Why do we justify bad behavior?

Why do we justify bad behavior? How many times do we find ourselves in this conversation between the little food angel and demon on our shoulder?

“I shouldn’t eat that cookie, ice cream, chip, nacho, (you fill in the blank). Buuuuut, I am really hungry and I might workout later today – or better yet, I already worked out today. I’ve already eaten a few bad things today, so I might as well throw in the towel and start over later in the week. That is my favorite junk food soooooo.” And before you know it, the cookie, ice cream, etc, etc is in your mouth on it’s way straight to your clogging your arteries and expanding your hips.

Yikes – but how often does this happen to us? And why is it so easy to justify bad behavior? I imagine you have a similar conversation with yourself when deciding whether or not to put on your running shoes and head to your workout.

So, what is the solution? How do we keep ourselves from sabotaging our healthy eating or exercise plan? Here are a few practical tips that I implement to keep myself in check.

  • Find an accountability partner. This might be your spouse, co-worker, friend, or trainer. It is best to pair up with someone who will be supportive, but not nagging. Share your eating/exercise struggles with this person, and be honest about slip-ups. A few of my clients set up an automatic report that is emailed to me every Monday from sparkpeople.com or loseit.com.
  • Keep plenty of healthy snacks handy. Portion out your snacks in the beginning of the week by separating a serving size into little baggies. I usually keep the following in baggies that I can grab on the go: carrot sticks, celery sticks, high fiber cereal, berries, whole grain crackers, popcorn, etc. It’s also great to have fruit available at all times to satisfy your sweet cravings.
  • Write out your goals and motivations and put a copy of them in a common location of weakness. Post the on the fridge, hang them in your pantry, tack them to your cork board at work.
  • Block off your schedule for a workout. Put it on your calendar and tell friends and family that you are going to workout at a certain time.

So, why do you think it’s so easy to justify bad behavior? What kind of excuses do you make? Just know, you can turn your habits around now! No one is stopping you! Best wishes on your journey to better health!

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