Lets dive into the topic of cheating on your diet.
I have a good friend who I met several years ago who would allow himself four hours once per week to eat whatever he wants. He would go all out. Often times he would eat so unhealthy and so much that he made himself feel pretty bad. Others might do something similar one day per week which has been referred to as the infamous cheat day.
On the other hand you have people that eat a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch and a healthy dinner then they eat or drink something they shouldn’t every night before bed. Or they eat healthy for the most part, maybe 60-70% of the time, but they will sneak in unhealthy snacks as they like along with an occasional unhealthy meal. This person will usually justify these daily slip ups to eating healthy most of the time.
So what is the correct approach? Which of these two profiles is approaching their diet the best way?
In my opinion neither. Eating healthy is something that occurs from the inside out. When we approach it from an outside in perspective it never sticks.
I want to unpack the idea of a cheat day. This would typically mean you eat very rigid all week then on one occasion or one day you eat whatever you want. Most people who use this method don’t restrict anything. They allow themselves to indulge. In their mind this is the reward for being strict all week.
The individual who justifies daily slip ups believes that because they are eating healthy most of the time these unhealthy snacks, beverages and meals do not affect them as much. This person is also the most difficult person to coach because in their minds they believe themselves to be healthy. They do not see the errors they are making.
So what is the right approach?
Change the way you think. As I said before you must change on the inside then you will change on the outside. This means change the way you think of eating unhealthy food all together.
Changing on the inside is a process that we will spend the rest of our lives doing but here is a brief overview of how it will look when you are making progress.
Identify that there are foods that your body responds to well and foods that your body does not respond to as well. You no longer refer to these as good or bad. Simply put you acknowledge the affect they have when they enter your body.
Respect the power this food has when it enters your body. Especially how much it will determine the way you feel and look. Take full responsibility that it is of your choosing what types of food enters your body.
Consciously decide what will enter your body and more importantly why you are choosing that food item to enter your body. No longer do you eat foods simply because they are in front of you but now you select food with intention and purpose. It is important to consider that some of the food you select might be food that your body does not respond well to but you are consciously deciding to make that choice.
Most people are frustrated with the idea of nutrition and healthy eating overall. They feel aggravated that they cannot figure it out. As if it was an extremely difficult riddle or a puzzle to solve. This leads to burnout and giving up.
My encouragement for you today is that if you are taking the time to read this then you are headed in the right direction. You are making progress. Patience is your friend.
Respect this journey and seek wisdom from credible sources. Ask questions. Get answers to your questions.