Many people start paring down on their food during their minimalism journey. Some people advocate eating recipes with few ingredients, while others suggest you should limit your food choices. More extreme cases suggest eating less overall.
If you’re like most people, you want to eat better, but you also want to enjoy life. Imagine going out to dinner and eating 3 pieces of broccoli while everyone else shares appetizers and enjoys meals worthy of a photo. Maybe you want to try that mac and cheese short rib hot dog burger that everyone is talking about. Or maybe it’s just something simple, your favorite wings and a beer while watching the game.
Whatever it may be, we all have our favorites and “weak spots”. If we change how we treat our weak spots, it can be the difference between having fun, eating your favorite foods and feeling great afterwards, versus clutching your stomach and yelling, “why did I eat that? Why did I eat SO much of that? NEVER again!” Almost as if you had Jagermeister for the first time and dealt with the side effects.
This is not nutrition or diet advice, it is simply planning your indulgences for maximum enjoyment while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Eat well 80% of the time, and give yourself room to indulge.
The key to maintaining your fitness goals and overcoming guilt is to plan your splurges, or make an allowance for your splurges.
Create your plan.
I will eat cheat meals on the weekends when I see my friends and watch the game. I will enjoy mimosas and these crazy French toast and pancake dishes while catching up with old friends.
What do you need to do to sustain your plan?
In order to eat what you want, what do you need to do? Continue your routine, up your game, add a walk or an additional cardio session?
What is your current fitness routine?
What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?
Do you even have a routine? If not, get something set up right now. If you enjoy taking your dog for walks, that is part of your fitness routine. If you enjoy riding your bike or playing sports, those activities could also be a part of your fitness routine.
If you like If you like activities that are a bit more key, like yoga, you can work those activities into your fitness routine.
Whatever it is, identify your favorite physical activities, and stick with them.
What “Bad” Foods can you do without?
Not all “junk” food or “cheat” food is created equal, and we don’t have the same reaction to all foods. For me, I don’t like rice, and I can do without pasta. You have probably eaten too much of a food you don’t even like either because you had no choice (nothing else was around) or you were simply bored. To get the most out of your “cheat” meals, pick foods you really like and enjoy.
Identify your triggers.
Some people eat when they’re bored. I know that if I attend a wedding or any other kind of event I perceive as boring, I will drink on an empty stomach. I am aware of this, so first, I make it a point to not attend events I have no interest in. Second, if I have no choice, I make sure to eat, and then enjoy a drink or two. Otherwise, I will be fully inebriated, waiting for a ride, with no quick exit. That is my motivation to keep me in check.
You’ve got to know yourself- what are the potential situations where you might cave? Where will you exhibit the most weakness? Identify those situations, and prepare for them.
How do you prepare for situations where you might end up eating or drinking more than you’d like? Where would you like some help? Let us know in the comments below.