healthy living

you can’t go “all or nothing” with dieting

while i was driving back from new mexico the other day, i listened to some jillian michaels podcasts that i have been saving up.  one of them was about balance with your food and about how you’re much more likely to fail if you don’t let yourself enjoy some of the things that you like.  jillian emphasized that if you try to eat “clean” 100% of time, you will most likely fail because you’ll reach a breaking point.  you have to live in reality.  there are times when you need to let loose and have a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate cake or a hamburger.  the key is balance.

so here are a couple of points that i took away from that podcast that really stuck with me…

  • 80/20 rule – eat clean 80% of the time and treat yourself 20% of the time.  that doesn’t mean you go completely crazy during your 20% time.  it just gives you a little leeway so that your diet is not so strict.  we’re human.  we’re going to want to eat cupcakes and pizza sometimes.
  • cheat meals not cheat days – jillian made a good point.  if you let yourself go insane one day of the week, you’re going to eat way more calories than you need.  i started thinking about it and she is so right!  i would try to rationalize it by saying “it’s just once a week”.  but in reality, you end up eating more calories than your week would allow even with the 80/20 rule.  it’s not healthy to do that to your body either.  it will screw up your digestion if you eat clean for six days and eat crap for one.  trust me on that one.  had to learn the hard way.  so instead of days, go with meals.  you can even plan it in advance if you know you’re going out to dinner with friends or family.  it’s something to look forward to.
  • treat instead of cheat – i hadn’t really thought of the actual word “cheat”.  it is a negative term.  your diet should be a positive thing for your body and health.  so why not use a positive word?  treat is a better word to use for those meals that aren’t exactly in the 80 percent.  you do well, you get a treat.  i know that sounds like we’re talking about dog training or something.  but it does make sense.  positivity will better lead you to a lifestyle change.
  • don’t beat yourself up – if you mess up, it’s okay.  i think we forget this sometimes.  i found the image below on pinterest.  (i couldn’t ever find the original image location but you can do a search and find it.)  i hadn’t really thought about it like that.  we are going to mess up.  you just have to fix it next time.  and if you use the 80/20 rule, you’ll be less likely to make a mistake.

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