Keto, intermittent fasting, Whole30 . . . people are in constant search for the next weight-loss solution. We're willing to go to such great lengths to achieve our desired physique, whether it means eliminating this or reducing that — but at what point are we sacrificing personal happiness? While I'm all for promoting a healthy diet, I do not believe in deprivation of any kind, especially if it calls for cutting out carbs. And I don't know about you, but I consider pizza and pasta to be synonymous with happiness, which is why I pitched an editor experiment that encourages a better relationship with food. I offered to eat pizza or pasta every single day for one week (I know, I'm so selfless) — here's how it went down.
Each day of my "diet" required eating pasta or pizza either for lunch or dinner. And guess what? By the very end of the week, I looked and felt exactly the same as I did before I started. Cue the gasps. But here are three things I did notice:
- It made me want to work out more. Admittedly, eating pizza and pasta every day did make me feel a little guilty. But as a result, it motivated me to the hit the gym more times that week than usual.
- My workouts were better. On top of having more motivation, I also felt like I had more energy, which really helped me maximize my workouts. I even beat my personal best on the treadmill.
- My cravings decreased. I didn't find myself looking for snacks throughout the day because I got my fix at lunch or dinner.
Now, I didn't pitch this idea in search of any sort of body transformation. What had inspired it, aside from the obvious, was because I know how easy it is to get caught up in calorie counting, macro tracking, or whatever else method is out there. As a fitness editor, I see which topics resonate most with our readers, which are often weight loss and diets. We're always looking for the next best thing that can guarantee results, and I get it. But what many don't realize is that eating a salad-only diet doesn't automatically make you healthy; nor does allowing yourself to indulge make you any less. Like with anything, moderation is key. As long as you exercise regularly and eat clean the rest of the time, you'll be fine.
We need to stop demonizing certain foods and instead, learn to adopt a lifestyle that balances what we love and what we need. Like I've said before, treat yourself because you want it, not because you "deserve" it. Punishing yourself for falling weak to another cheat meal is not a healthy practice. Rather than cutting out foods you're not supposed to eat, enjoy them and then pile on the veggies if you really want to make up for it. Am I going to continue eating carbs unapologetically? Absolutely. Life's too short, so have your pizza and pasta and eat it, too.