Some people have the idea that to be healthy, you have to be healthy 100% of the time. While it’s a nice idea, the reality is that being healthy all the time maybe isn’t so healthy after all.
3 years ago I competed in my first fitness competition. For months leading up to my competition, I only ate exactly what I was supposed to. No cheats. All 100% healthy portioned meals, lots of fresh veggies and lean meat. Wow, I must have been super healthy then? Far from it.
I may have looked healthy, but I didn’t feel that great, I was tired all the time, I would get headaches a lot, I had IBS symptoms. After I finished my competition, I found it hard to eat only good food. I wanted to eat everything I was missing as I didn’t know when I’d have to stop eating it again. I couldn’t control myself and I couldn’t get back on track. I rapidly put on weight and I couldn’t stop. I became unhealthy and depressed.
It took me quite a while to sort out my diet but now I feel like I am in a happy place. You see, I don’t eat healthy all the time, yet I’ve been losing weight and feeling great! I also have a healthy relationship with food now.
I believe that the key to being healthy is balance. I believe in eating 90% healthy and not feeling guilty or making myself feel down about enjoying 10% unhealthy meals. And sometimes, like when I am sick, I might have more unhealthy foods, but then other times, like when I am super motivated, I may have more healthy foods. This way I can still enjoy those things I love (like brownies) however I only have them in moderation.
I also don’t believe in ever cutting out foods or food groups. There is nothing wrong with eating carbs, there is also nothing wrong with eating fat. There is nothing wrong with eating white potatoes or having some chocolate and depriving yourself of these foods can lead to problems. The key is balance. You know the saying ‘everything in moderation’. Well I believe it is true. If you love to eat certain foods no matter how unhealthy they are you should eat them, just decide for yourself how often to have them.
Food is such a big part of our social lives, most events revolve around food – having birthday cake, family dinners, going out for lunch etc. It’s a way people connect and share and it’s important to enjoy these moments. There is no need to deprive yourself of those things and at the end of the day, you need to live you life and enjoy it too.
So no, don’t believe that you have to eat healthy all the time because really being healthy means sometimes being a little unhealthy.