OK – I promise I have not gone crazy. But just before you only read the headline and literally just EAT MORE.. keep reading because while it might seem too good to be true… it’s not.

Rewind back 5 or so years and I had been through just about every training fad that existed, every shred, every challenge, every juice detox.

And at the time I was a manager of Australia’s number 1 group training franchise.

I saw a common trend that was happening to the members, and not only the members but also to myself.

And the so-called ‘explanations’ that I got for this common trend just didn’t sit well for me.

The trend? Losing 5kg, 10kg or more (usually during a challenge or shred) – and then regaining all that weight back and sometimes more.

What. On. Earth?

And the reasoning for this? Well – you just don’t want it bad enough.

Trust me, I wanted it, I wanted it so bad that I restricted my food and trained 10+ times per week for almost 3 years straight.

But even with my dedication – eventually even I couldn’t sustain that.

And that’s about the time that my journey led me further than just the standard PT certifications required by law, and into the realm of science, studies and research.

Don’t worry – no big confusing words here.

Now during this journey is where I learnt about the binge / restrict phenomenon that I am going to share with you.. which basically describes what I had experienced and seen 1000s of clients experience during my time as a gym manager.

Due to human behaviour – when we RESTRICT something… we want it MORE than ever… this isn’t new and this isn’t something that I made up.. This is basic human behaviour.

Now you might think to yourself; MEH – I could restrict no problem..

Well you can. When the craving is small… which is generally the case at the start of a challenge or shred or new diet… especially when motivation is high.

Let me use an example using my favourite choccy biscuits.

I love Tim Tams. Did your mouth just water?

If I were to cut them out completely today, I would be totally fine, but quite soon I would get a Tim Tam craving. But it might be a small 1/10 craving, so I can ignore this craving and continue on with my day.

But sooner or later that 1/10 tim-tam craving creeps up to a 2/10 and then 3/10 and eventually you end up with a 10/10 tim-tam craving and you can’t take it any more and respond with a 10/10 response..

Which is a tim-tam BINGE… Hands up 🙋🏻‍♀️ who’s been there?

At the end of a Tim Tam packet, absolutely horrified that you just ate one packet in one sitting, and looking for anything else in the cupboard because why not you’re already ruined your diet and you might as well just start again Monday.

What if I were to give you an alternative option?

What about instead, if when that 1/10 Tim Tam craving popped it’s head up, we gave it a 1/10 response – and ate just one Tim Tam?

Well I can tell you what happens because I have coached literally thousands of ladies and have consistently seen the exact same outcome.

When you’re not feeling restricted, when you remove the label from foods (so there’s no good foods or bad foods) , when you include both whole foods AND soul foods in your normal way of eating.. All of a sudden you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

You’ll no longer feel restricted, you’ll no longer feel like you need to eat a whole packet of Tim Tams you’ll no longer have food guilt.

Your relationship with food will improve and you will find yourself in an amazing and unusual position.

Which is – a life of inclusion rather than restriction.

Sure, some people could do with more veggies in their life, but if we took a balanced approach and include both those whole foods and also soul foods. We find that fat loss becomes amazingly easy and you literally can have your cake and eat it too!

Now I know I might have left you with more questions than answers (which is normal and that’s why I have a 5-day Fat Loss Forever challenge where I teach all of this in detail over 5 x 1 hour coaching sessions) but here’s a few takeaways that might help too.

  • There’s no good foods or bad foods for fat loss. If you’re lactose intolerant then yes that might not be good ‘for you’ but for me it’s fine. You don’t need to restrict foods or food groups to hit your fat loss goal and this approach is more likely to derail it rather than improve it
  • Even though you might feel like you’re eating super low calories – when we average it out at the end of the year after multiple attempts at restriction followed by binges, you’re probably on average consuming double what you think.
  • Restriction always leads to binging.
  • Carbs and fats play no role in fat loss.. The only macronutrient you need to consider if the goal is either muscle growth or fat loss is PROTEIN.
  • The physique you might look up to on Instagram likely spends more of their year either maintaining or building, and less time ‘dieting’.

Ash Lane is a Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist who is an evidence-based fat-loss coach is known for her “no-diet diet.” Ash has a successful 12-week program that helps members build realistic healthy habits that will help them lose weight in a sustainable way.