We’ve all been there. We go to dinner with friends and promise ourselves to stay away from Nachos and dessert. The next thing you know, your friend orders an appetizer of Nachos for the whole group and you can’t help but try one. Now you think: “Wow, that’s really good! Maybe I can have another one.” After Nacho number 3 you hear your inner voice “What the hell, I already ate three. I might as well have some more!”
When dinner comes to an end and the waiter hands out the dessert menus that same little voice says: “What the hell, my diet for today is ruined anyway. I might as well have a slice of chocolate cake.”
And that’s how one little Nacho turned into 1,000 extra calories.
This is what researchers call the “What-The-Hell-Effect” (well, the actual scientific term might be a little bit different but wth-effect sounds much better!). Once we make a bad decision or let ourselves go a little bit when it comes to our nutrition, we fall into a downward spiral that will last for the meal, the day, or even longer! And this is also the reason why most of us fail when it comes to establishing healthy eating habits.
Luckily there is something we can do about it!
Quit the All-or-Nothing Thinking
The fact that you had ONE nacho doesn’t mean you “ruined” your diet. Nobody is perfect and little hick ups here and there are to be expected when we attempt to live healthier and change our daily habits. Enjoy the nacho and order a big salad for the main course.
Plan for slip ups
Like I just mentioned, nobody is perfect and it’s totally normal to slip once in a while. That’s just life! The good news is, we can prepare for those little slip ups to prevent a full-blown catastrophe. When you know you might run into a situation where you are tempted to – let’s say – “forget” about your diet, play the scenario in your head and plan how you will react. This might actually prevent you from reaching for that nacho or at least you won’t throw your whole diet over board.
Choose water, not wine
We tend to eat a lot, and I mean A LOT, more when we are a little tipsy. Something in our brain seems to shut off all mechanisms that usually prevent us from overeating. When you’re out with friends, stick to water instead of alcohol to help you keep control of the situation.