I love donuts!
Mmmmm donuts. Wait! Hang on. Does that say I love donuts? Yes it does. Ok. Wait! Hang on. I'm confused. I can't eat donuts I'm trying to lose weight!
The health and fitness world is full of do's and don'ts. You can't have this if you want to achieve that. You have to cut out carbs. Fat is bad. Sugar is bad. Meat is bad. Ahhhhhhh! My head hurts! Everyone has their opinion and guru's promoting the latest trends will fight to the death to prove that their way to get results is better than your way, or that guys way, or her way. But how do you know which way is right? Who do you believe? Which way is actually going to get you the results you want? How do you sift through all of the contradicting information and actually find the right eating plan for you?
Well I'm going to tell you that the most successful eating plan is the one you can do consistently and doesn't stop you from living your life.
"You gotta go paleo man cause that's what the cavemen did". But you're there thinking I don't want to be a caveman. I want to eat my donuts, get my results and still live my life.
So let's go back to donuts. Delicious, tasty donuts. Without fail I will eat a donut every week and I still achieve results. Why? Because I love donuts. How? Because I track my macros daily. Without a doubt, consistently tracking and hitting your macros is the most successful way anyone can achieve results. Not cutting out carbs. Not cutting out sugar. Not cutting out fat. Not blasting yourself with cardio. It's tracking your macros. The reason I can eat donuts and still achieve results is because I make my food work for me. I make it fit into my daily macro requirements.
Ok so let's think of a scenario. Something that I've witnessed many times before. You decide it's time to get into shape. This is it. This time it's for real. You're going to do this and show everyone… Awesome! So you start the day with a nice bowl of delicious oats, blueberries and a low fat yogurt. Yum! Great start! And then every other meal is chicken with broccoli, tuna with broccoli, salmon with broccoli… broccoli, broccoli, broccoli!!! Then all of a sudden, there it is like a sledgehammer to the head. The cravings! I NEED CHOCOLATE!!!!! Ahhhhh the cravings! They torment you like a cat stalking a mouse. You try to fight it. You drink some tea, water, chew some gum, and brush your teeth. Anything that will blanket the craving that feels like a volcano that's about to erupt! So you think, just a little bit of chocolate won't hurt. I trained hard today, I deserve just a little bit. And before you know it BAM! You've smashed the whole block and your now swimming in a pool of guilt. Day 1. Fail! Day 2… Let's do the same thing again, and repeat. It's a viscous cycle and before you know it your relationship with food is unhealthy and your diet plan is over. You hate your life, but nothing a bottle of pinot grigio won't fix because hey… wine fixes everything, right? Now you're hung over and you hate your life even more.
If you're restricting yourself from eating the things you like then trying to get the results you want will always be a battle. But if you can make your food work for you and include it in your daily macro requirements then all of a sudden the dark world of dieting seems a lot brighter. If fitting in a couple of pieces of chocolate, or that donut will stop you from binging like it's the last supper, resulting in throwing your results right out of the window, doesn't it just make more sense to fit it in and be assured that you've still hit your macro target for the day? It does to me. Guilt free and craving knocked on the head.
When it comes to results the most important thing is hitting daily macronutrient requirements. Ensuring you're eating the right amount of protein, fat and carbs each day specific to your body type, exercise and goal and doing it consistently over time is the most effective way to achieve long term results. There's no reason to cut out the foods you enjoy, you just have to ensure those foods fit within the boundaries of your macros. It's not a secret. It's science. Now I'm not saying it's an excuse to go bananas on junk food, let's be realistic. As a trainer I will always recommend the healthiest options and eating a diet full of junk food and sugar could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies among other diseases. Regularly consuming quality carbs, proteins and essential fats that are rich in vitamins and minerals and fiber is the first step to combating hunger, increasing satiety and improving and maintaining overall health. However including a donut every now and then into my daily macro requirements allows me to face my craving, allows me to make food work in my favor, move on and still achieve my results. No guilt. And it's helped my clients to do the same.
But junk food is bad for you! Right?
Somewhere along the way someone came up with the idea that the only way to get results is to eat as clean and as healthy as possible. No junk allowed. That pizza that you've been craving and avoiding for the past 3 weeks, you can't have that!
Sure, junk food and sugar is not the best option for overall health, however there is nothing healthy about restricting yourself from foods you enjoy. In the end severe restriction leads to cravings, cravings leads to binging, binging leads to over consumption of calories, which leads to no results. The damage of this process is not only physical but can be severely mental as well.
Now for anyone trying to lose fat you must be in a calorie deficit. You must be burning more than you're consuming. Usually, most of the foods that people crave are often high in calories such as pizza, pasta, chocolate, donuts, ice cream etc… These could take up a large amount of your daily allowance so controlling your portion size is important. Take control of your food. Identify what you want to eat and adjust your portions. If you want to eat a whole pizza then you'll need to adjust your other meals throughout the day to fit it in appropriately. If it blows out your macros then adjust your portion size. Take accountability and ownership of your food choices. Enjoy your food. And as long as you know the macronutrients of the food you're eating then you can fit it into your daily allowance. It's not a secret, it's science. It's taking control. It's making food work for you.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.