Allow Flexibility Many people try to reach their goals by restricting something in their diet, whether it’s sugar, carbs, fats, salty foods, etc. They eliminate these things completely and will not allow themselves to have it for a certain amount of time. Almost always, they will “mess up,” cave in, and allow themselves that thing, only resulting in feeling discouraged and defeated. In more severe cases, the person will then binge eat from the shame and guilt that came from it all, and the vicious cycle starts over again. Depriving completely can be an ongoing pattern that is counteractive with reaching your goals for the long term.
The biggest misconception is that you have to eliminate something you enjoy completely in order to reach your goals. If you understand what amount your body needs and you are consistent with it, you can actually have your cake and eat it, too. Restricting does not always have to be the answer. Follow the 80/20 Rule First and foremost,
to lose body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit. This is the number of calories that your body needs slightly below maintenance level in order to lose body fat. Once this amount is figured out, you can actually live and thrive off of the 80/20 rule. Calories matter most, so your body won’t gain fat from fun foods if you are still in the calorie deficit range each day. This
means, 80% of your daily caloric intake needs to be healthy, clean, nutrient-dense foods. Think of your typical “healthy” foods; fruits, veggies, protein, whole grains, and so on. From there, every single day if you wanted, you can have 20% of your daily caloric intake be “fun” foods; think a glass of wine, a cookie, or a small bowl of chips. Here’s an example: If your calorie deficit
amount is 1,700 calories, you should be eating 1,360 “clean” calories, and can have 340 “fun” calories every single day and still lose body fat, without restricting! Eat a “Treat” Meal If allowing yourself some flexibility every day is not something you can handle, incorporating a weekly “treat” meal is another great alternative
to not restricting completely. That is, once a week you can allow yourself a fun meal or treat, within reason, and still reach your goals, assuming you are in a calorie deficit. This allows you to still have some freedom and flexibility without feeling completely restricted. It also gives you something to look forward to each week! Move On If you are restricting and do cave into cravings, the best thing to do is move on the next day. Start over and do not beat yourself up. Continuing the pattern of shame and regret with food will only allow the cycle to continue. Get back on track as soon as you can and do the best you can.
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