I was making these delicious No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies tonight when something occurred to me.
One year ago, when I was 50-lbs heavier, I would have NEVER considered making these. But here I am fresh off a year-long fitness kick and making something sweet to eat!
Did sugar get less bad for me?
Did I fall off the wagon?
No – I realized tonight that my attitude toward sugar has completely changed. How I consume sugar has changed.
A year ago, I didn’t make cookies like this for two reasons.
1) I thought they were BAD for me.
2) I didn’t really crave sweets.
Or so I thought.
A Different Eating Life
When I was 50 lbs heavier, I had a completely different eating life.
I would basically eat whatever I felt like eating simply because it tasted good without a thought to the nutritional content of that food.
Sure, I was at least smart enough to know I shouldn’t down a whole package of Oreos for breakfast, but if I had eaten my breakfast and found myself hungry a couple hours later, I wouldn’t have thought twice of eating a handful of Oreos, then heading out to lunch an hour later to eat something fattening.
I knew the basics of nutrition enough to know I should probably eat a spinach salad now and then, but I didn’t know exactly what was in the foods I was eating that helped my body function.
That was the problem – I was eating all the wrong things.
I chose foods that tasted good to me. I have a tendency to gravitate toward creamy foods – creamy sauces, creamy dressings, creamy drinks.
At lunch and dinner, this often translated into a creamy pasta dish or a creamy soup with a side salad drenched in blue cheese dressing.
I didn’t understand what I was doing.
I didn’t know that by giving my body more than enough fats and carbohydrates to function, I was creating a constant state of fullness and overindulgence that resulted in me never feeling the need to eat the sweet things like No Bake Cookies.
Why would I need to do that when I just had a big plate of Mexican food and would probably be eating a burger with fries later that day?
What Do I Do Now?
Nowadays, I place the most emphasis on protein intake. It’s the basis of the bodybuilding program I’ve been doing.
My days start with protein, are boosted with protein and end with protein. I eat the most carbohydrates early in the day (almost exclusively in the form of oatmeal) and eat smaller portions of healthy carbs at lunchtime (like sweet potato or wild rice). If I’m focusing on weight loss, I will cut carbs out completely at dinnertime. Otherwise, I’ll include a small portion like I do at lunch.
You have to have some carbs or you just won’t make it through the day. Trust me. I’ve tried going carb-free and I almost fell out. Too low carbs = dizziness when bending over to pick up your kids. LOL Don’t do it!
Ok, back on track. What I’m trying to say is now that I focus on protein and aim to get in all of my veggie servings each day, I don’t have much room left to eat carbohydrates. But when I do, I like them to be SWEET!
Unless you are a food robot (if you are, I’d love to know you’re secret!), you can’t make it 100% of the time on a solid diet without craving something not-so-optimal for you.
I’ve learned over the past year that it’s better to give into your cravings occasionally or you might find yourself really falling off the wagon in a bad way.
My number one vice has to be chocolate. If I’m getting the urge to eat something sweet, I’ll incorporate some dark chocolate into whatever I’m eating. I have been known to sprinkle chocolate chips on my morning oatmeal or eat them like vitamins before having my lunch.
It’s just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without derailing my diet.
Sure, I could probably be skinnier without it, but I think I’ve come pretty far in one year!
I’d say I have a “cheat treat” once every few days. It might be cookies. Sometimes it’s hot chocolate. Other times it’s dessert at dinner.
Funny thing is, I’m actually hungry for these treats now because a) I don’t always have this feeling of being stuffed because I never eat a super huge amount in one sitting and b) I’ve basically cut back most carbohydrates from my diet, so my body is just aching for a dose now and then.
It’s a good feeling to give myself permission to eat something sweet and not feel bad about it.
In fact, I think it’s good for my long-term outlook and ability to stick to this plan forever.