Food isn’t just physical it’s also psychological and allowing yourself a little of what you crave can prevent a post-diet rebound, says Dr Layne Norton
Dr Layne Norton is a physique coach and natural pro bodybuilder and powerlifter, who holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences. He is based in Tampa, Florida.
I used to be one of those guys that would tell you to only eat certain foods, and always avoid others. But I was living in fantasy land, because people just can’t stick to that approach over time. I now I live in the real world.
What you eat doesn’t just have a physical impact on your body, it also has a psychological impact on your mind.
If you can’t see yourself sticking to the diet you are on now in six or 12 months, then you are going to rebound. The data is overwhelming on this. People don’t have a problem losing weight. They have a problem keeping it off.
I think that’s because when most people diet they do so in a very restrictive way. They say no to ‘bad foods’, and as soon as they finish their diet, all they can think about is eating these ‘banned’ foods they’ve been denying themselves, and likely obsessing about, for the past 12 or 16 weeks. And when they do, they pile the weight back on.
I’m not saying ice-cream is better for you than broccoli. What I’m saying is that having a little bit of ice-cream when you really crave it is fine, especially if it stops you obsessing about it during the diet. It’s the forbidden fruit syndrome in that many of us typically crave the one thing we can’t have.
If you don’t have any restrictions on what you can and can’t eat, then in my experience you are less likely to crave what you’d call ‘bad’ foods, and subsequently less likely to eat them.
If you do indulge in a little treat, just track them as part of your overall macro intake, enjoy it and stop giving yourself a hard time. Your body and brain will thank you for it.
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