The awkward thing about ditching your bad eating habits is that you can’t go cold turkey. When you quit smoking or drinking you can ensure that you aren’t around any of the offending things. Cold turkey is often the most effective way of breaking a habit. However with healthy eating or weight loss diets, you find yourself confronted by banned food types all day. Which makes it so hard to not fall of the diet wagon.
The question is though, do we need to avoid everything naughty to maintain our bodies health or to keep our weight loss on track?
The simple answer to that is no, we don’t.
Dieting for weight loss is all about calorie deficit. Ensuring you calculate what calories your body needs to function and then consuming less than this amount. There was a great article recently which explored the possibility of losing weight whilst only eating junk food. The researcher ate only processed and refined foods for 12 weeks, he just ensured to keep his calorie count under his calorie needs. He found he reached his target weight within the period set and concluded it isn’t what you eat that dictates weight loss, but how much you eat.
Of course if you are eating a healthy diet for the benefits on your body and soul, rather than to lose weight, the question of whether it is ok to give in to your cravings once awhile is a little more complicated. Refined sugars and processed food is not going to do your body much good. Particularly if you are already a few months into your Paleo plan. You may find that your sugar fix leaves you feeling awful as your body isn’t used to that instant high. But don’t worry, there are some great ways around this.
A little bit of what you love is good for you, so consider options like rice cakes topped with a thin layer of high cocoa content chocolate. You’ll be surprised how moreish these are! You can also make changes to some of your favourite recipes to suit the way you eat. Banana cake made from spelt flour and packed with nuts is a fabulous sweet bite, you can use honey to really hit your sweet tooth. Or nibbling a square of 80% cocoa chocolate, whilst it is bitter, you will get used to the taste and soon you’ll be craving this instead of the more traditional brands.
Regardless of the reasons behind your diet, it is good to balance a little of what is good for you with a little of what you love. Just be sensible and don’t over do it. We don’t want to have to rescue you from the back of your local bakery because you have gone on an all day iced bun binge!!