Diet PlanYou’ve worked really hard all week at sticking to your diet plan. You’ve been under on your calories on a few days and trained four times – in fact, you’ve been SO ‘good’ that you decide to ‘treat’ yourself with a ‘cheat’ meal on Friday night.

You order a take away and have a couple of drinks too – it is Friday after all. You wake up on Saturday and after all that ‘bad’ food (and a bit of a hangover!) you figure you’ve blown all your hard work anyway so you continue to gorge on ‘bad’ food for the remainder of the weekend. You’ll be extra ‘good’ next week to make up for it. Monday comes around again and because of that ‘cheat’ weekend, you make the decision to cut back on your calories for this week as well as to remove starchy carbohydrates from your evening meals. You make it to Thursday and then decide you ‘deserve’ a ‘night off.’ Sound familiar??

It’s common to fall into a punishment/reward way of thinking around food when you’re dieting or trying to lose weight. Not only does this create an unhealthy relationship with food – but often it will also hinder your progress! It’s also common to associate certain days of the week with a specific type of behaviour – most of us tend to loosen the reins at the weekend and ‘get back on it’ on a Monday. Finding a way to keep your diet and eating habits consistent will mean that you develop a healthier relationship with food, keep cravings and mood swings at bay and stick with your plan!

Ditch the lingo!

Food isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – food is just food. You don’t ‘deserve’ to eat something deemed unhealthy just because you’ve been eating healthily all week, in the same way that you aren’t sentenced to eating ‘rabbit food’ all week because you had a pizza on Saturday night. Try to look at your diet as a whole rather than breaking it down into good, bad, treats and punishment.

Incorporate your favourite foods into your nutrition plan

If you enjoy a biscuit with your cup of tea then work that into your plan! Instead of trying to deny yourself completely, tell yourself that 3 times per week, you’ll have a biscuit with your afternoon cuppa, account for the calories, adjust that within your day and you’ll find you probably won’t then want to eat a whole packet on Sunday afternoon!

Monday and Saturday are both just days

Try to break the habit of seeing a weekend as a free for all and a Monday as a penance. If you can stick to your nutrition plan over the weekend as well as the week days then you’ll see your results quicker – and you’ll feel less guilty and fed up on the Monday morning.

Plan ahead

Get yourself a weekly planner and highlight any evenings or days where you have social plans. The put a star next to the ones which you feel you will be able to stick to your nutrition plan. For example, you have two meals out. One is to a Chinese restaurant for a friends 40th on Friday night, one is to an Italian restaurant with an old school friend on Wednesday night. If it’s more than likely that your Friday night Chinese will involve a glass of wine or two and a lack of healthy options on the menu then make sure on the Wednesday evening you choose something from the menu that fits in with your plan and avoid the booze! Try looking at menus online first and selecting the option that works best for you and then stick to it when you arrive.

Dieting doesn’t have to be all or nothing

Using the above as an example…you have your meal out on Friday night – it’s the one night of the week you’ve strayed from your plan but you’ve accounted for this by walking to work on two occasions and deciding to forgo your biscuits this week. So relax! Enjoy it! And when you wake up on Saturday, get back to your plan instead of beating yourself up! Learn to moderate – properly.

For advice on your dietary needs – contact your Nutritional Therapist, Sarah, here