Dieting – Cheating and when to let go
I found an interesting post on The Great Fitness Experiment about cheat days and whether or not they work. In my opinion, there isn’t a simple “yes” or “no” answer to this. It just depends on the person.
I think the most important part of any diet is just to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you should maintain a healthy diet. 20% of the time you should indulge. However you choose to break it down just make sure you stick to the 80/20 rule.
Here are the two most common ways people follow this rule:
1. Daily mini cheats. 80% of the food you eat each day is healthy while 20% is an indulgence. This works if you can be satisfied (and make yourself stop eating) after one cookie for dessert. Portion control is key here.
2. Cheat days. During the average week, you eat well for 6 days with 1 day where you eat anything and everything in sight. This works if you are like me and seem to have no shut off mechanism once you start eating bad food. (Even feeling like I’m going to barf sometimes doesn’t stop me from stuffing more food in my mouth.)
Either way you choose to do it, daily mini cheats or once a week binges, just make sure that 80% of the time you are sticking to a healthy diet!!!
Another dieting dilemma…when do you just say screw it to your diet and enjoy life?
There is also no easy answer to this question. It all depends. I’m sure that answer makes you so happy! HA!
For me, vacations, holidays and other big celebrations are all times to just forget about my diet and eat whatever I want. BUT that is only IF I’m going to be stressed out about trying to eat well OR I’m going to be missing out on something I only can get at that specific time or place.
Like when we go to California for Ryan’s bday. I’m going to eat whatever I want the entire time I’m there. We just don’t have the wonderful Mexican food that they have in Southern California here in Boston. AND I’m going to also eat a HUGE cinnamon roll from this diner in Cali since it is the best cinnamon roll in the ENTIRE WORLD!
BUT since I know that in about two weeks I will be eating bad food for 4 days, I had to make a tough decision about this weekend when my mom visits. (YAY! For a visit from Mom) I had to decide whether or not I was going to stick to my routine of only one cheat day per week. And I decided that yes, I will.
There are so many good restaurants here that I can easily eat Primally at…so I really have no excuse to not eat well every day but Saturday. Anytime I can stick to my diet without spending too much time stressing out or feeling like I’m missing out, I will.
Living life doesn’t always have to mean cheating on your diet. BUT there are also times when you do just need to say screw it and enjoy!