We have all heard it before “I will NEVER eat bad foods again” well I have news for you, NEVER is a very long time. And what happens if you get into a situation where you’re at a social event or party? Eating in moderation half a dessert or a small glass of wine won’t ruin your fitness efforts. In fact it may be good for mental health and balance in your life.
As an athlete I have been guilty of the absolute extreme in dieting and training. I went a whole year without eating any fruit. I have gone up to six months without a morsel of any processed foods, but in the long term, I always come back to the conclusion that moderation (instead of restriction) is the answer.
If you eat something unhealthy you have not “stuffed up” – it is this negative thinking that will do you the most harm. On the other hand if you are eating large quantities of bad foods on a regular basis then this will railroad your progress.
It is true that we just need to get back to basics with our food. You need to understand what you are eating (read ingredients carefully), clean out harmful foods from your cupboards and put in as much nutrient dense food as possible daily.
I think 70% cocoa chocolate in fine as long as it is a small serve. I actually enjoy baking and encourage my clients to bake my delicious recipes, as long as you don’t eat the whole cake and add fresh veggies wherever possible. For example, zucchini and cauliflower work really well in a cake recipe!
One example of alternative sweeteners is Rapadura sugar which is unprocessed sugar. I also like Agave syrup or stevia.
So in a nut shell what the books that demonize sugar are saying is partially true but I think it is unrealistic to NEVER bake if you enjoy it – you would just use the good grains and find healthy recipes.
In regards to lollies, processed cakes and biscuits, most are not a good choice because many contain trans fats or non beneficial ingredients. Even if they are gluten free or labelled healthy, don’t be fooled!
In regards to bread I think it is ok but choose a heavy dark rye or wheat free and have in moderation.
Try not to set your self up for failure as ZERO tolerance for anything is hard to live by.