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How Strict Do Your Healthy Eating Habits Really Need to Be?
By: Sami Smith

 
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How Strict Do Your Healthy Eating Habits Really Need to Be?

How strict do your nutrition eating habits really need to be? Is there room to have sweets sometimes?

Well it’s up to you. What are your goals? How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to lose it by? Are you looking for a quick fix? Or long term healthy living? Are you looking to prevent future health problems? Do you want more energy? Do you want to feel good? Do you want to love yourself?

We have had a lot of people ask “what do I do when I’m really craving something sweet?” And not just “fruit” sweet, but cheesecake or ice-cream sweet!



I say balance is key and all things in moderation. So what does moderation mean?

I have a math mind so let me break down the numbers for you.

If you were to eat healthy for 4 out of 7 days per week your percent outcome is 57%. Which, in the grade world, is an “F”

Here’s a table visual:

Total healthy eating days per week

Percent

Grade

1/7

14%

F

2/7

28%

F

3/7

42%

F

4/7

57%

F

5/7

71%

C

6/7

85%

B

7/7

100%

A

 

So now you’re probably thinking “I have to be perfect in order to get an A?” No! Not necessarily.

 Let’s break it down a little smaller. Change the number of days to the number of meals/snacks you eat per day. I typically eat 6 times a day (3 meals and 3 snacks). 6 meals x 7 days = 42 meals/week

 

Total healthy meals/snacks

per week

Percent

Grade

35/42

83%

B

36/42

85%

B

37/42

88%

B+

38/42

90%

A

39/42

93%

A

40/42

95%

A

41/42

98%

A+

 

This table shows if you always eat unhealthy on the weekends (2-3 days) or have 1 full unhealthy “cheat” day each week then you will be sitting at 71-85% with a “C” or “B”. You may or may not lose weight in the “C” area; it's very minimal and takes much more time; it’s more of a maintenance stage. In the “B” area you will start to lose more but it doesn’t compare to the 90%  range.

Moderation in my eyes is 87%-94%. It’s very hard to always be at 99-100%. You don’t have to be there to reach your goals.

The 99-100% range(for many months at a time) is for those who are in bikini competition shows. It’s not fun to be in that stage. Those competitors do not eat that strict all year round because its not sustainable; they only eat that strict during the time that is leading up to the competition. But they still stay in the 87-94% average range year around.

You can still get to your goal in a fun and sustainable way without depriving yourself of some sweets or unhealthy foods.


So it’s up to you! What area are you shooting for? Remember that no one is perfect ALL of the time. But it is doable sometimes to have 100% days or weeks. We all need a little leeway and enjoy a treat here and there. We can’t think of food as forbidden but rather smaller portions and within moderation. You can choose 1-4 unhealthy meals/snacks in one day or you can spread them out through the week. Whatever works best for you.  

If you look at the numbers spread over a year of time here’s what it will look like:

Total healthy days out of year

Total

unhealthy days

Percent

Grade

313/365

52

85%

B

320/365

45

87%

B

327/365

38

89.5%

B

334/365

31

91%

A

341/365

24

93%

A

348/365

17

95%

A

355/365

10

97%

A

 

Now when you look at it in this view you get one WHOLE month(31days) out of 12 of unhealthy meals/snacks to stay in the 91% range. Eating healthy the majority of the time doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?? Wow!

Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats! When you understand the "why" behind unhealthy food then you are less likely to be tempted by it, rather than just being told it's "bad" or that you "can't" eat it.

Head over to Marci Barker Fitness and start the Healthy Eating Challenge today! We will teach you how to eat healthy in a FUN and SUSTAINABLE way. This is not a strict diet or quick fix. IT’S A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE! 



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