If you spend any time with me, read my newsletters or blogs, you will know I firmly believe in a concept called the 85% rule, which is to eat as healthy as possible 85% of the time, leaving 15% of the time to eat (guilt free I might add) things like pizza, cookies, and yes, even ice cream. Sure this is cheating on your "diet" but what we know is that many people who completely avoid unhealthy foods from their lives end up feeling deprived, will binge, and wind up falling into old eating habits, generally speaking. There is also a theory that an occasional cheat day tricks the body into losing weight more efficiently because it isn't in a complete state of chaos. Still not sold? Let me count the ways me eating ice cream helped me maintain a healthy weight and state of mind.
Two Weeks: This was the first "sugar treat" I had eaten in over two weeks. I wasn't craving sugar nor did I need sugar but I knew that I had eaten very clean for over two weeks and could enjoy a baseball victory guilt free. (Which, by the way, is the best way to eat ice cream!)
I kept it in check: I had the regular sundae vs. the super-sized out of control colossus sundae. It was more than enough to satisfy me. Portions matter and once you have control over food, a little will satisfy! No need for JUMBO size!
I was hungry: If I wasn't, I wouldn't have eaten the sundae. I listened to what my stomach told me and I didn't eat out of emotion. (Happy, sad, upset, stressed, etc.) My stomach growled so I fed it.
It tasted amazing: Wait a tick...doesn't ice cream always taste good? Well, yes it does, but trust me when I say that you will savor every last bite when ice cream (or any of your favorite items) becomes an every now and then thing vs. an everyday vice. You will enjoy and appreciate it so much more!
I have the control: I knew what I was doing and did so with a clean conscious, void of any emotional response. The next meal I was back to the 85% rule of clean eating. When you develop that kind of power, (and you already have it, you just don't realize it yet) you will lose weight and keep it off permanently!
Eat clean friends, but also remember to break loose once in a while. It is not only good for your waistline, it's good for the soul!
Stay well my friends!
Jeremy Koerber, MA, ACSM HFS