The Diet: Let’s say you’ve tried all of the above and you still want that fudge, the next step would be to try and find something on the Medifast menu that will work as an alternative. I am particularly thinking of the brownies or the soft serve. You can also try one of the Medifast approved snacks like the jello or the popsicle.
If You’re Going To Cheat, Then Immediately Move On For The Next Meal: I understand that sometimes that coveted food is calling your name and nothing else is going to satisfy you. If this is the case, try to eat a small portion of the food rather than having a colossal pig out session. It’s my personal opinion that you may as well savor it if you are going to cheat. Why do it if it’s not going to be enjoyable? Once you’ve made the decision, allow yourself that small and temporary pleasure and put it behind you. Don’t waste time or emotional energy feeling guilty or fretting about it. What is done is done. Now it’s time to move on. Go right back on the diet for the next meal and just continue forward. Because honestly, the real risk is in allowing this to derail you are get you off the diet. So it’s vital that you just move on and get back in compliance without making that big of a deal about it.
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