Fitness and nutrition is a tricky thing. There are many paths to take and infinite goals to reach. There will always be a bump in the road or a barrier to keep us from our end goal. It takes a lot of dedication and observing to figure out what really works. Some of the things I once considered healthy I am kicking to the curb in 2017. This year I am listening to my body for once and making the decisions that will aid in the longevity of my health- thats my goal for 2017.
My typical weekly meal planning
The tactic you’ve tried nearly a 100 times. “My diet starts Monday”. I can guarantee these words have slipped from my mouth nearly 100 times.
The more times I “go on a diet” the more times I feel failure wash over me. Strict guidelines and unrealistic ideas that “to be healthy” is determined by following a rigid and narrow path. Healthy eating is a lifestyle not a 12-week plan to a “skinnier you”.
This year I am eliminating the word”diet” from my vocabulary and focusing on changing my nutritional behaviors one step at a time. I will not follow a “diet” that miraculously helps me lose 10 pounds in 10 days or helps me achieve my beach body before summer. This year I will listen to my body and experiment with what makes me feel energized and focused.
Time and time again I fall into the dark hole of dieting and then end up shaming myself for falling off the wagon. I am pursuing something sustainable that will last more than a few months or even a year. I am pursuing a healthier LIFE.
Yes, I have been known to take gym selfies– Kirk do not comment on this!!!
2. Blitzing the Cardio
Want to lose weight? The answer is more cardio! – CRINGE! That hurt just to type. I disagree with the “Cardio is Life” mentality for a few reasons.
To begin with, long-term I have found better results in weight training. I have been able to shape my body the way I have desired and actually keep it that way. (And not get bulky!) I am sure you have heard- the more muscle you develop the more calories you will burn and who doesn’t want that! Instead of long endurance cardio, try super-setting your resistance training workouts by throwing in a cardio burst (i.e. 30 seconds of burpees) in between exercises.
Second, cardio seems to be an endless cycle of plateauing and month after month having to add another 10 minutes of dreadful misery to my workout. Not to mention, the more cardio I do = the more food I eat. It’s a never ending series of sleep, eat, cardio, eat eat eat… repeat. These days I am more focused intensity and efficiency.
Last of all, I hate cardio! Who really enjoys cardio? I know there are those avid runners out there (Good for you!), but that is just not me. I have never been a long distance runner and that is perfectly ok- I believe in finding exercise that you look forward to and enjoy because you are more likely to adhere to it.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually do partake in cardio. Usually it consist of HITT, interval, and circuit training. I actually enjoy this type of workout when combined with weight training. I will never cut out cardio completely because I do believe in the benefits, but to me- less is more.
3. Miracle Transformations
WOW! Can I really have that amazing bikini body in 6 weeks?! We’ve all been guilty of falling for these marketing ploys. How many times have you seen these ” X weeks to a bikini body” programs on Facebook or Instagram?
I will admit I have tried a few and if I can get it for less than $20 dollars you can bet I am jumping on the bikini bod bandwagon! But, lets be honest- while these programs are great and are definitely motivating people to become active and healthier- they leave some of us questioning our ability to transform when we don’t see the same results as the pictures.
Sure we can get that six-pack in 8 weeks if we start with a four-pack, but we are all starting at different places when these magical programs enter our lives. We are all on different health journeys and it’s important to remember fitness and nutrition never has been, and will never be a one-size-fits-all.
4. Low-Fat Nutrition Guidelines
In my opinion, eating low-fat is one of the biggest misconceptions when pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Sure, its probably not great for your cholesterol levels to throw back a quarter-pounder everyday, but what’s wrong with the occasional butter or piece of bacon.
Moderation is key. It doesn’t take rocket scientist to figure out that because fat has 9 calories per gram anything made up of fat is going to be higher in calories than carbs or protein (which contain 4 calories per gram).Higher in calories doesn’t equate to being bad for your health or detrimental to your goal of becoming fit.
Coconut oil, avocados, butter, olive oil, nuts, nut butter, hummus, eggs, even dark chocolate- these are foods with high fat content that I love and would recommend to anyone EVEN IF your are trying to shed some pounds.
Contrary to what you may have been told, fat is not the enemy! Now grains and breads thats a whole different story… for a different day. Just try to throw in some additional fat and you’ll be amazed at your ability to stay full, think clearly and even lose weight!
2017 is going to be an awesome year. This year it will be my mission to look better, feel better and DO better than any year before! Do you have anything in your life you once thought was healthy and now are kicking to the curb?