One of the first things I tell people when they start their weight loss journey (or any health-related journey) is to focus on NOT over-restricting. Oftentimes, when people get into the swing of a new workout and lifestyle regimen, the next step seemingly feels like it has to be restricting what you’re eating.
This is not how it has to be.
I’ve personally gone through a stage of my life where I felt like in order to be ripped and lean, I needed to restrict my food. I was miserable; I was hungry all the time, I had very low energy, and I was irritable. My goal at the time was to feel good in my body, but also perform in the gym and in the sport of CrossFit. I needed to increase the amount of food I was eating in order to generally feel good throughout the day. Once I did, it was a game-changer. I was able to eat foods I loved while still looking good and feeling good.
At the end of the day, if you are trying to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. This deficit should not be a HUGE decrease in the number of calories you are usually eating; that’s not sustainable. If you restrict your eating drastically throughout the week, it’s going to be nearly impossible for some type of binge eating to occur. You’ll go out to dinner on the weekend and find yourself salivating at every item on the menu – and you’ll probably order every item on the menu, too!
In my daily eating habits, I build in food that I love to eat EVERY DAY. That way, when the next party rolls around, or the next dinner comes about, I don’t feel the need to have a huge “cheat day” and then feel crappy afterward.
Whether your goal is to look good and perform well in the gym, or if your goal is simply to lose weight, you have to allow yourself time to enjoy the foods you love. Restriction is never the answer; balance is.