As part of a healthy lifestyle, we exercise but also watch what we eat. For some of us, it is easier simply to set rigid boundaries: you can eat all you want of this, but you can’t eat that. So black and white. It works for a while, and then…it’s just a matter of when…we start slipping. Our boundary lines start blurring, blurring just like chocolate sauce dripping down a slice of cake. But I digress. Spending every day worrying about what you can and can’t eat is tough. You feel deprived all the time. You feel bored with food. Meeting your friend – you know the one, the one who can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain a pound – is torture. So is there any way to have your cake and eat it too?
Sadly, no. But I have found one tool to keep me on the wagon. It’s a binge day. Eat clean all week and when Saturday comes, watch out. Eat whatever you want. Pizza, french fries, and, yes, cheesecake. Why a binge day? Well, first, it is a safety valve for the rest of the week. It is easier to eat well all week knowing that any cravings you have can build up and be satisfied no more than 6 days from now. And because you allow yourself one day to cheat, you can forgive yourself and get back on your diet for the rest of the week. Second, a binge day helps boost leptin levels, keep your metabolism high, and avoid your body going into prolonged starvation mode after a week of low calorie eating. Third, when you give yourself the freedom to binge, you actually find that you don’t pig out as much as thought you might.
So try it. Don’t be scared. Just make sure that if you are binging, you are eating the foods you really crave. Don’t waste it on those lousy, stale crackers at the back of your pantry (unless that’s what you love). Go get that deep dish pizza. Eat that fresh baked pie from the corner bakery. You’ll feel surprisingly fine the next day. I actually find that I am always leaner the next day. Always.
AUTHOR: Betsy Seligman
img source: http://www.swoonfood.com/raw-boysenberry-vanilla-bean-cheesecake/