So, I’d like to talk for a moment about the sweet/salty cycle of doom. (One more time for emphasis: OF DOOM)
This kitten gif makes the whole thing look adorable, but that’s only because this is a (mostly) PG-13 blog and I don’t want to scare the kids in the audience. In all actuality the sweet/salty cycle of doom is anything but cute.
It. Is. Horrifying.
You know what I’m referring to, right? If you don’t know what I mean, prepare to feel amazed, confused and perhaps a twinge of pity. The sweet/salty cycle of doom goes a little something like this:
It’s a regular day or night just like any other and you’re in the mood for something sweet. Maybe you reach for a piece of chocolate, a handful of cereal, maybe some sorbet, aka something relatively innocent. That should be enough to quell the craving, right?
Wrong. Just as you’re finishing the last bite, a salt craving pops up out of absolutely nowhere and with the persistence of a tantruming toddler, it simply refuses to be ignored.
So you say to yourself, “Welp, no big deal I’ll just have some popcorn or this slice of leftover pizza and then I’m done.”
BUT THEN after you eat that, all you want is something sweet again. At this point you still have a sense of humor about the situation and you’re like: “Ha ha ha, Self, considering this is turning into a meal, I might as well have some dessert but then I’m done. For real.”
Guess what? Yup, that plan falls to sh*t faster than an antacid dissolving in soda and you are far from done. That sweet thing you just ate was a little too sweet and now you need something salty to neutralize your taste buds. More everything!
At this point you’re functioning somewhere along the boundary of insanity and you have just put both a potato chip and some ice cream on the same spoon to get the sweet/salty thing in one mouthful. (That’s not just me, right?) Proud of your ingenuity, you then open up the freezer to put the ice cream away once and for all when you suddenly realize- “By golly, that was delicious. ONE MORE BITE!” Yeah… one more pint, and you’ve eaten enough to rival the catering menu at a child’s birthday party.
The old sweet/salty cycle of doom hath stricken again. When it finally does subside and the crumbs settle, there’s usually a lot of panting, a little fear mixed with relief and above all, a lot of questions. Questions like: what just happened? Was this emotional? Was it physiological? Was I lacking nutrients? Was that bag of chips full before I finished it off?
But, hey, you know what- these things happen to the best of us.
The best thing you can do is not let it affect the rest of your day/night/week. If you do it in the afternoon, don’t binge again at night thinking you already ruined the day. Don’t blow off your workout, don’t feel bad about yourself, don’t let this derail you from your healthy eating track for the rest of the week. In other words, don’t make it worse by continuing to punish yourself for it afterwards.
Look at this way – if you skip one meal in a week, are you going to lose weight if you otherwise continue to eat like you normally do? NOPE. Similarly, one crazy binge will not make you gain weight if you continue to eat normally.
It’s all about perspective.
(PS. truth talk- if you’re truly stuck in this cycle, talk to someone about it. A therapist or overeaters anonymous can help you take back control if you’re struggling.)