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All or Nothing Mindset – Managing Those Carbs

Do you ever notice that when things are going well with our nutritional plan, they are going really well AND when things are not going so well, they go from bad to worse?

That’s our mindset getting in the way.

So, I’m cruising along and enjoying my day and then BAM, a piece of whole-wheat toast makes its way into my breakfast.  The next thing I know, I am face down in a bowl of cereal, followed by a big serving of rice for dinner.

What did I do right there?  Why OH Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we allow a small piece of toast to DERAIL us for an entire day?  This is the “all or nothing mentality”.

I failed at saying “no thanks” to the whole wheat toast, so now I am a total loser and I might as well say yes to the fettuccini alfredo?

This is a big fall into the “all or nothing” mindset.  Don’t do this!  Let’s just cut this out right now, please.

Let’s be kinder and gentler with this sort of “bully attitude”.  It’s not serving us at all. The other issue?  It is enabling us to go from “oops, toast happens”, to have a one-month “eat all the carbs”, and gain 7 lbs event.

I see this happen time and time again. I also fall into this trap.  Can we please look at living a low-carb lifestyle exactly like that?  It’s living a low-carb lifestyle.  It’s not NEVER eating a piece of fruit, or NEVER having beans with your dinner.  It is allowing yourself to choose a few complex carbohydrates and combining them with a protein, maybe some healthy fat, to prevent a huge rise in blood glucose/ insulin levels.

I don’t think it is wise (especially when we have blood sugar issues), to have a meal that contains your chicken, rice, AND tortilla, AND beans, AND some mashed potatoes.  That’s just over-kill with the carbs.  What if we chose to say “no thanks to the rice, mashed potatoes, and tortilla and said “yes” to the beans?  What if we had a spoonful of rice and skipped the other carb-loaded foods?  What if we choose summer squash over mashed potatoes?  We have options folks.  We don’t need to eat ALL of it.

When we restrict, restrict, restrict, restrict, when we fall, we hit the ground hard.  Let’s bring the ground a bit closer.

“I am never, ever, ever going to eat mashed potatoes again in my entire life”. Pretty dramatic huh?  If they are my favorite food, that’s gonna hurt.  You know what’s going to happen right?

Can we not be a little bit less dramatic?  What about, “I’m not going to eat mashed potatoes 4 times a week.  I am going to replace them two times and when I eat them, I will eat a bit less and I will combine them with some protein and veggies”.

Doesn’t that make a whole lot more sense? Folks, a low-carb lifestyle is a new buzzword.

It works.  It makes sense.  It enables us to be a tad less restrictive.  When people started demonizing carrots, peas, and yogurt, due to the carbohydrate count, I started to worry.  Where is this taking us?  Is this truly sustainable?  What’s happening with this “all or nothing mentality”.  Let’s get a collective grip.  Sure, let’s restrict but not so dramatically that we set ourselves up for failure.

What about if I restrict my carbohydrate load at breakfast, choosing eggs and veg or some avocado.  What if I have a big chicken salad at lunch, no croutons, please.  What if I have some fish, veggies, and a ¼ cup of rice at dinner.  Is that so terrible?  Have a done an awful thing?

Did the ¼ cup of rice turn me into some horrible person who fell off the wagon?  Can we please try to cut out this behavior and stop being so darn hard on ourselves? Because I had a ¼ cup of rice, I might as well finish up with a bag of chips and a donut.  “Who cares, I already messed up by eating a ¼ cup of rice”.

Mindset – let’s be a bit more kind with our internal dialogue.  Do your best.  Strive for a healthy mindset when it comes to your nutritional goals.  Don’t be “all or nothing”. It’s not a good long-term plan. I need you in the game LONG TERM.

Healthy Hugs.

I worry about you sometimes xo


Sheri Burke, Managing Those CarbsAbout the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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