25 January 2018

All or Nothing | Restrictive Eating & the Importance of a Treat!

Restrictive Eating & the Importance of a Treat! - homecooked recipe meal prep
How many diets have you sampled in the past? There are so many out there claiming to do wonders, but are they actually healthy for you?!? Low carbs, fasting, low fat, no sugar... all these types of diets have 1 thing in common, they're restricting you. And a healthy, balanced diet is not about restriction, but about moderation, of all food groups; our bodies need them all. Instead they act as a short term solution to loose weight, rather than teaching us good habits to take forward into the future.
Instead look for a program that encourages you to try healthier options, instead of taking things away. A huge learning curve for me, was when I trialled Davina McCall's Get Fit with Davina. The meal plans encouraged you to eat clean, eat often & eat a lot! It taught me just how much clean food I could eat in a day & still be in my macros, whilst keeping me full & being delicious. And after the 5 weeks, I had built a habit to live by - eating cleaner & enjoying it far more than my previous diet. Unfortunately, that program is no longer available, but I would encourage you to have a look round some of her alternative meal plans.

However, even the concept of eating clean can become a little too restrictive. We can become so focused, that it becomes all or nothing. If we stumble, we have a habit of throwing in the towel. Why? Because we're still restricting ourselves a treat. It is so important to allow a little something, to keep your diet a sustainable one. What works for me, which might also work for you, is the 80% clean, 20% not, food ratio. This means the majority of my day is filled with nutritious, natural foods, but it still allows me my 1 homemade cappuccino, a couple of biscuits (try oat biscuits for a healthier option) & a small portion of chocolate every day. Plus I will also indulge in a cheat meal once a week. So overall, great diet! But the reason I am able to stick to it, is because I know when my treats are coming, making healthy eating much more enjoyable.

Restrictive Eating & the Importance of a Treat! - balance happiness health the tiny tank
Coincidentally, whilst writing this, this post from The Tiny Tank popped up on my Instagram feed & I couldn't agree more...

"Sometimes I’ll get inboxes like “do you ever eat crisps/chocolate?”, “do you work out everyday?”. This all or nothing concept is perpetuated so strongly by the diet industry that we are often lead to believe that it is virtually impossible to get to the point we want to be without sacrificing a huge amount. Of course there are some instances where I make more mindful choices, however; I don’t have meal replacement shakes, I go out once or twice a week, I eat dinner after 9pm (lol bc you can eat whenever u want we need to stop this myth), I eat chocolate almost every day, carbs make me happy so I eat them often and with pleasure, sometimes my source of carbs is pick and mix, I don’t workout everyday. I want to deconstruct this idea that there is a perfect way of achieving your goals, you simply have to find nutrition/training that you can stick to and THAT is what will work. It doesn’t matter what it is, consistency and sustainability is key. Don’t give up your favourite things just to lose that extra bit of body fat. Sure move more and eat better- but that is it. I know there’s so much bullshit to wade through but if we all wade through it together there’s light at the end of the tunnel and probably a glass of prosecco and or wine."

Restrictive Eating & the Importance of a Treat! - happy lifestyle healthy
So my advice? What do you miss the most? White bread, chocolate, cake, crisps? Allow yourself a small portion of your favourite food each day - such as a slice of white bread or 30g chocolate. And remember that all important cheat meal. With that, your new healthy lifestyle will be a lot easier & a lot more enjoyable!


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