A Guide to Flexible Dieting
See if this sounds familiar: you’ve just started a new diet, certain that it’s going to be different this time around and that it’s going to work. You’re cranking along, adjust to the new eating (and exercise) patterns and everything is going just fine. For a while.Then the problem hits. Maybe it’s something small, a slight deviation or dalliance. There’s a bag of cookies and you have one or you’re at the mini mart and just can’t resist a little something that’s not on your diet. Or maybe it’s something a little bit bigger, a party or special event comes up and you know you won’t be able to stick with your diet. Or, at the very extreme, maybe a vacation comes up, a few days out of town or even something longer, a week or two. What do you do?Now, if you’re in the majority, here’s what happens: You eat the cookie and figure that you’ve blown your diet and might as well eat the entire bag. Clearly you were weak willed and pathetic for having that cookie, the guilt sets in and you might as well just start eating and eating and eating.Or since the special event is going to blow your diet, you might as well eat as much as you can and give up, right? The diet is obviously blown by that single event so might as well chuck it all in the garbage. Vacations can be the ultimate horror, it’s not as if you’re going to go somewhere special for 3 days (or longer) and stay on your diet, right? Might as well throw it all out now and just eat like you want, gain back all the weight and then some.What if I told you that none of the above had to happen? What if I told you that expecting to be perfect on your diet was absolutely setting you up for failure, that being more flexible about your eating habits would make them work better? What if I told you that studies have shown that people who are flexible dieters (as opposed to rigid dieters) tend to weigh less, show better adherence to their diet in the long run and have less binge eating episodes?What if I told you that deliberately fitting in ‘free’ (or cheat or reward) meals into your diet every week would make it work better in the long run, that deliberately overeating for 5-24 hours can sometimes be a necessary part of a diet (especially for active individuals), that taking 1-2 weeks off of your diet to eat normally may actually make it easier to stick with in the long run in addition to making it work better.I can actually predict that your response is one of the following. Some may think I’m making the same set of empty promises that every other book out there makes. But I have the data and real-world experience to back up my claims. Or, maybe the idea of making your diet less strict and miserable is something you actively resist. I’ve run into this with many dieters; they seem to equate suffering and misery with success and would rather doom themselves to failure by following the same pattern that they’ve always followed rather than consider an alternate approach. Finally, maybe what little I wrote above makes intuitive sense to you and you want to find out more.Regardless of your reaction to what I’ve written, I already have your money so you might as well read on.I should probably warn you that this isn’t a typical diet book. You won’t find a lot of rah-rah or motivational types of writing, there are no food lists and no recipes. There are thousands of other books out there which fit that bill if that’s what you want but this isn’t it.