You’ll get further at 90% diet accuracy then you will at 100%
When dieting, many dieters strive to be 100% perfect with their diet. While this is ideal, its very rarely sustainable over the long term. You will get further in the long run giving yourself a little leeway and following that diet with 90% accuracy.
So what does 90% accuracy mean? It means going out to eat once per week and substituting a meal for a sensible alternative. It means having one bite of that fudge, missing a meal every so often. It means letting yourself use a little seasoning or a little sauce. Ideally, staying within 10% of your macro goals at all times. It means allowing yourself the ability to stray just a little bit to maintain sanity.
Look at this like the tortoise and the hare. The hare being a 100% dieter and the tortoise being someone who follows the diet, but allows themselves just a little leeway. In the short run, the hare will get further, but ultimately it will run out of steam (in this case, we lose our stamina mentally) and fall back. As this happens the sustainable dieter, the tortoise, walks on by, usually at the 1-2 month mark of starting a new diet. Diets are all about sustainability. You can stay 10% strict and possibly get to the point where you get in excellent shape and take some pictures, but you may be using those pictures for a long time as you won’t look like that for long. Alternatively, if you want to look good all the time, it’s important to maintain your mental health and well-being and allow your diet to integrate into your regular life.
This is short term versus long term. Dieting for a bodybuilding show for 8-10 weeks may require 100%, but dieting for life is different. There are people who maintain 100% accuracy on their diets long term, but these people pay a price in happiness and particularly in their social life.