Tammy Fuller
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Bringing the Joy Back to My Diet – Joy Food and 24-hour Planning

joy food

Photo by Herson Rodriguez on Unsplash

This past month or so I have implemented a new practice into my diet routine. I have been planning what my coach calls a Joy Meal. I have been very strict about what I eat for almost a full year now. In fact I wrote a post about why I don’t cheat on my diet. I still practice eating foods that I have learned are best for my body. I have lost 38 pounds and I have a long way to go. But I wanted to learn to practice planning for special foods. I wanted to learn the skill of eating a food that had previously been a problem for me and then getting right back on plan.

When I first heard about this practice it made me all sorts of nervous.

What if it made me gain weight?

What if I overate?

What if I totally blew my diet?

What if? What if? What if?

It made me aware that I still have some work to do related to my thoughts and beliefs about food.

How a Joy Meal Works

I plan my food 24 hours ahead of time. So joy food is not a last minute decision. I can’t just decide to eat pizza when the girls at the office decide to go out at the last minute. It has to be planned 24 hours ahead of time.

I only have one joy meal per week. I think long and hard about what I want for my joy food. It’s funny, I used to love sweets so much. But since I have stayed away from sugar for a year I crave savory foods for my joy food. My most recent joy meals have included nachos and pizza.

I have a joy meal every week. This gives me practice once a week with sticking to my plan, practicing constraint, and getting back on plan.

I still eat to a +2 on my hunger scale. This is not an excuse to overeat and stuff myself.

What I have learned from this practice

I don’t have to feel deprived. For example, one of my favorite desserts is cheesecake. Today at a meeting they served the most beautiful piece of cheesecake. I didn’t plan for it so I didn’t have any. But I don’t have to feel sorry for myself or feel like I can never have cheesecake like everyone else. I can plan for it on another day and enjoy the heck out of it without shame or guilt. The funny thing is, now that it’s not in front of me I don’t want it. I’d rather have nachos this week.

I am proud of myself for planning and following my plans. I’m proud of myself for making better choices to show up as my best self.

I can still lose weight while having a weekly joy eat.

I can eat delicious foods and stop before overeating.

I can be intentional about my food life. It doesn’t control me. I can always make choices.

It’s easier to stick to my daily plans when I have a joy meal to look forward to. It’s easier to say no to donuts in the break room at work when I know that I’m having something special later in the week.

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more in this series click here for the main page with all the links.

About the Author Tammy Fuller

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Leave a Comment:

Elaine says

I love this idea of planning ahead so that you aren’t scrambling for something to eat when the hunger pangs strike and likely to go thru a drive thru option that isn’t good for your body! Thanks for sharing these tips!

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Eydie Stumpf says

At first I thought that planning everything I ate was a bit extreme….at least for me. I’m very impetuous and an instant gratification type of person. But as I read further into your post, I realized that it might work for me. So, I’ll give it a try for a couple of days and see how it goes.

Proud of your weight loss… keep up the good work.

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Veronica says

You go girl. I am jealous, I just can’t resist cheesecake. Power to you.

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    Tammy Fuller says

    Thank you. I never thought I’d be able to do it either. 🙂

    Reply
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