I've been helping a friend of mine to lose weight and so far she's been doing good. I put her on a cross training / turbulence training workout routine, and the results have been amazing. I also recommended her a diet program and told her that every 2 weeks, we would make it progressively more difficult. Now its been about 2 months, and she is finally starting to face some problems with keeping up with the diet plan as we have cut out lots of stuff. She is down to 2 sweet drinks a day, very little carbohydrates and lots of fruits & vegetables as well as lean meat.
She says she has strong urges to just indulge every once in awhile in something sinful, but she is afraid she will blow away all her hard work. So i came up with what i call an indulgence plan. This indulgence plan allows you to indulge in your favourite foods with the hopes of keeping the damage to a minimum. So here is how it works.
Tip# 1 - Only indulge 10% to 20% of the time.
Now it depends on how quickly you want to lose weight and also your own body. Some people can indulge more and get away with it, while others may not. Also, she wants to look her best for this reunion she is going for at the end of May. So i told her to keep it to about 10% of the time. So if you are eating about 35 meals a week (i got her to eat 5 times a day), then 3 of those meals can become your indulgent meals, while the rest have to follow the diet plan. Now the key here is to keep note of how many times you are indulging. Most people keep indulging, but comfort themselves by saying its only today and yesterday. Sure you can do that, but you have to ensure that its only today and yesterday and not for the past 3 years. So giving a measurable % lets you know just how much you are allowed to stray away from your plans.
Tip# 2 - Indulge on the days you are going to work out.
Now if she is going to indulge, it would be best to indulge on days where she is going to workout rather than on days when she is resting. On days of her workout, she is going to be more active and is going to use a lot more calories that day than on her normal rest day. She works out 4 times a week, so i told her to try and keep it on those days when she does work out. If its your rest day, make it a point to do some activity after that like a 30 minute walk or something. This helps to reduce the damage of the indulgence. Now that 30 minute walk would of course be an additional workout to the 4 times a week because it was done during her off day. I told her preferably, if she needs to indulge, try her best to do it before her workout (as close as possible) or right after her workout (within 1 hour of working out). This further reduces the impact the food will have on her.
Tip# 3 - Balance it out
Now if your are going to eat at TGIF or something, then go ahead and enjoy yourself. But you have to balance out your other meals to ensure that you don't totally burst your calorie consumption for the day. For example, if she is eating 2,000 calories a day, and her TGIF meal is 1,000 calories, then she needs to do her best and still keep to the remaining 1,000 calories for that day so it all still adds up to 2,000 calories. So it doesn't mean for that day, you consume your usual 2,000 calories and then 1,000 additional calories because today was TGIF day. Its OK to go above a little like 2,200 calories or so for that day, but where possible, cut back on the other meals and try to balance it out and still stay within your plan.
So there you have it. Some simple tips that will allow you to indulge while reducing the effects on your weight loss program. Now if anyone follows these simple tips, i guarantee you that you will see results while leading a pretty normal life. At the end of the day, its almost impossible for anyone to keep strict to their diet 24/7. I know some people have more discipline than others, but for the rest who have to indulge (like me), then these tips help to reduce the damage to your waistline. Remember, you can't indulge all the time and expect this to work. The only way you can indulge all day everyday and lose weight, is if you worked in a construction site where you have to do hard physical labour 8 hours a day. If you are just going to be sitting around the office and working out 1 hour a day (like most people reading this), then this plan comes in handy for you. So try it out and see. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.