When people talk about eating healthy and making healthy changes in their lives they tend to think of it as an all or nothing sort of deal. They think that they need to cut out all the chaff and only eat organic fruits and veggies and they need to jog for a mile every day or they’re not going to make any progress and that kind of mentality simply doesn’t work for most people. There are those of us out there who can make that kind of life change, but for the rest of us we need to leave room for a little slippage. Let’s take a look at healthy living that accounts for a little bit of cheating.
Have you ever seen someone who smokes go cold turkey and quit first try? Probably not, unhealthy habits are tough to break because they feel good and they’re easier than the alternative. This goes double for kids because they often don’t have the willpower to give up on something they enjoy like an adult might. That’s why it’s important that when you make healthy changes you do so as a family because having support is important when you’re trying to get healthy.
This is where making unhealthy allowances comes in and it’s such an important part of making healthy choices. How can being unhealthy be an important part of becoming healthy, you ask? It’s simple, really! When you’re making choices that stress you out (giving up on sweets, getting exercise, etc.) you tend to crave the things you normally go to for comfort. Without an iron will there’s a good chance that you’ll give in and cheat anyway and when you already feel like you’re giving up it’s easy to overindulge and fall completely off track. Instead of making yourself feel like there’s no way out but giving up, give yourself the wiggle room to cheat a little bit without going overboard.
For example, instead of completely cutting sugar out of your diet just try to cut most of it out and allot yourself to one sweet a day. Making room for that little “cheat” (and making it count by choosing something that’s your favorite over mindlessly snacking on junk) gives it value and allows you to take that time out and get right back to what’s important and that’s being healthy! Fitness is the same way, sometimes you’re just too tired to go for that jog after work or you’re just having a lazy day. Take a break today or do something less straining or low impact and just keep in mind that you’re getting back to your routine tomorrow. When you know you can bend without breaking you’re much more capable of reaching your fitness goals!