When does a biscuit matter and when can a biscuit be forgotten about? That is the question. Seriously though, we have all been given the old speech ‘’one won’t hurt’’ as you sit around the family table trying to make a conscious effort to keep your plate a nutritious temple rather than one swarmed with blubber builders. If your diet is built upon single ingredient foods in the right portions and timings, eating one cookie with your cup of tea is going to render all your efforts immediately redundant. That’s where the good news ends to a point. How many of you enjoy one biscuit with your cup of tea? Me, at least 5. Over the course of a week I would only need a couple of lapses for this to become a problem. The bigger issue is that I am far from unique on this front; most people are susceptible to the same level of indulgence.
There are times where a planned reward meal can work in your favour rather than against you, think post-leg workout and a pizza followed by some cookies. It is far from perfect but it could serve a purpose here. When I scan the diets of people who eat well yet struggle to make progress I often find it is the smaller details which make the bigger differences. For example, said reward meal above is a more ‘’focal’’ point in your week – its accounted for. In contrast, those 3 mini-biscuit marathons with your 11s last week weren’t yet they have made a significant difference to the calories you consumed and more importantly the type of calories you consumed above and beyond your usual intake.
This is why I often cringe when people attach the ‘’a bit of everything is ok’’ label to such habits, their wrong. Making small, seemingly insignificant detours from your plan on a relatively frequent basis will absolutely impact your progress. In many cases it will steel your thunder and leave you without any reward for your efforts.
To wrap this up I encourage you to be accountable for your actions to someone, a coach ideally. Those planned reward meals can work in your favour if they are strategically utilised, having a handful of slip ups each week (beyond your ration of one measly biscuit) are of no use and will often scupper the work you put it. Keep it simple, work with the plan and avoid the temptation to constantly afford yourself the freedom to fall off track in a ‘’small’’ way. You could say to cheat big in a planned capacity is better than small in a non-planned frenzy. By the way, biscuits aren’t to blame here, any indulgence on this level will detract from your progress.