Are you still trying to eat perfectly? 3 reasons it’s not working

If you’re sick of falling short of your perfect nutrition goals and are ready to get consistent once and for all, my #ConsistentNutrition cheat sheet is a gamechanger.

Scrolling through Instagram, we see all these women sharing their week’s worth of healthy meals, displayed with pride on their counters as a symbol of their ability to eat perfectly all week long. We can’t help but be inspired by the hundreds of pictures of meal prep containers full of chicken and broccoli.

Motivated by others’ self discipline, we believe we can eat perfectly, too. Whether it’s prepping meals ahead of time or following a strict meal plan, we’re constantly aiming for perfection when it comes to eating.

And still, with all of our best intentions, we end up letting our prepped food wilt in tupperware, noshing on ice cream after a stressful Thursday at work, or waiting for a massive cheat day on Saturday. 

We feel so frustrated, wondering how we slipped up again, and make grandiose plans for a stricter, more specific, perfect plan for next time.

But I hate to break it to you, lovely, next time isn’t gonna work either.

Multiple times a week, I hear from women all over the world who are so frustrated with themselves for their inability to eat healthily on a consistent basis (here are the 4 main reasons why they’re struggling). They hold themselves to a super high standard in attempts to eat consistently but but constantly fall short, overindulging and subsequently beating themselves up.

And let’s be real. I get it. For years during my recovery, I would follow a super strict meal plan until Friday night. With all my willpower gone, I’d drink a few too many Mike’s HardER Lemonades and have one too many bites of ice cream. By the next morning, I’d be beating myself up incessantly, wondering how it was possible that I slipped up again…just like last week.

I now realize, as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, that my willpower was not the problem; my perfect eating goals were. Although there are hundreds of coaches and trainers recommending their clients eat perfectly, I believe that’s the biggest reason we all still struggle to stay consistent with healthy eating.

Three reasons perfect eating is failing you

Perfect eating is stressful.

Everything gets so much harder when we try to eat perfectly. Our social life goes out the window.

Eating out with friends is too difficult, because we can’t control everything that goes onto our plate. Instead, we feel like we have to prepare all our food ourselves.

Happy hours are off the table, because we can’t fit alcohol and bar snacks into our meal plan. These little indulgences are just too much.

mimosa cups

As we aim for perfect, we narrow in on the minute details of our eating, making every decision a little more difficult. It’s this difficulty that stresses us out to the point of giving up.

Sure, it may not happen immediately, but eventually we stop being able to navigate all of complexity, so we fall off the wagon.

On the other hand, finding a sustainable eating solution eliminates food stress so that we can stay consistent once and for all. My #ConsistentNutrition cheatsheet breaks down 2 of my top strategies to stay consistent, without stressing about it. 

Perfect eating makes us restrict.

For years, I battled with eating perfectionism too. I tried EVERYTHING to eat clean and perfectly. All week long, I’d eat only the foods my trainer wanted me to eat: so many dry chicken breasts, soggy broccoli, and brown rice (I hate rice). I restricted all week long.

And, every Saturday morning, I found myself staring in the mirror, so frustrated that I drank 3 Mike’s HardER Lemonades. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just make myself eat perfectly like everyone I saw on Instagram.

Wine, Protein, Veggies

But here’s the thing. Perfection doesn’t work, because it makes us restrict our eating in the name of being perfect. And that’s why perfectionism is a myth, and is doing all of us a disservice, because our continual restriction and bingeing keeps us from eating well.

Perfect eating makes us feel like failures.

If perfect is actually impossible, aiming for perfect eating means we inevitably fall short, doesn’t it? Even if we’re eating pretty well, we look in the mirror, frustrated that we couldn’t just resist that chocolate in the break room.

These feelings of guilt and failure hold us back and keep us from staying consistent, don’t they? When we feel guilty, we restrict even more. And that restriction? It makes us binge more later.

And let’s be real. Feeling like a failure serves no one.

I know perfectionism is our default, but it doesn’t have to be. There is another way to eat well, see results, and feel better…without all the guilt.

I wanna show you how by implementing super simple strategies to finally get consistent with your nutrition. 

Because consistency is really hard, isn’t it? For years, I went out to dinner or happy hours only to order the lowest calorie option. I’d crave something tasty but knew I *should* order something light, so I ordered grilled chicken with roasted vegetables. I’d feel pretty good about myself…until appetizers came. Sweet potato fries, meatballs, and bread with pesto dipping sauce would fill the table. I’d try resisting…for about five minutes. Eventually, I’d always give in, indulging in fries, meatballs, bread, and lots of wine. Even though I knew what I should do, I couldn’t. I was too bored by my choices to stick with them, so I went overboard and felt super guilty afterwards.

We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt.

But there is.

With lots of experimentation, I found a way to cut to the middle between deprivation and guilt. That’s why I created my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet to help all of us implement the things we know we should do with our nutrition. There are no crazy meal plans or calorie counts, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately and find that middle between restriction and guilt.