Once again in an attempt to prove why we can’t have nice things, one of the other pieces of the article I quoted in my last post talked about how dark chocolate may not necessarily be all that great for you either. I am well known among my friends, family, co-workers, and fitness community for saying “I eat very healthy, but you’ll have to pry the chocolate out of my cold, dead, rotting fingers.”
And I am totally serious. 😀
Granted, on one hand, one must not overdose on anything–especially anything that’s sugary and calorically dense. But on the other, I can’t help but feel that there’s a great deal of scaremongering as click-bait to take advantage of people who are already neurotic about food. Every couple of days I get emails titled things like, “Why exercising makes you fat”, “Why drinking water makes you fat”, “Why cardio makes you fat”, and am expecting the next one to be titled, “Why merely breathing dooms you to be fat, you fatty fat fat person”.
Chill. The. Hell. Out.
There’s this unnecessary struggle in a culture that wants it both ways. We can’t be sedentary and consume twice as many calories as needed and expect to be healthy. At the same time, we can’t obsess over every crumb we put into our mouths until we develop an eating disorder. The phrase “clean eating” is constantly thrown around, but it’s become a nebulous term without a clear definition. People are told “Avoid processed food”, but technically nearly everything is processed to a certain extent, so that’s meaningless too. “Avoid chemicals”, some say, but once again, technically EVERYTHING is a chemical and is composed of chemicals so this is once again meaningless. “Appeal to nature” is a logical fallacy which is oft used by the health and fitness “experts” to scare you into buying their product, book, what-have-you. Don’t buy into it. Don’t try a fad diet or think that you have to eat in an unnatural, highly restricted, and limited way in order to be healthy. Use common sense and good judgment.
People fail at “diets” because they see them as the following:
“Clean eating” is about eating reasonably healthy 80-90% of the time and enjoying yourself the rest of the time. It’s about making changes in your habits you can feel comfortable and content maintaining for the rest of your life. People need to develop a healthy relationship with food and learn how to enjoy it in moderation without either feeling deprived or starved. Food is fuel, but it can be tasty fuel.
This is one of the many reasons why I tell people over and over again: any diet which vilifies any of the macronutrients: fats, carbs, or protein, avoid like the plague. All are required in your diet in varying amounts in order to have a balanced meal plan. So when you hear “Carbs are evil”, “fat makes you fat”, run, just run. Neither “advice” will help you to be healthy and will actually harm you in the long term.
And enjoy your chocolate (in moderation). 😛
Side note: one of the sanest reads I’ve found in a while on the subject is called The Lean Muscle Diet: A Customized Nutrition and Workout Plan–Eat the Foods You Love to Build the Body You Want and Keep It for Life! A lengthy title but a worthwhile read. Regardless of whether or not you are vegan or paleo (and the book discusses both), it’s invaluable. It discusses in depth how to eat for fitness in a sensible way that you can maintain indefinitely.
Looking for more support for your health and nutrition? Create a free account and contact me.
From Monday to Friday, we have a routine due to our busy work lives and often it’s easiest to stay on track with our nutrition and exercise during that time. On weekends, it’s entirely too easy to slip up, binge on unhealthy foods at parties and gatherings, and throw out the rule book entirely.
You don’t have to deprive yourself, but you don’t have to kill your fitness goals entirely every weekend, either. Stay on track by remembering to drink plenty of water, eat lots of veggies, fruit, and whole grains, and when presented with options that are less than healthy either passing them up for healthy food instead, swapping them out with a healthier version, or picking one thing to eat in moderation and leave the rest.
I’m a firm believer in the 80-20 rule: eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time allow for reasonable indulgences. Same holds true for weekend. Don’t do 80% unhealthy or worse yet, 100%! Remember your “whys” and your motivation for living a healthier life.
And then, have an ice cream sundae on occasion. 🙂
There are THREE challenge pack specials for the month of July, and they end in a week! All of them come with a month’s supply of Shakeology in your choice of flavor, and bag vs packets.
I have fitness challenges going for both PiYo and 3 Day Refresh, so a purchase of either will get you into my challenge group! Come join others like you on the road to Team Happy and Healthy!
More information about PiYo here!
More information about 3 Day Refresh here!
How do I lose weight?
Why is my scale stuck?
Diets mean starving, I don’t want to diet!
The only way to lose weight is to go hungry.
If I eat more than 1,000 calories, I gain weight!
I’ve heard all of these in some combination or another, but did you know that undereating can cause you to hold onto fat as much as overeating can cause you to gain weight?
Ideally for fat and weight loss, you want to be in a calorie deficit. That is, you want to burn more calories than you’re eating. This is a precious balance, because we don’t want to eat too many and we don’t want to eat too few. Any deficit of 1,000 or more every day sustained over time can actually cause your body to go into starvation mode and kill your metabolism. And we don’t want to kill your metabolism!
What you want to do is this: move more and eat less junk. By junk, I mean overly processed foods, foods which are high in sodium, foods which are fried, foods which contain refined sugar, etc.
The best way to get in gear is to increase your level of physical activity and do food swaps:
- Bag of chips? Try celery and hummus instead.
- French fries? Slice and bake a potato. Doesn’t have to be a sweet potato; all potatoes are good so long as they’re not fried in a ton of oil and/or butter.
- Cheese and dairy freak? Cut back and/or make substitutions. Also, non-dairy cheese isn’t necessarily healthier. I know of someone who had a nearly impossible gut to lose until he started eating significantly less dairy products and began to eat leaner versions of the high protein sources he normally ate. Tony Horton rants about this too, and he is right!
- Swap hummus for cheese, avocado for mayo.
- Decrease all sources of refined sugars and/or eliminate them entirely: white pasta, white breads, white rice, baked goods, etc. Stick with whole grains and in moderation.
- Increase the amount of veggies you eat, especially fresh ones.
- If you are a meat-eater, replace about 25-50% of the meat you eat with vegetable sources of protein. They are not only leaner and lacking in cholesterol, but unlike animal products they contain fiber and will fill you up faster.
- Go easy on oils, nuts, and seeds. They are very healthy in moderation; however they are calorically dense and can add up fast!
- Drink more water. If you like tea, drink more eat–especially green tea.
- Consider drinking coffee black if you’re used to having it with some form of milk and sugar. If you have a lot of it, that too can add up–it is not calorie free.
As a general rule you want to save your calories for that which is higher in nutritional density. Much of the problem with junk food is that it’s high in calories but low in nutrition. Eat smarter and you won’t have to starve in order lose weight, move more and you don’t have to worry as much about eating less as much as eating right. Problem solved!
Need more tips? Looking for accountability and motivation with your fitness goals? Help is a click away!
I am currently running three fitness challenges, two of which contain programs which are on sale until the end of July:
#1: PiYo challenge (on sale until end of July!)
#2: 3 Day Refresh challenge (on sale until end of July!)
Which one is best for you will depend on your individual fitness goals. The PiYo challenge is 60 days, the 3 Day Refresh is 3 days (really? ha), and the clean eating challenge lasts a month. You may want to give the 3 Day Refresh a go first then try the clean eating, or be in both PiYo and the clean eating…any combination you like, it’s up to you!
Interested? Here’s the step by step process:
- Contact me! I’m available via email or Facebook.
- Get one of the programs from me! The links to do so are above for each challenge. You can also contact me and get the links directly.
- Add me to your Facebook.
It’s that simple! Once I have you as a Facebook friend, I can add you to my small, private challenge group with others like you to help with motivation and accountability.