Nutrition is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Unfortunately, the media and non-credible sources attempt to tell us otherwise - skewing public knowledge regarding nutrition.
As mentioned previously, fad diets and “cheat” meals carries a negative connotation - the idea that one must deprive and restrict foods in order to be healthy. And when that happens, disordered thoughts and nutritional behaviors can occur.
Just as we care for our relationships with others, we must nurture our relationship with food. Food is our friend!
The idea of restricting or depriving oneself a certain meal/treat can actually harm one's relationship with food and it can even cause one to consume excessive calories while the ongoing craving(s) continue to be dissatisfied.
Instead, nurture your body by making it an experience: color your plate with foods, keep trying new foods and have FUN with eating! And if you’re really longing for that piece of cake, enjoy it and NEVER feel guilty. I always encourage my athletes to follow the 80-20 rule during the off season and the 90-10 rule while in-season - eating a sound performance plate 80% to 90% of the time while treating themselves 10% to 20% of the time. :)
A well balanced life should be one that is both ENJOYABLE and SUSTAINABLE. Even for my athletes, never deprive yourself of living life. Moderation is key. :)
Appreciate food. Appreciate your body. Appreciate yourself.
Jessica G. Anderson, MS, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C