You stare at a strict meal plan, unsure if you can eat another meal of chicken and broccoli.
A group of friends invite you out for dinner and a round of drinks but you’re not sure you can go AND eat on plan.
You really want to achieve your goals but can’t help but wonder if there’s another way.
If you’ve ever felt this way, I’m with you.
The good news is that there IS another way to change your body.
As a Precision Nutrition coach, I get lots of folks coming to me because what they’re doing simply isn’t working. They’ve tried eliminated alcohol, sugar, all processed foods, and fried foods. Doing everything “right” but why aren’t they losing weight?!
This is when I suggest an alternate approach, a more moderate approach. This approach works for three main reasons.
Moderation supports your willpower
At this point, we know willpower is a finite resource and following a super strict diet plan will zap any willpower you’ve got. Strict diets are inherently going to fail, because you can’t rely on willpower alone to bring you success.
Moderation, on the other hand, is a constant give and take. By including nutritional “gimmes” in your daily food and drink intake, you’re putting a little more gas in the willpower tank.
In other words, enjoying yourself, to an extent, helps you lose fat because you don’t ever fall off the deep end. Instead of white knuckling your way through what you’re “supposed” to do, you’re able to discover a way of eating that is unique to you.
Moderation makes you more consistent
Being a little more moderate in your approach makes you a lot more consistent. When you stop expecting yourself to do things right 100% of the time, it suddenly gets a lot easier.
When you stop trying to workout every day in a week, instead setting a more realistic goal, you’ll prevent burnout and willpower exhaustion.
As you start attaining these little wins–worked out three times this week? stopped eating when you were full?–you gain momentum and excel with consistency.
And let’s be honest, consistency WILL get you the results you’re after.
Moderation reveals your limiting factor
When you aren’t changing absolutely everything in your workouts and eating habits, it becomes a lot easier to identify where you’re struggling.
Maybe consistently hitting the gym isn’t your problem but you’re having a hard time getting in enough veggies. Or maybe you’re down to four meals a day but can’t fit in your protein.
Identifying the limiting factor is what will get you long term results, because you learn how to eat for YOU, your goals, and your preferences.
Understanding that there’s another option is half the battle. You don’t need to restrict yourself like crazy or workout obsessively to see results. This was SUCH good news to me.
If you’re looking to make some changes to your diet and eating habits, be sure to check out my checklist for fat loss eating. It takes helps automate your eating without counting, tracking, or worrying if you ate too much.
These are the exact steps I take when traveling or when I’m eating out a lot. They’ve helped me maintain my weight and progress, even with lots of meals out!
What’s your favorite balanced out meal?