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The 95 Percent Rule: A Perfect Weight Loss Plan

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Editor's Note: This is part two of two. To read part one, click here.

In my previous article I discussed the issue of perfectionism. I promised to offer you an idea on how to address this problem -- and it is in that spirit that I offer the following suggestion.

If you are a perfectionist, you might want to consider living by what I call the 95% Rule. Since as a perfectionist it is critical for you to incorporate flexibility and tolerance into your program, operate at a 95 percent adherence to your program.

Expecting to be able to maintain 100 percent compliance with your program is as inappropriate as not eating healthy foods at all.

It’s unrealistic and psychologically unhealthy to attempt perfection. The ultimate result of perfectionism is failure. Allowing yourself a slim five percent leeway -- for those inevitable occasions when everyone misses a beat or two -- will provide you with the breathing space you need.

One method, which can be used to provide you with controlled breathing space, is called the "freedom hour." Set one hour aside every couple of weeks or once a month when it is "legal" to eat anything you want... in moderation that is.

I suggest you set this time in advance. You don’t have to use this freedom hour if you don’t choose to. The purpose of this hour, however, is to take the pressure off and defuse the feeling that you can never eat anything that you truly like again.

This also has the effect of assisting you to focus less on eating because with the freedom hour, favorite foods are not always forbidden fruit.

This "free eating" notion comes from the eating disorders clinic at Harvard's McLean Hospital. The researchers report that using an "anti-diet" plan like this with patients led to an 80 percent decrease in binge eating.

The theory is that if you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want on occasion, you won't want that “forbidden” food as much.

Another advantage of the freedom hour: It allows you to “slip” on occasion while still adhering to your overall program of healthy eating. If you abide by the 95% Rule you will occasionally be able to eat those things you like, maintain “perfect” compliance and control your weight.

Sounds like the perfect solution... doesn't it?

Dr. John Sklare, director of the eDiets Emotional Support Center, shares his expertise on "emotional eating" with the eDiets community. Dr. Sklare is also the author of the eDiets Audio Companion Program -- the powerful and innovative new offline support program for your online eDiets program. With the current emphasis on Mind/Body medicine and natural healing, Dr. Sklare stands firmly on the leading edge!

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