Go big or go home, all or nothing and so many other phrases reflect our personalities. We either want to have all of it or none of it and the same goes with our diets. We have this idea that healthy people are always healthy, and that unhealthy people are always unhealthy. The irony is that salads are often eaten by unhealthy people than healthy people. Wait, how does that make sense? It’s simple, think of the last time you went out to lunch with your friends. Who ordered the healthiest food? Was it the people who are most concerned with their weight? Probably, while those who are slim and fit enjoy things when they are out with their friends, so they order pizza or burgers.
So, why are your healthy friends healthy if they are eating junk and why are your unhealthy friends unhealthy if they are eating health options? It’s because both switch back to their normal eating habits soon after that lunch. Your healthy friends don’t continue to eat junk, they return to their lifestyle of better-quality choices and your unhealthy friends eventually go back to the pizza and burgers. It’s a sad but common routine and it’s the reason so many of us struggle with our weight. Our diet’s do not need to be all or nothing and making them that way is why we are having the issues with obesity and diabetes that we are having in this country.
You’re going to eat pizza; you’re going to eat burgers and ice cream and cake. It doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t have to define who we are as people either. What you have to do is take a page out of the book of your healthy friends and flip the script. You know that you’re going to go out to lunch with your friends on Thursday and you know the restaurant you will be going to has these amazing tater tots or French fries that you love. Stop worrying about trying not to eat them and then not only eating them, but skipping all your healthy choices for the entire day, calling it a “cheat day.” Why can’t you wake up and workout, then drink water during the day, have those French fries at lunch and then eat a salad that night? No, you’re not going to lose weight that day probably, but you will minimize your weight gain. We need to improve ourselves with smart choice at the time each choice needs to be made, not try and make a blanket decision for how we are going to eat all day. If you can find that compromise you will find a diet that works.