I think we all know how I feel about dieting and dessert. And if you don’t, let me direct you to a little article I wrote entitled: Life is Short.. Eat Dessert First!
Basically – I just can’t have one without the other. What is life if I wasn’t allowed a little treat here or there?!?! I don’t even want to know such a world!!! (Am I being dramatic?? – At least I’m being honest?) I think Khloe Kardashian (I know I know I can’t believe I’m quoting a Kardashian – but hey – whatever she’s doing – It’s working! The girl looks good!) said it best when she stated, “I believe that if you want chocolate, go for it. If you really need a handful of chocolate, eat it, or else you’re definitely going to binge later.”
You see, building any sort of fitness or nutrition plan around something that isn’t sustainable in the long run will most likely (and often) lead to failure. Thinking that certain foods (say… chocolate, cake, or even donuts) are off-limits is a big reason why some of us build bad relationships with the foods that we eat.
The no-treat mentality reflects the popular belief that there are “good foods” and “bad foods” (i.e. that some foods will inevitably make you fat, while other foods just won’t no matter how much you eat). Well….this isn’t true. And even though some foods have more calories, fat, or carbs than other foods, it’s how much you eat of those foods that makes the difference. (See my Article: Count Nutrients NOT Calories)
Fat isn’t bad. And carbs aren’t the devil. But eating a diet that’s super-low in calories isn’t the healthiest idea either. Life is about balance. And maintaining a certain weight that is built on non-sustainable principles is just not going to last.
Eating certain types foods won’t inevitably make you fat, just as eating other certain types of foods won’t make you skinny. When we ask ourselves if a food is a “good” food and if we are allowed to eat it or not we create terrible relationships with food and end up completely avoiding what we love and what makes us happy. This mentality leads us down the path of restriction and resentment which then leads to a lack of consistency, cravings, and binge eating. Which makes us all feel worse than where we were when we started.
We all know how it goes – when you’re told you can’t have something – you want that thing even more. BUT when you have the option to enjoy something you love every once in a while, the intense craving to have it just goes away.
The goal in life is to enjoy yourself while being healthy, not to be 100% perfect all of the time. There are many ways to eat to get to the body that you want, but the one way that most definitely won’t work – is depriving yourself of the foods that you love.