I don’t eat perfectly according to nutritional rights and wrongs, but I eat perfectly for me. I have my own set of rules and I call them my Personal Nutritional Boundaries (PNBs for short.)
PNBs are my individual set of rules that I apply to my diet to help sustain healthier eating long term. They include certain protein bars or cookies, chocolate, salad dressing, etc. Everyone’s is different because they are in place to help the sustainability of improved health and fat loss.
Yes, I do promote natural, whole foods and those make the bulk of my diet. I would say most weeks 95% but it ranges from 80% and up. I’m perfectly okay with that. I do allow myself certain “treats” to buffer any deprivation and binge cycle. This is why I always tell my clients that I will NEVER say there is anything they cannot eat.
Foodies ( like moi) who lives to eat certain foods cannot be told they will never be able to eat them again. It just doesn’t work that way homie. That immediately flips the binge switch and thoughts of “I have to down as many Oreo’s as possible because I will never eat any after this”.
Then next week we are faced with yet another pack of Oreo’s filled with sweet creamy guilt and failure and because we are such horrible people for loving Oreo’s and we say we will never eat them again … after this pack (Hilariously Pathetic I tell ya)
It doesn’t work for me. I’m not an extreme person, that’s just not in me. My willpower is not that strong or long lasting. If yours is… that’s amazing but I don’t know the feeling lol.
But Cari… the chemicals and the sweeteners they put into those things and it’s not as good as the real thing… yada yada yada…
Yes, I’m well aware of what they’re made of. For example, I do my best to avoid anything horrible such as aspartame and high amounts of sugar and go for items that use Stevia instead. I probably eat between 1-3 protein bars a week and small amounts of food that aren’t on a healthy list at all everyday. (e.g. A bite of chocolate every day)
You see, I (and many of us) have failed over and over again to be a perfect human who eats clean and trains mean day in and day out for a long run. Every time we fail we bash ourselves for being….human…hmmm… that makes zero sense.
I’ve accepted that fact that I’m not perfect because I do want to live a little when it comes to food, so instead of guilting over little treats that do not halt my long term progress, I allow myself the pleasure and enjoy them.
Voila! Eating healthy just became that much more pleasurable since you’ve removed the guilt and “sin” that it involved.
PNBs are a set of nutritional values that I have found peace with. It’s a give and take so that I can win the long game. If for some reason eating some pie every morning is what keeps you from going on a 4 day binge craze, then 3 bites of pie a day are going to help you in the long run and that’s a PNB you can keep in your books. If adding a little salt every meal stops you from downing a bag of salt & vinegar chips late night, that’s an acceptable PNB.
PNBs allow you buffer foods that take the edge off and keep your process enjoyable. These are very personal boundaries though and you have to find what works for you.
With a solid set of PNBs in place, you don’t have to have “cheat meals” anymore and instead find a nice level of moderation in your day to day nutrition. However, do make sure that the boundaries you have in place still allow you progress. Without progress, they don’t work and you have to adjust and try again.
I repeat: PNBs allow progress.
Okay, think about it. What can’t you live without in your life? What do you binge on? What amount daily will still let you attain progress in your goals? Work around that and you’ll figure out your set of PNBs.
Comment below or tag us on social media and #myPNBs
Author: Cari Li
The Co-Founder of The Good Curves and Owner of CoachCariLi.com, an online Lifestyle Coaching company focused in women’s fat loss solutions. She has a huge passion for enabling women to find ways to live their happiest and healthiest life through simple lifestyle changes. Her love for travel has allowed her to gain a special perspective on life that she enjoys sharing with the many women she meets along the way as she strives to improve the lives of women everywhere. Follow her: