Is It Your Birthday Today?

  • 3 Minutes Read

Our nation has the most abundant food supply in the world. Is this a blessing or curse? Your response likely depends on your approach toward the large quantity of food that's available, right? Do you operate in the birthday mindset or the health mode mindset?

Is It Your Birthday Today?

Our nation has the most abundant food supply in the world. Is this a blessing or curse? Your response likely depends on your approach toward the large quantity of food that's available, right?

Do you operate in the birthday mindset or the health mode mindset? It's a safe bet that you're pursuing a health mode mindset if you're using MyNetDiary to track your nutritional intake. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves mindful strategies in order to make healthy choices when faced with the convenience of food on every corner. Consider the following every-day scenarios, and ask yourself which mindset applies to you.


Birthday mindset: While watching TV, you eat chips out of the family size bag without bothering to check the portion size. Before you know it, you've polished off half the bag. Oh well, you have plenty because they sold them in two packs at the big box store.

Health mode mindset: After you've checked the nutrition facts, you get out your favorite bowl that holds a single serving size. You sit down in front of the TV and savor the chips, fully mindful of enjoying the snack.

Work environment: Co-worker brings in brownies

Birthday mindset: You pick the biggest one on the plate and grab another for later. It is so yummy that you gobble them both down right away.

Health mode mindset: You cut off a sliver so you can enjoy a few bites. You thank your co-worker for the treat. You go back to your office and eat the apple you brought for a snack.

The Candy Jar at Work

Birthday mindset: Your co-worker has a candy jar on her desk. When you are in her office, you always grab a chocolate. Sometimes you take an extra piece to stash in your desk drawer when you need a pick-me-up. The fact is that everyone in the office has treats. And when you're at the store, youre always looking for candy to refill the jar when it goes empty. Remember last week when you conveniently left the bag you bought in your car and then snacked on it all the way home after a long day at work? You deserved it!

Health mode mindset: You always bring in two fruits or healthy, portion-controlled snacks daily. This is your strategy to avoid the temptation of all the office treats. You think of the candy jar as off-limits except for every once in a while. You notice that while everyone is frequently helping themselves to the candy, most of your co-workers also complain about their weight. You get up enough courage to ask your co-worker to keep her candy in a drawer so that it is not such a visible stimulus for everyone.

Bakery on the way home from work

Birthday mindset: You see they have your favorite pie on special so you get one for dinner. You help yourself to the free cookie samples on the counter while you wait. Later at dinner, you have a piece of pie, and then you keep cutting off slivers while cleaning up afterwards. Hey, you only live once.

Health mode mindset: When walking by the bakery you enjoy inhaling the wonderful aroma and admire the beautiful pastries. You look forward to meeting your friend on Sunday morning for coffee and a donut. During the week, you eat whole wheat toast and a fruit before leaving for work.

The Coffee Shop

Birthday mode: Coffee tastes so much better with caramel syrup and whipped topping and that pumpkin-flavored creamy coffee is to die for. Oh wow, the Grande size is only 50 cents more. Those tiny pastries can't have many calories so you get two. Besides, you stayed up way too late last night watching a movie, and the only way you're going to get through the day is with loads of caffeine and sugar!

Health mode mindset: You have discovered that you really enjoy the taste of good black coffee. And, it costs so much less than those trendy syrupy coffees, too! On special occasions you treat yourself to a double mocha Grande with whipped topping and chocolate sprinkles.

Pizza Party

Birthday mode: Work has been exhausting, and you have not been to the grocery in a week. You order a pizza for the family dinner. They have a meat lover's special. Get a free, large double pepperoni pizza and a 2-liter bottle of soda when you order an extra large meat pizza. You order it on the way home from work and put it on the table. The four of you are really hungry and manage to finish it off. The sauce counts as a vegetable, right?

Health mode mindset: You make a grocery list on Sunday based on some favorite family recipes for meals for the following week. Each week, one family member plans the toppings for pizza night, which have to include at least two vegetables plus a side salad. You make your favorite whole wheat pizza dough in the bread maker, and the entire family gets involved making the meal. You really want the kids to feel confident about cooking because you know that home-cooked meals are usually much healthier for the family.

If you find yourself in birthday mode more often than on special occasions, you may want to try some of the health mode responses to these common scenarios. This can lead to long term success with your healthy lifestyle. And remember to fully indulge and enjoy your birthday when it comes around once a year!

Weight Loss->Behavior
Oct 16, 2013
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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