STAY GUILT FREE
Most people struggling with healthy eating need a perspective shift in order to take control. With a few exceptions there are not, good foods, & bad foods. Some foods are simply more indulgent, but should not be seen as bad. These more indulgent foods should however, be eaten less frequently & in smaller quantities. We always want what we can't have & also will reward ourselves with what we are not allowed when stressed, tired or anxious. Remove feelings of guilt attached to 'bad' foods, enjoy them in the quantity & frequency that allows you to meet your goals & you CAN take control.
Person A: Goes out for a meal for a family members birthday, orders a steak and swaps chips for new potatoes, limits themselves to 1-2 drinks & then shares a pudding with the person next to you (not the cookie dough mega mountain). They leave having had a great night, enjoyed their food and are proud of themselves for managing their evening without blowing their whole weeks progress. They maintain their healthy eating habits and continue to manage social occasions. Person A has a healthy emotional relationship with food & can eat indulgent foods GUILT FREE allowing them to stay in control.
Person B: Goes out for a meal, intends to be super strict before arriving, on arrival smells the food but tells themselves they are not allowed any, which makes them wants it 10x more. Peer pressure & temptation cause them to give in. They decide to give up on the day & start healthy eating again the next day. They order a mixed grill with chips, have a few drinks & a pudding. Demoralized from what they perceive as a failure & projecting that emotion onto their view of themselves, they do not get back to healthy habit for another 3 days. Person B always views indulgent foods as a bad thing & has feelings of guilt attached to their consumption. They do not have control over their eating & adopt an all or nothing approach.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
In order to successfully create good habits you need to allow yourself to believe that you have them. As I’ve mentioned already, we always want what we can’t have. I want you to tell yourself ‘you do not snack on crisps at work’, this is a completely different mindset to ‘you cannot snack on crisps’. Studies have shown that the language change can help the effectiveness of your ability to resist unhealthy habits. Another example, ‘I don’t buy fizzy drinks, I can have them on occasions but it’s not in my routine to do so’. This may not even be true at first but keep repeating this in your head, or out loud, try to believe it and it can soon become your reality. These temptations are not contraband, they are simply not part your daily eating habits.
See my 'Services & Prices Page' for details on my personalised nutrition plans with included accountability & support.
The Key to Long Term Fat Loss Success
Any diet/nutritional change that creates a weekly calorie deficit will create weight loss. However it's not the good times that differentiate the successful from the unsuccessful.
I always tell my clients it's how they manage the dietary upsets and tougher times (social occasions, stress, broken routine) that truely determines whether they succeed or fail in meeting their longer term goals.
Make damage control and managment of the inevitable imperfections your primary focus and see consistent results that soon add up to impressive changes.
See my 'Testimonials' page for some great examples of successful long term fat loss.
I see a lot of trainers recommending, and fitness enthusiasts trying to incorporate cheat days into their nutrition plan. I never put pre-planned cheat days into a client’s, or my own routine.
This does not mean I don’t eat indulgent foods on occasions, it just means I do not set a day aside where I plan to go off track.
A whole lot of progress can be lost in a big binge. A cheat meal far too often turns into a cheat day or even a weekend. The following days after a are much harder to get back to healthy eating as sugar cravings are through the roof.
With a few exceptions (processed takeout food with hydrogenated/trans fats) I try not to label foods as bad or good. Typically unhealthy foods eaten in a small portion size can go well with a weight loss or healthy eating plan. Whilst foods typically healthy in too larger portion size (e.g. Large bowl porridge with big spoon of honey) may also hinder your progress.
I TRY and work my nutrition around these principles:
- My core nutrition at home/work is 100% classically healthy/clean foods.
- I say no to ALL treats if I do not feel is it a big personal/social sacrifice to say no to (biscuits/sweets passed around at work/friend’s house/car journeys), these quickly add up to become significant in a week.
- If it is an out of routine occasion (birthdays, family gathering, rare social event) I’m happy to eat what is available/offered yet will often make sure I don’t pick the very worst option available (I may have a good size main course but skip or share a dessert & only have one drink).
- Christmas day is my one exception where I eat what I like but try not to eat so much I feel ill or ridiculously bloated & ruin the day.
The general idea is to avoid big swings in motivation which inevitably ends with some form of starvation followed by binging. It is important for healthy food psychology to have occasional treats in your diet without feelings of guilt or losing all control. If you know that 90% of your diet is that core home/work routine, any deviation is an exception rather than simply a moment of weakness, therefore you can enjoy your food.
If you'd like a personalised nutrition plan with 4 weeks online support & alterations see my services and prices page for details.