Strict, nutrient dense eating is unrealistic for people to strive for 100% of the time. It makes for a boring diet and can set you up for failure if followed to a “T”. It’s natural to want to include “fun“, nutrient-lacking foods to your day. Restricting yourself to nutrient dense foods ALL the time is impractical and, in my opinion, futile.
Enter the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time, choose whole, real and nutrient dense foods. The other 20% is left for the foods you really like the taste of, but may not provide a lot of nutrition. There is nothing wrong with including these types of foods in your day.
Nutrient dense foods provide you your macro and micronutrients and include foods such as grilled chicken, greek yogurt, avocado, brown rice, nuts, oatmeal, milk, fruit, eggs, quinoa, fish, or potatoes. The majority of your day should be comprised of these foods.
Your other choices would include your favorite foods so that you do not feel deprived. These foods may have extra sugar or fat added in like cookies, ice cream, chips, cereal, chocolate, ribs, dried fruit, fried food, or candy.
Over-restrictive diets lead to burn out and eventually binging on the foods you love but won’t allow yourself to have. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to eat ALL foods. Find peace with food and it will lose it’s power and control.