Ok so you have these amazing plans of following the latest and greatest fad diet to a T, going to the gym 5 days per week and looking like Jillian Michaels in 90 days from now…and everything goes according to plan for the first couple weeks and then…
You get invited to your best friends birthday party. You go with the plan of sticking to your guns and eating only a salad with a chicken breast (dressing on the side!), but then the dessert comes out and it looks so damn good that you just need a taste – after all you’ve been soooo good lately – and then it tastes so good you have another bite, and then another, until you’ve eaten the whole gigantic piece of cake on your plate.
Your inner critic starts talking it’s talk telling you that you are a big failure, that you can never stick to anything, and now you are doomed to being fat and miserable for the rest of your life. And never mind the diet, that’s out the window so you might as well have another 2 pieces of cake while you’re at it, and maybe some wine to wash it down with.
By the time you get home you feel horrible and go drown your misery with a pint of ice cream. After all you have fallen off the wagon, you’ll start again tomorrow…
But then tomorrow comes, and the next day, and then the weeks and even months roll by and you feel worse and worse with each passing day. You don’t even want to try because you’re just going to fail again. All of this was because you expected yourself to be perfect and didn’t take into account that you are a human being, and by definition human beings are not perfect!
So what’s a person to do to avoid this scenario? I’ll give you a hint and it has nothing to do with willpower!
Enter the 90/10 principle. The 90/10 principle simply states – eat foods you enjoy and make you feel good 90% of the time and indulge yourself 10% of the time. Human beings were not meant to live without pleasure, and that goes for food too! You can see that by following this principle for the rest of your life you will be much further ahead than by eating perfectly for 2 weeks once or twice per year until you ‘fall off the wagon’ again and then eat everything in sight for the next month.
By making allowances for something less than healthy from time to time, you avoid triggering your inner critic from derailing your efforts and setting you back further and further each time you ‘fail’ at your healthy eating plan. And really, is eating junk on occasion really going to make that big of a difference in your health in the long run? Nope! Plus the added benefit is you can eat the cake and drink the wine when you are out with friends, it’s written into the plan!
While we’re talking about eating healthy, I maintain that healthy food can be extremely pleasurable. I won’t eat anything that tastes like diet food. I think food needs to be about health and pleasure, after all life is short!! Any eating plan in my eyes has to be something you can maintain for life and if it’s boring, bland and tasteless what are the chances you will eat like this for the rest of your life? As part of my one on one or group coaching programs I teach my clients to make clean, healthy food that makes them feel healthy and energized, and doesn’t feel the least bit depriving!