Now before I get into this, I want to just clarify that this post is about my personal ‘achievement’ and what I have found works best for me. I am in no way here to tell you how you should be eating, what you should be eating or how you want to go about your ‘treats’. I believe that everyone goes on their own personal journeys but after learning this from others, I’ve found it most definitely has worked for me and for that reason I want to share it with you.
Rewind about a year, year and a half ago, and it was the lead up to my wedding day. I had it in my head that I wanted to look the best I could, as most brides do. For even before I’d got engaged and had a wedding dress to fit in to, I’d gone through the same pattern for years on end.
I would eat like a health freak for 4 – 5 days of the week. The other 2 – 3 days would be a full blown binge.
Now I’m not talking, I’d have a chocolate bar and a bag of crisps. I’d eat a whole 200g bar of chocolate, I’d have a share bag of crisps and then maybe 2 cream cakes. This was on top of my ‘cheat meals’ which would maybe be toast for breakfast, a bowl of rice or pasta for my dinner and then a pizza or some other ‘oven junk food’ for my tea. I’d quite easily be eating around 4000, maybe 5000 calories on my ‘cheat days’.
My lifestyle was not healthy. Not for my body and not for my mind. Being in the mentality that I had to restrict myself to then treat myself on my cheat days not only led me to go absolutely crazy in terms of food on them days, but feel like certain food was somehow the enemy.
Changing the habit of a lifetime.
I very often watch what I eat in a day, nutrition tips and recipe idea videos on YouTube. It’s one of those subjects where I could get lost for hours! The more I watched of them and finding videos especially on intuitive eating, the more I realised there shouldn’t be such thing as a ‘cheat day’ or restricting yourself from certain food groups.
By telling yourself you can’t eat something for 5 days out of the week, it’s only going to make you crave it more and when it comes to being able to eat it, you might do what I do and binge what it was you’ve been craving as you know after today you’re going to be back to the restricted days of eating and from this come the vicious cycle of unhealthy eating habits.
For the last few months I’ve not once stopped myself from eating what I wanted. If I’ve craved chocolate, I’ve had a chocolate bar, do I fancy an ice cream after tea? Okay sure, I’ve had one. By giving my body what it craves I’ve been eating maybe 1 bar of chocolate, 1 pack of crisps or 1 ice cream a day. By doing this each day I feel so much happier and some days, I don’t even crave anything ‘naughty’ at all. Knowing that I can eat whatever I want has caused me to no longer binge and instead maintain a much healthier lifestyle.
Restriction can cause massive cravings, binging and unhealthy lifestyles. Yes, it may allow you to lose weight but in the long run it’s not a sustainable way to life and will cause you to likely put on more weight when you decide to no longer restrict yourself.
All I’m saying in this post is to try it. If you want a bit of chocolate, have some. If you fancy a packet of crisps, have a pack of bloody crisps. As long as you’re still eating the good stuff and the stuff you crave is in moderation and you’re not bingeing every single day, your nutrition goals will still be met and you’ll still go far. If you’re allow yourself to have a little bit of whatever you fancy here and there, you’re not going to go absolutely crazy on a ‘cheat day’, which is personally not something I believe in anymore. I’d highly recommend watching intuitive eating videos on YouTube for more information, as after all I’m no expert I’m just telling you what’s worked for me.
Love, always – B *For commissions, please email me or get in touch on Instagram* I’d also love for you to check out my Etsy shop here: beccabynature
4 thoughts on “Moderation not Restriction”
Thanks so much. Life is about balance! Eh?
A friend, fellow cyclist, and registered dietician once gave me some great advice. Just eat HALF of what is on your plate!!! All issues solved! It works.
I totally agree with this approach. It’s human nature that when we restrict ourselves about something, our body will crave for that thing only. I follow the same approach as yours. I allow myself to eat anything I want, when I want and when I give myself full permission to binge, I have noticed I hardly binge 🙂