(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine July 7, 2017)
There are so many diet plans and schools of thinking on which plan is best and most effective. I believe it boils down to you and your goals. If your desired goal is to lose pounds your choice may be a a bit different than someone who is desiring only to build lean muscle. One concept rings true though in all plans in my opinion. The more you focus on “I can’t eat that”, the more you will want it. This is a perpetual set up for diet failure. My advice is you control your eating plan, don’t allow the eating plan to control you. If you love a certain food and you know you are going to your favorite restaurant for it-modify it, instead of avoid it. The problem comes in when we deprive ourselves of all the things we love. I encourage moderation instead. Plan on sharing the favorite food with another at the table or take half home for a different meal. Don’t frustrate yourself by avoiding all things you love. You won’t be fun to dine with either. Plan your excesses a bit in advance. Not only will this increase your feelings of control, you will have a better end result. Eat what you love, just a smaller amount. I don’t really encourage light versions of things either. Honestly, I would rather eat a tablespoon of my favorite food than a whole bowl of something that is less than I had hoped for. It simply doesn’t satisfy the same way. I encourage you to eat well, exercise 3-5 times a week to balance your small indulgences and to plan those indulgences. Utilize this strategy for maximizing success. Allow yourself 2 cheats if you work out for 30 minutes 2 times that week. Or for each small cheat you plan, you have to work out for 15 mins for each. Planned cheats are always better and less guilt producing. It’s best if you can work out and get in a fat burning range for 12-15 minutes, before you have your cheat moments. Keep your fat burning engine going and in high gear before you ever indulge. You may find you don’t want as much anyway. Enjoy your journey and never spend time beating yourself up for not staying perfectly on track. Every day is a new day to improve and become better! Stick to moderation rather than deprivation and continued success on your healthy lifestyle journey!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."