We all know at least one of these people: the people who refuse to eat their favorite foods or go out for dinner with their friends because they are “on a diet”.
Well, that just might be taking healthy eating too far.
If you eat salads every day and find yourself longing for some gooey, cheesy pizza, go for some pizza once in awhile. You’ll feel better if you indulge now and then than you would forcing yourself again and again to eat vegetables you don’t even want anymore.
If going out for dinner means catching up with friends, then you should probably go out with them, even though your meal will probably be less healthy than what you would choose to cook at home.
One unhealthy meal will not “undo” your fitness, just like one healthy one won’t make you a star athlete. I have gone through the ups and downs of dieting and restrictive eating, but I have found my balance. With that balance, I have found greater happiness.
And my balance definitely includes some pizza. Some cookies. Some foods that I would not have let myself eat in the past.
I’ve learned that “being fit”does not mean, and is not worth, giving up your favorite foods. And, most importantly, that you can be healthy and still eat your favorite foods.
I eat lots of healthy food most of the time, but here are the three not-so-healthy foods I couldn’t live without.
- Skyline. I am not from the Ohio area, but I love it. Anything from a 3-way to chili cheese fries will make my taste buds happy as can be.
- Pizza. Though I love making healthier pizzas, I also love to indulge in a nice cheesy pizza. Some of my favorite nights are when my friends get together, order a pizza, and go at it. (Guilt free!)
- Ice cream. Again, I love to run to the grocery store with my friends, go back to one of our houses, and eat ice-cream and have a girls night. Those memories are better than achieving any fitness goals.
So next time you are debating whether or not to go out to dinner with friends or go on that late night ice-cream run… go! A strict diet is not equivalent to a healthy lifestyle. We all need balance, and depriving ourselves of the things we love may make our bodies alone a little healthier, but your real healthiest self involves a healthy body and mind. And a mind that can’t enjoy time with friends and that stresses about dinner is not healthy.
Occasional deviations from healthy foods will not hurt you in any way.
The trick is enjoying your meals, healthy or not. If you regret every bite, then you are missing the point of eating food you love. After you’ve eaten that food, move on. In fact, you’ll be much happier if you don’t deprive yourself from all your favorite foods.
Fitness should enhance your life, not make it miserable.
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