First, let me just say that I hate that the word “treat” is used in describing food. We’re not dogs! I prefer healthy/unhealthy or something else less emotionally charged.
(Also, this post might push buttons and require a visit to the disclaimer post…)
We often talk about treats with regards to food. Some variation in how we define it, but for many people, sweets are treats. Sometimes fried or greasy food. Sometimes alcoholic or otherwise caloric beverages.
“Sometimes foods,” as they’re sometimes referred.
So in the context of how often we consume “sometimes foods” where we’re praising ourselves for not indulging often, most of the time, each item is being counted separately.
“I only have ice cream once a month. And beer just after running club. Wings only when we’re watching football. Cake just at parties. Pie at holidays. Chocolate for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and whenever someone gifts me some.”
For some of us, that would clean up our eating. And I’m not here to say that any of this is double-or-nothing. But if you’re deep enough into this process that the above describes your typical pattern and you’re not happy with how you feel, it might be time to tighten that up a bit.
Lump the treats.
ALL the fried and greasy are one, so “once a week” means anything fried or greasy once a week.
ALL the drinks are one, so “once a week” means any caloric beverage (beer, wine, milkshake, frappuccino, soda, sweet tea, and on and on) once a week.
If you’re already there and you’re not happy with how you feel, lump some of them: ALL the sweets AND fried/greasy are one, so “once a week” means pizza but not a cookie.
If you’re already there and you’re not happy with how you feel, lump ALL of them. Help your kids do it, too.
Keep them separate and lengthen the time between. Instead of once a week, once every two weeks. Once a month. Only meaningful foods at meaningful times. (My grandmom’s pie at Thanksgiving but not any of the junk at the Superbowl party.)
(The less you eat them, the less tempting they become over time. And many of them eventually don’t taste good any more.)