I feel like more and more, I am hearing of people jump into the next big “health” trend because of the results it promises to deliver. Loose weight, detox your enter body, have more energy, get a six pack, sleep better, etc, etc, etc. I know I don’t have to tell you how many different types of diets there are anymore, and truthfully, it’s not like any of these are new. In fact, most have been around for hundreds of years! Ketogentic, paleo, Whole 30…..yep, no newfound concepts here just a way of eating to help the body function better.
I get asked a lot if I recommend one way of eating over the other and while I do always recommend certain aspects of each, I always stand by my belief that the way you eat HAS TO BE SPECIFIC TO YOUR OWN BODY MAKEUP, GOALS, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOUR LIFESTYLE.
For example, I would never recommend someone who is active and incorporating a consistent schedule of moderate to intense exercise to follow a static keto diet unless they were doing it for healing purposes. Carbs have a place in most people’s lives if we are incorporating them correctly and choosing the right types and amounts. And on the contrary, I would never recommend someone to take a gander at Whole 30 just to loose a few pounds. Too often, people are looking for an end-all, be-all way of eating that will put them in a constant state of change. But here’s the thing….our bodies aren’t programed that way. You can’t follow one workout and eating plan for the rest of your life and expect to see results consistently.
So while I do have my standards on clean eating, I firmly believe that it all starts with educating yourself on what a diet rich in whole foods and nutrients means and then specifically deciding on what types of those foods you want to focus on to reach your personal health and fitness goals. But first and foremost, we must get the basics down so that when we aren’t trying to reach a specific goal, we always fall back on a foundation of clean, healthy, whole foods.
Okay, so this all leads me to the idea of indulging. Oy, I kind of loath when people use the word, “cheat day” because to me, it indicates that they cheating on themselves by enjoying food or drink with little nutritional value, which many times leads directly to feeling guilty. When we constantly feel guilty for the food choices we make, we will constantly fail. Here’s the thing about indulging….there is nothing wrong with choosing foods that aren’t giving us the optimal nutritional value every once in awhile…in fact, I encourage it! These times should be enjoyed, embraced and have some kind of emotional happiness attached to them. So if you’re going out for a special occasion or celebrating something in your life, yes, go for it! But for the everyday meals we are choosing to fuel our bodies so they function at their best, that is when we should be putting our energy into eating within our goals, whether that be fitness, weight loss or simply health goals.
Allow me to use myself as an example for this. Last night, John and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. It had been months since we were able to get out of the house without our kids and we were fully enjoying every single moment of that date. So the whole day included a lot of indulging in things I normally wouldn’t choose….cocktails, wine, pizza, pasta and even dessert. I’m sure just looking at that list makes some of you feel anxious, thinking, “I could NEVER eat all of that without sabotaging my diet.” But a friend of mine once told me this…..eating one indulgent meal will not make you gain 10 pounds instantly, just like eating one salad won’t make you loose 10 pounds instantly. Always remember that!
I could have spent the night feeling guilty or adding up all of the carbolicious calories in my head, but you know what, I didn’t. Instead, I went to bed feeling full and happy, woke up the next morning, ate a very clean breakfast heavy in protein and got my butt right to the gym to use those delicious carbs to help fuel a great workout. I felt amazing after it too!
So while we won’t be doing our bodies any favors by eating doughnuts for breakfast every day, we will be doing our minds a favor by eating that doughnut every once in awhile, enjoying the moment, and then moving past it.
PS – Here is my leg workout from today. It was a good one and I was able to up my weights in many of these moves. Hope you enjoy!