Reward Yourself with a Cheat Day
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jason Bacchetta of Trend Spike, a Men’s Blog and Online Magazine.
When Israel mentioned in his vlog that he believed people should replace food, rather than just cut it out of their diet altogether, I decided to give my opinion on that idea as well. I recently wrote an article on why you CAN go on a diet splurge every now and then. Although my idea was slightly different than what Israel had to say, I think Israel and I are both trying to get a point across.
That is, be realistic. Nobody is perfect, and trying to limit yourself to a hardcore diet that doesn’t allow for any mistakes, will likely work against you, rather than for you. You need to find something that works for YOU, not what supposedly works for your favorite spokes model. If you’re used to eating junk food for every meal, of every day, then dropping the food you love cold turkey, is just not the best option. Too many times, people have tried and failed with that approach. In fact, 75-90% of people who lose weight, regain it back. In my opinion, it’s because they choose a diet that they can’t live with. A healthy eating routine isn’t just about what you do for the next three weeks, it’s about what you do for the rest of your life (as Israel mentions in his video).
Personally, I’m in the same race to become fit, except I actually have a hard time gaining weight. When I was younger, I would always push myself to the extreme. Not eating right, or missing a workout even if only for a day, would cause me to feel guilty, as if I wasn’t trying hard enough. Sometimes this desire for perfection was exactly the attitude that brought me further away from my goals. Eventually I realized that it’s okay to live a healthy lifestyle, without trying to reach the finish line as fast as possible. It’s all about moderation. When I would allow myself to eat the things I wanted to every now and then, and when I would allow myself to miss a day in the gym, my progress continued uphill. I noticed that I wouldn’t get burned out every month, as I did when I was “hardcore.”
Giving yourself a free day every week as I suggest, or replacing junk food with healthy food (that you enjoy) as Israel suggests, will increase your chances of staying healthy for the long-term. Stop wasting your New Year’s resolution on the same thing every year. Give yourself a chance to win the battle this time. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be hell either.