Yo-yo dieting is indeed a big issue when it comes to nutrition, a lot of people end up there, and it’s usually why they never really get to where they’re going. The classic Instagram picture of a circular cycle in where someone starts working out, then they lose 5 or 10lbs, receive some compliments from friends about it, feel great about it so thy decide to treat themselves, that treat turns into an entire binge, and then they’re right back to where they started.
“Treat days” or whatever you’d like to call it can hold their place in any diet, whether it’s a re-feed of more carbohydrates in a given 24 hour period, or just simply a little snack or treat to keep your mental sanity above water. But the biggest problem people will run into is giving themselves too many treat or cheat days, and then continuing to justify to themselves that, “Oh it’s my cheat day” when in actuality they haven’t eaten good food in a few days. It’s a vicious cycle and can tear a lot of progress down in a hurry whether it be physical – or mental.
There is no one size fits all for dieting, as there will not be a one size fits all for this question either. Below here is a list of things that you can try that may help with those times when all you want to do is polish off an entire jar of peanut butter, or head to BK and order 3 Whoppers. Hope this helps!
– Add healthy fats in each meal
– Eat a balanced diet of Macros (make sure to hit your protein as it keeps you full longer too!)
– Organize and prepare healthy snacks (don’t buy/have bad foods in your house or they’ll get eaten)
– Figure out your trigger foods (usually high in sugar, processed, fat, salty foods)
– Try not to have your trigger foods in your house. This can be a hard one as usually they’re tempting to buy at the store, and you tell yourself you’ll eat handfuls here and there and not binge this time. Once you start eating it once again you won’t be able to stop and eat the whole bag. It’s just best to not have it in your house. When it’s out of site it’s out of mind you won’t actually crave it.
– Try not to restrict yourself too much with your macros, still incorporate a meal out with friends, or a treat here and there so that you mentally don’t feel like you’re on a strict diet.
– Try to stop mid-binge if it happens. Stop at 5 cookies instead of the whole pack… stop at 4 tbsp of PB instead of half the jar… If you are mid-binge and realize you need to stop but can’t just toss it all in the garbage at that point!
– Eat BEFORE going to occasions or potlucks. Doesn’t have to be a huge meal before, but something to keep you fuller and not wanting to eat everything and anything!
– Identify the difference between indulging/treating yourself and binging. It is okay to treat yourself here and there, but not okay to full out eat everything in sight.
– Find healthier alternatives to your cravings- protein treats such as baking, waffles/pancakes, rice cakes, fruit, healthier chips/popcorn, sugar free treats
– Save macros for night/bed time to eat a good high protein meal in order to go to bed feeling full and satisfied
– Eat tons of veggies/a huge salad! Tons of volume for food without taking up too many calories
– Pickles save me when I’m craving something sweet or salty
– Adding spice/hot sauce into my foods makes me crave sweets less
– If you binge- do not overwork yourself in the gym and restrict calories the next day. This is what causes the negative yo-yo cycle of binging