By Team Best Life
If you decided today to join a gym and workout every day, never once missing a workout, would you give up if you couldn’t stick to it? When you try to control your food intake by sticking to unrealistic rules, you’re headed for the same kind of “failure”—and that’s not fair to you.
Stop aiming for perfection. Instead, make “good enough” your goal. This approach can often mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some tips to help you part with perfection.
Give in a little bit. Potato chips may be your undoing, but banishing them completely from your diet can be too tough to take. Instead of having to avoid the pantry because you’re afraid you’ll eat the whole bag of chips, buy individual-serving packages to satisfy your cravings on occasion. If you love chocolate or pizza, allow yourself one ounce piece per day, like these Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bars, or limit your pizza to two veggie-packed slices per week, with a homemade Whole Wheat Crust. When we’re too rigid with our food choices, we can’t help but rebel.
Use eating guidelines, not rules. Restricting your diet to only fruits and veggies or saying you won’t eat refined flour or sugar is a recipe for failure. Trying to incorporate one fruit or vegetable into each meal, for example, or ensuring that most—not all—of the grains you consume are whole can mean the difference between “can” and “can’t.”
Control what you can. If you know you’re having lunch with a friend at a restaurant you don’t get to visit often, prepare in advance. Eat a nutritionally dense breakfast and plan a dinner that doesn’t break the caloric bank so you feel OK about ordering what you want. Eating is supposed to taste good!
Watch your words. Avoid absolute vocabulary like “all” or “never” and substitute words like “diet” with “eating plan.” Even a subtle shift in the language you use can affect your mental perception.
Personalize it. What works for you may not work for someone else, and the plan your best friend follows may leave you feeling deprived. Listen to your body and your mind and make the choices that make sense for your body and your life.