Tag Archives: ZONE DIET

Could the “Free Zone” Help You Stick to Your Diet?

By definition diets involve some mix of restrictions that, after the initial burst of determination wears off, can lead to feeling deprived, unsatisfied, and resentful – and ultimately to a “pity party for one” hosted by the refrigerator. It’s exactly that process that torpedoes the whole plan, time and again. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Because there’s a way you can drop-kick deprivation that actually motivates you to stay with the plan. It’s called the “Free Zone” Happily, it can tuck neatly into virtually any self-imposed diet. Those folks on commercial diets may want to check with the administrators about using this tasty technique. In this Zone we can eat whatever we want, and within reason as much as we want. Easy now, we still have to make some smart choices. First let’s look at possibilities for your Zone. It can be a time {first Sunday of the month?}, or a place {favorite restaurant?}, or a food {Mexican?}, or an occasion {birthday parties?}, or a recurring event {monthly lunch with your peeps?}, and so on. Timing is everything in making your selection. It should occur often enough to give you something within reach to look forward to, and yet infrequently enough so you don’t undo all your other good work. The example given for the “time” option already has that discipline built in. If it’s a fave restaurant, be very specific with yourself about how often you’ll go there. Say you decide you want to go all in at all birthday gatherings. If you have a large, extended family and lots of friends that love to party, that would not be a good choice. So maybe you narrow it down to just celebrations within the immediate family, and then you’re doing it right. So, what if your Zone occurs when you didn’t expect it – perhaps friends invite you to that selected restaurant when you’ve already hit your pre-determined quota? Go, and enjoy with the same smart choices you made before you knew anything about the Free Zone. You don’t want to abuse the concept because that is totally counterproductive to both your diet and this diet-saver. Rather look upon the Free Zone as a now and then reward for all the other times you’re sticking to the plan. And when your Zone does roll around, relax, enjoy, indulge without any guilt whatsoever. Tomorrow we’ll be good again, but today we’re zoned for being gleefully “bad.” So then, my Free Zone? Pizza! Since it doesn’t involve a multi-course meal or a multi-food party, I usually have it up to twice a month. And then savor it right to the point I head for the Tums.