One Free Day Is Better Than Striving To Be Perfect!

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Many people have great intentions and set New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and start eating better. Many will go on a diet to lose weight but we all know that most diets fail. People typically can’t stay on the diet for the long-term so as soon as they go off the diet, they gain the weight back. Statistics show that most people can stick to a diet for about a week before they fail. So instead of fighting the process, try a different approach that will enable you to stay on your nutrition plan for the long-term and experience life-changing results.

Instead of striving for a perfect diet, follow a very strict, healthy, nutrient-dense, low calorie plan 5-6 days per week and then allow for 1-2 ‘Free Days” each week.

The Free days are built into the program so you don’t have to feel guilty about it; in fact they are necessary to assure you don’t feel deprived, can indulge every once in a while and can continue on the plan forever. It’s a lot easier to say no to something today when you know you can say yes to it in a few days. Remember that stats show we can stick to a diet for about a week so don’t fight this. Understand it and set up your program to be successful for the long-term. This type of plan is feasible for most people. You are not telling yourself you are never going to eat pizza or drink wine again, but instead, just limiting how much and when you will indulge. Just make sure you do not start to make deals with yourself regarding your free days. If Saturday is your free day, make sure you stick to Saturday. Avoid indulging on say, Thursday and then promising that on Saturday, you will skip your free day. These types of compromises can lead to more regular slips.

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The 80:20 rule for nutrition focuses on eating well 80 percent of the time and then allowing yourself to indulge the other 20 percent. Eating well 80 percent of the time will definitely get you to your goals and will be a much more enjoyable process. This type of belief system is long-term focused. Any diet that you can’t see yourself following forever will never work. The only kind of nutrition plan that will work is one that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. The only way to do this is to achieve your goals while upsetting your life as little as possible.

Here’s the details:


  • Monday through Friday follow a low-calorie, nutrient-dense nutrient plan 
  • Make vegetables the primary focus of your meals
  • No alcohol
  • No processed foods or added sugar
  • Drink 80-100 ounces of water per day



  • Saturday and Sunday do whatever you want (within reason – still attempt to eat very healthy but just allow yourself to consume some of the foods you enjoy and are craving)



  • If you have more aggressive goals and/or can be more disciplined, limit your free days to just one day. So perhaps, eat healthy Sunday-Friday and then Saturday is your free day



  • As an exercise conditioning specialist, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you to also move your body. Accumulate 200 minutes of activity every week like walking, biking, cycling, swimming, hiking etc and lift heavy things 2x/week.


Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Couve Run 2017Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




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