Thursday, May 31, 2012

But I didn't want to offend them.

I hear this a lot from people who are trying to watch what they eat. It usually runs along the lines of, "I didn't want to offend them" or "I didn't want to hurt their feelings". This often happens around holidays but it can happen on just about any occasion. Maybe a friend or relative made a special treat for dessert or a buddy made some home brewed beer. The variations are endless but the end result is usually the same: overindulgence in an "off plan" treat. I'm not being judgmental here, I've done it often enough myself during various diet phases.

I'm calling BS on the rationalization behind this excuse. It's a cop-out and people should recognize it as such.

First of all, a host, friend or family member will rarely be truly offended if you pass on an indulgent item. The vast majority of people are understanding of others who are trying to watch what they eat. It doesn't matter if it's Weight Watchers and you're out of points or you're trying to do a strict paleo program for a month. People understand. Even if the offering party jokingly tries to push it on you, they'll generally feel a sense of respect for those who choose not to give in to a temptation.

Secondly, you always have the option to take a small portion or a single bite. Such small portions rarely have an adverse affect on you in the long run unless you have a severe intolerance (in which case you have a legitimate excuse to give to the host). For some people, it may be the kind of item where just a small taste of a "trigger food" is too much handle and in that case, this wouldn't be an option. My guess is that for most people this would be a fine choice and may even be a good way to prove to yourself that you won't revert to bad habits after just one bite.

Finally, just because someone is conscious of their food choices on a regular basis doesn't mean that dogmatic adherence is absolutely necessary. If you're doing well and getting the results you want, an occasional indulgence can be a nice treat. There's nothing wrong with that and realize that it is your choice. Don't give a cop-out rationalization that you didn't want to offend someone. Own the decision and be OK with it.

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