A couple clients of mine recently discovered that jumping in too fast, and eating too "perfectly" can really backfire. I want to share this danger with all of you. Sometimes, some keen clients who begin working with a trainer are all psyched up to deprive, starve and punish themselves. They are very worried when they hear about my balanced approach to eating.
I advise indulging into a small amount of something you love every day (unless that something you love is poutine, of course). 2 small squares of chocolate, a small glass of juice, 1-2 glasses of wineâ¦ as long as this indulgence is around or below 200 calories, it's fair game. Because, the best recipe for success is to be eating very nutritiously and to an 80:20 ratio. Now, depending on what works for you (and I work on this individually with my clients), you may choose to be clean 6 days and week and be a bit looser on the 7th, or you may have predominantly healthy meals with a little dash of indulgence each day. Different strokes work for different folks. What does not work is eating only what you feel you are supposed to, and not ever loving your meals. Food is an enormous part of life - it is to be enjoyed, and it is to nourish and shape the wellbeing of our lives. I was following a person on Instagram, as I follow many people in the health industry for inspiration, and this clean eater's meals were all baked chicken and steamed, frozen broccoli. Good god, let's get serious! There is no thought more repulsive to me than eating baked chicken and frozen vegetables every single day. Sure, it's low in fat, sugar and empty carbs. But we have taste buds on our tongues which pass the food through for a reason! Tons of healthy foods are delicious. There is so much variety and creativity out there with the use of REAL, WHOLE food these days. It just takes a little bit of hunting around (clicks of a mouse, these days) to find them! Five minutes once a week should be enough for you to find some fabulous, nutritious meal ideas.
You need to be healthy in the big picture, in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the big picture is made up of a bunch of small efforts. But you can't have day without night, you can't have shadows without light. You cannot, and WILL not stay motivated, energetic, happy and healthy while eating blah-blah boring, clean meals. Going off track a little bit, once a week or once every two weeks helps to re-inspire you to eat healthy and hit the gym again. It is a natural and normal rhythm in the world of being consistently healthy and fit. Most of my world is fitness and nutrition. It is almost all I ever talk about during the week, I am rarely in a normal garment of clothing that is non-athletic, and I am rarely outside the gym or my car. Do you think I spend all weekend in the gym? Do you think I would last more than ten years in this industry? I plan to be inspired and motivated and loving my career still when I'm fifty. I have a couple decades + to go. The splash of wine and back turned on the gym each weekend keeps me coming back and smiling and believing in everything I do and teach.
Find your balance, but don't you dare think it has to be all or nothing. It will, my darlings, result in discouragement (the biggest danger), and will land your results in the "nothing" bucket.