Why being a perfectionist can be bad when it comes to your diet
lady holding knife and fork

There is nothing wrong with having high expectations for yourself, or holding yourself to high standards. Many of the high achievers in life wouldn’t achieve what they do without being driven and setting the bench mark high.

But when it comes to healthy eating, this may be more of a hindrance rather than being a help. The problem that can happen is when failing to reach healthy eating expectations can lead people to self-criticism and negativity towards themselves. Instead of near enough being good enough, perfectionists can demand much more from themselves, and anything less than this is seen as failure which often leads people off the rails completely. I have seen this happen many times.

I, more than many people, can understand this thinking because I have a tendency towards perfectionist thinking. I have had to learn to accept that when it comes to healthy eating, near enough IS good enough, and having a mediocre week is much, much better than having a terrible week.

It seems strange to say that learning to live with mediocrity will lead to better results over time, than demanding high standards all the time. Making great food choices week in, week out is not sustainable for normal people living normal lives and who have normal stresses from all areas of life. Sometimes making the best choice you can, even though it may not be the perfect one, is perfectly ok. Falling short of perfect dietary standards doesn’t mean you are failing, it just means you are normal.
For many people simply turning “bad” weeks into “ok” weeks is progress!

-David Finnin