The “All or Nothing” mentality can be useful in life. It can make you work harder or push you into taking risks that could lead to success. However, applying that same mentality to your diet or fitness regimen can be detrimental.

How does this attitude affect your diet, you say? Let’s say you’ve been very good at maintaining your diet the past two week but when you were out having lunch with your best friend, you couldn’t resist ordering a large dish of pasta. Since you already ruined your diet, you decided to continue your binge and just start over again the next day. Essentially, you’re thinking that if you can’t do something perfectly, you won’t do it at all.

This is a vicious cycle that affects a lot of people who go on a diet. They follow a strict food regimen that sees them depriving themselves but when they break their diet (and they will at some point), they’ll overindulge. Afterwards, they’ll go back to their restrictive diet. They might even become stricter to compensate for their little slip.

It’s not easy getting out of this all or nothing mindset though but it can be done. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Exercise Self-Control

This is the toughest and most important step to master. Let’s say you want to eat a large slice of pie. While it’s not a good idea, eating one doesn’t mean you have to give up on the progress you’ve made or punish yourself by limiting your food intake for the next couple of days. A better move would be to just have a small slice and then continue with your diet for the rest of the day. Think of that little slice as you indulging in your desire for something sweet while saying no to excess. It’s all about self-control and balancing your needs.

Eat Tasty Food

Most of the time, people are tempted to break their diet because they’re sick of eating endless lettuce, broccoli, or egg whites. Healthy food shouldn’t mean eating tasteless, boring dishes. Don’t deprive yourself. There are so many dishes out there that are tasty, nutritious, and healthy.

Experiment with your favorite recipes. Tweak them to make them healthier. Substitute ingredients or change how they’re cooked. The goal here is to come up with a way of eating that’s healthy but satisfying to your taste buds. It could mean using real butter in some dishes or having dessert twice a week.

Be Happy With Your Accomplishments

Let’s say you skipped the gym for one day or you weren’t able to run 5 kilometers this week. Does that mean the whole week was a failure? Of course not! Remember that doing something still beats doing nothing.

Don’t drown yourself in guilt, and do not push yourself beyond your limits to make up for your perceived loss. Acknowledge that you were still able to accomplish something and just strive to do better. Never forget that everything matters. Even small gestures matter, like a little meditation during your lunch break or sleeping earlier. They all add up to a better and healthier you!

Drop the Diet

If you ever take one thing away from this article, let it be this – drop the diet. Thinking that you’re on a “diet” automatically labels certain food as good or bad in your mind. This could lead you to limit yourself to certain dishes or ingredients.

Think of what you’re doing as cleaning up your eating instead. This means focusing more on whole foods, vegetables, and fruits and limiting your intake of sugar and processed carbs. Eat bread or indulge in a cheesecake by all means, but just do it occasionally.

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