Have you ever had a friend tell you, “Sorry, I can’t eat that piece of cake. I’m on a strict diet.” Well, first off, I’d like to say good job and congrats to your friend. It takes a lot of self-control to watch everyone else eat cake while you stand there watching. After all, who doesn’t love cake? But, I’d also like to mention that if you are taking an overly strict approach to diet, you may be setting yourself up for a harsh lesson in losing weight.
My personal belief is that you should not restrict yourself from the foods you love. Yes, that even means pizza, hot dogs, cake and cookies. Now, I’m not telling you to eat an entire box of Oreos. But, I am telling you to loosen up a bit. While I have all the appreciation in the world for people who maintain a strict clean diet, for most people – me included – that’s a near impossible feat.
There are several theories for taking a break and eating what you love:
- The 90/10 rule that says 90% of your food should be a clean and structured diet and 10% should be portioned, yet anything you want (pizza, cheesecake, etc.)
- The cockroach plan which says one day a week is considered a cheat day that will trigger your body to improve metabolism.
- The reward which is giving yourself something you love when you achieve certain milestones.
While these types of diets and ideas may work, I do believe that if you are taking steps such as managing a clean diet and portion control as well as working out regularly you can eat those things you love in moderation. If you go to a party, feel free to have a piece of cake. Mind you, I said, “a,” as in one, piece of cake. If you join friends after work, a glass of beer or a piece of pizza is fine – as long as you are not going out everyday after work. You need to understand your body and your needs. If that piece of pizza is going to start you on a binge eating crisis, maybe you should avoid it. If you know that you will appreciate that pizza more because you rarely have a piece, then you are probably okay eating a piece of pizza once in a while.
Eating what you love doesn’t have to be a bad thing if eaten in moderation and you think you can handle it Just remember keep your portion-size in check and don’t do it so often that you put your goals at risk.