How To Correctly Deviate When You Can’t Stick To Your Diet
I love systems. Generally because they are really easy to follow if you have a good one in place. Plus you can always adapt and pivot should you be forced to, mostly likely as you are told by your boss to go to a meeting half-way across the country at the last minute, even though you had already planned the next 4 days worth of dinners.
For all the beginners to this flexible dieting methodology, here’s a simple system for you to follow to keep your head from spinning because you want a simple dieting premise to follow along to, without the counting of a single syn, carb or sugar cube or whatever.
Ensure 80% of your daily nutrition is sourced from minimal-ingredient foods, i.e. meats, veg, fruits and whole grains. The remaining 20% is yours to go to town with. So yes - have the ice cream and go lose weight providing you energy balance is nailed.
That’s an order.
By using the 80/20 rule and allowing yourself the chance to rewire your dieting paradigm, it enables the foundations to be made of your daily food intake and will hand-hold the ultimate dieting noob through the early stages of a nutritional re-wiring.
It teaches us that chicken, potatoes and broccoli are really really good things to eat, but also that chocolate is still ok to enjoy if you want it.
There’s no such thing as a bad food, only a bad diet.
Now we know that you can still lose weight whilst eating a banana split, what happens when we can no longer stick to the 80/20 rule?
Well, as I prefaced at the start, you adapt it.
If you physically cannot stick to 80/20, i.e. that long business trip away the boss just gave to us or that friend-of-friends party you’d rather miss out on, it’s time to alter things.
This is when the 70/30 rule comes into play. Which in translation is probably a little less potato and a bit more red wine. Or half a pizza instead of a chicken stir fry.
As long as you have the understanding that this will only be a temporary position and that as soon as you drop your bags back home at the front door you're going to 80/20 the heck out that diet of yours. Possibly even 90/10 it if thing;s really did go to pot.
Which brings us nicely onto the next point; should you ever go lower than 70/30?
To be honest, unless you consider yourself a dieting monk and will not go off track ever, they’ll be situations that are likely to be out of control.
Think a weekend celebrating your best friends 40th in the south of France or a yearly ladies get-together where you want to immerse yourself in some serious wine tasting.
Whilst 0/100 might be going through you head, I’d still err on the side of caution and make some sensible decisions.
Make sure you still eat enough veg and protein. Make sure you are properly hydrated. Sleep should still be a priority.
Just have a little bit of self-respect and don’t order the mixed cheese board that is meant to be shared between 4 but end up scoffing it all yourself.
And that’s the big secret to finding the balance of enjoying social occasions but not completely blowing it… go nuts but don’t go nuts.
Enjoy but keep it in check.
And that’s all it really comes down to. Making some sensible choices and not finding it necessary to order 15 bottles of wine and neck them between 5 of you.
The further you go into the rabbit hole of lifestyle and behavioural change you’ll actually surprise yourself because the things that always caused you to derail your progress of the past no longer interests you as much.
And this really is the most beautiful part of flexible dieting. You KNOW you can eat ‘naughty’ foods, but you actually choose NOT to because you remember how awesome a nutritious diet makes you feel.
Which is the best part of the journey... knowing you can but choose to up your standards for a better more fulfilling life.