Have you ever tried to be super strict and straight away felt deprived? All you can think about is all the things that you can’t have and how much you want them.
For many years I dieted and tried everything out there. None of it really worked and just left me feeling deflated and a bit useless at the end of it all. I’d do ok for a week or two but after being super strict I’d turn into this binge monster. I’d eat copious amounts of food to the point where I felt ill. Then I’d beat myself up about how hopeless I was. It was HORRIBLE!
I can proudly say that after years of depriving myself, bingeing and beating myself up that I now have a much healthier relationship with food. I strongly believe that treats are important and you should never feel like you can’t indulge to be fit and healthy.
I now include regular treat meals to keep me on track and feel good about it. If I want to lean down a bit I may limit the amount of treats or drinks I have but I never cut them out completely, although just recently I committed to the Maxine’s challenge. When I registered I saw the nutrition plan and thought I could do that, a few more shakes than I would promote but the rest is ok. I then proceeded to search for the Treat Meal option but I couldn’t find it. Then I discovered they encourage you to STAY STRONG and CUT OUT ALL TREATS AND ALCOHOL FOR 12 WEEKS! Now for me this instantly sends our warning signals!!! BINGE MONSTER coming back! So I thought about it and thought maybe I’d try and be strong and limit them, if other people can do it, surely I can too! So what’s happened? Well in the last week I’ve ended up including more treats than I normally do! All I can think about is all my favourite little indulgences and how I won’t be able to have them. I FEEL DEPRIVED AND LIKE A FAILURE ALREADY!!!
Sure, some people like being a bit stricter and will even go the full 12 weeks with no treat meals but my question is what happens afterwards??? I’ve seen it too many times where people tough it out and are super strict and get some great results only to binge as soon as they’ve finished. This can lead to quickly regaining all the kilos they’ve worked hard to lose! I think it’s far better to lose it a bit more slowly, include regular treats and focus on creating new habits that will stick with you FOREVER!!! Rather than focusing on “sticking to the plan” it should be about finding meals and snacks you like and will continue to eat. Learning how to include regular treats and GET BACK ON TRACK AFTERWARDS. Eating until you feel satisfied and not stuffed! These kind of things create great habits which will stick with you long past your 12 weeks is up.
So where to for me? Don’t worry, I’m not giving up but last week has been a great reminder why I don’t believe in cutting out treats long term, sure you could tough it out for 7 or 21 days but that’s still pushing it! So I’m continuing on but sticking with what works for me. That’s eating really well the majority of the time but factoring in a small treat or two. I’ll also be cutting the shakes back as I don’t believe 3-4 shakes a day is necessary or that great for you! Real food is always going to be more satisfying and better for you.
So if you’re trying to lose weight but feeling deprived, maybe it’s time to think about how you can factor in some of those little treats while still making great progress! It can be done!