Dieting – The Perfection of Imperfection
Lots of people pressure themselves to never cheat and to stick 100% to a diet.
These people also never manage to stick to a diet for very long.
The belief that you can maintain a PERFECT diet is completely and utterly unrealistic especially if you plan to do the diet for any extended period of time.
Instead I don’t plan on perfection. I plan on cheating.
I live by the 80/20 rule – I eat well 80% of the time and badly 20% of the time. Always have. Always will.
And I think you achieve the greatest success when you don’t expect yourself to be perfect. That frankly is just too much pressure and leads to failure.
You simply run out of self-control when you are working to maintain perfect. However, if you plan in a cheat day, you allow your self-control to recharge.
And if you PLAN in cheat days, not only do you recharge but you do DAMAGE CONTROL.
WHAT!?! By doing damage you are controlling the damage?
When you plan in cheats and allow yourself to recharge, you prevent yourself from completely losing control and doing more damage than that one single cheat day would do.
I mean think about it…
When you feel super deprived, what do you do? You eat everything in sight and eat way too much because you’ve run out of self-control. And sometimes it takes you weeks or even months to get back on track.
On the other hand, if you plan in a cheat once a week, even if it is just a Primal cheat, such as dark chocolate and cheese, you quench your cravings enough that you don’t feel the need to stuff your face until you have a food baby! AND you also can go back to eating well the next day because you know you will get all that wonderful tasting food again in only a few days!
So what seems better?
I personally would rather plan to be good 80% of the time than plan to be good 100% of the time. Because I know that 80% is attainable while 100% simply isn’t.
Why set a goal that isn’t realistic when you can set yourself up to succeed and get great results while indulging 20% of the time!?!
Take a look at your diet? Do you always feel like you are falling off the bandwagon because you are expecting too much?
Posted on May 1, 2012, in Conventional Wisdom - How I hate you, Diet and tagged 80/20 Rule, Cheat Days, damage control, diet, healthy-living. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
haha, i love that the cheat is cheese or 85% chocolate. I have been coming off of some serious adrenal fatigue from (possible) over-training/under-recovering and cheese and 85% chocolate have been my “alloweds” while trying to cut the rice and potatoes.
Haha I “cheat” with potatoes, chocolate and cheese most of the time, BUT I definitely do indulge in some unhealthy treats! 80/20 right! 😉
I love this post! It is so true! I don’t even use the word ‘cheating’ – I like to call it ‘refeeding’ 🙂 [’cause that’s more legit right? haha] I try and time it the day before my biggest/most difficult lifting session of the week so all that extra energy goes to good use!!!
Haha refeeding is the perfect name for it though!
I used to time it before a big lift but I personally found that it actually worked better on the day of my hardest workout of the week (aka the meals after that workout)!
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