DUMP the diet!!

It’s happened again…that meeting where our supposed “missing link” is about outlining specific, super strict, food rules that will shred weight off people in weeks and send our memberships through the roof.  Sexy diets sell.

Gross!!!!!  

Hey fitness industry…meet the new standard…Sweat Fitness Studio in Huntsville, where research is read and studied on the regular, where science not money dictates how we train and what nutritional recommendations we provide.

 

“But most of these diets are not sustainable for the long haul. They prescribe either an unrealistically low daily calorie level, the elimination of major food groups, or specific food combinations, all of which may be impractical for longterm, day-to-day living. Thus, within one to five years, all of the weight is regained, and then some. In fact, science supports this phenomenon, with studies indicating that not only are weight loss interventions rarely effective in the long term, but that dieting is a consistently strong predictor of future weight gain.” Cristen Harris, PhD, RDN, CSSD, CD, CES, FAND

 

It boils down to ETHICS!  It’s a DANGEROUS disservice to not acknowledge the metabolic diversity that exists in humans, to not promote self respect for all body shapes and sizes, to put weight loss over physical and mental wellness, and to promote over-training or discourage recovery in pursuit of revenue.

We will have no part of that at Sweat…insert good vs. evil super hero group photo here 🙂

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Fit and Fly by July

I’m no exception to the rule…I too have freak out moments about getting into a bathing suit.  This year, however, I’m anxious about an upcoming photo shoot.  As soon as I set the date with Maria Moore Photography, my mind went into full blown, old school, diet down mode.  I began to picture a strict regimen of dry chicken, steamed vegetables, and sweet potatoes weighed to the very gram.  I foresaw all my meals in tupperware, macros pre-measured for the week.

But, as the initial shock subsided, my logic returned.  I cannot and will not do anything that is not sustainable or healthy.  Whatever changes I make, must be able to be replicated because once I shred what I want gone, I am not looking for it to return 3 weeks later to torment me and draw out that inner bully that will call me a failure.  Not to mention, I don’t want to send my system into shock and get my hormones out of whack so I spend all my days fighting cravings and binges!  Been there, done that…hated it!  NEVER AGAIN!

So here’s the game plan, Fit and Fly by July…wanna join me?

Good!


1.  3 Month memberships go on sale March 29-31st.

*Get one if you aren’t already a member.  Metabolic conditioning and weight training is the name of our game.  Get off the steady pace cardio if you want to shred and gain muscle.  Endurance goals, while awesome, are NOT fat loss goals!!

2.  8 weeks to lean out- April- May

* Like our Facebook page so you can get updates on this blog.  I will make sure to disclose exactly what I’m doing in the kitchen and why…breakfast, lunch, dinners, snacks, portion sizes etc. so that you can lean out too!  Expect that post within the week.

3.  4 weeks to prove the changes are completely sustainable and lifelong.

* How often do we meet a goal and then fall off the bandwagon and rebound back to our old ways?  To prevent this, the entire month of June is dedicated to sustainability.  I want to spend that month making sure we stay true to ourselves.  Remember this?  It’s a non-negotiable!!

 

Body pics…so what?!?!

Once upon a not so distant past, THIS type of post/picture paralyzed me with fear.

You see, I’m an introvert by nature and have always preferred to not only be quiet but also not to be noticed.  My “teaching/coaching personality” is energetic and passionate, but, outside of my studio, I’m not only reserved, but downright bashful.   My voice quivers during public speeches and I easily blush if you draw any kind of attention my way.  The term wall flower definitely applies to me at parties.

So here I stand, shirt off, belly exposed, originally to use these pictures to show a before and after shot of me after my new spray tan from Blush.  They are coming to Sweat in February and offering all of you a great discount so I figured it would be nice for folks to see what a fast spray tan can do.  You will see the Blush details on social media later, but this blog isn’t about spray tanning it’s about BEING UNAPOLOGETIC and at peace with my imperfections to the point where body image fear is, for the most part, out the window.

I have, like anyone else, a vision of “where I’d like to be” and I’m not saying I’ve thrown in the towel by any means.  I enjoy working towards goals and achieving progress or even experiencing failure in my journey.  However, the never ending 6 pack pics on social media seem to suggest that we cannot be at ease with ourselves until we’ve carved out each and every muscle on our bodies.

What a sad, sad message!

So…here is my 0-pack, served up to you with and without a spray tan, a sincere smile, and a comfortable and healthy sense of body image!  Here’s to strength, health, progress, and balance triumphing over perfection!

 

Happy NYs!!!

I’ve been struggling to write a New Years blog b/c, if you know me, you know I don’t believe in overhauls, detoxes, or 30 Day Shreds and  New Years is peak season for these super sexy and appealing methods of weight loss despite their dismal success rates.  I’ve had a little bit of bloggers block w/ the amount of trash that has filled my news feeds!!

As you finalize your NY Resolution list my wish is that in 2015 you resolve to get off the “be perfect,” “be super hard core,” and “anti-carb” bandwagons and decide to approach fat loss in a more balanced and healthful way.  You can and will get real, life long results by taking a different, admittedly less sexy, approach.

Here are a few pointers…

1.  FOLLOW the right people on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.  Ditch anyone that preaches workout guilt and fuels the anti-carb philosophies.  Fill your news feeds with people and organizations that understand the human body and mind.  Here’s a few to start you off:  Jen Sinkler- Thrive as the Fittest, Jill Fit Physiques, Metabolic Effect, and Coach Dos, Performance University, Functional Patterns.

2.  BE REFLECTIVE.  Part of human nature is to find and create patterns.  This is a great asset but also a downfall.  Step back and take notice of the behavior patterns that are not conducive to your fitness and wellness goals.

3.  FAIL, LEARN, SUCCEED.  Fat loss is not a straight forward journey.  Expect to have hiccups and bumps.  Learn to deal with them, give yourself GRACE, and forget the guilt.

4.  JOIN!  Yes…I think you should join Sweat but if not Sweat then JOIN anything that keeps you CONSISTENT, SAFE, ENERGIZED, AND EMPHASIZES PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION.    Behavior patterns are hard to break and the right support is crucial!!

5.  PICK ONE…I will preach this until the day I die…Forget the overhauls!!  Focus on ONE BEHAVIOR to incorporate or change.  Make sure it’s one that you can handle but will create results.  Once you have allowed that behavior to become routine then you can consider adding on another lifestyle change.  I started w/ limiting my alcohol to weekends not because alcohol is “bad” but because it was an emotional crutch.  I was stressed and instead of addressing the stress I drowned it in two big glasses of red wine per night.  I lost an entire dress size in 6-8 weeks by simply addressing that one behavior pattern.  I added weight training 3-4 times a week and wow…the changes in my body became even more obvious.  I didn’t throw away my pantry!  I didn’t spend $500 at the grocery store buying only organic foods either.  I either broke a bad pattern or created a new pattern…one step at a time.

Be safe this evening Sweat Fam!!  See you Friday!!

Week 5- LUST #7DeadlySins

By definition you can lust over anything and in terms of fitness the lust for perfection can become physically and mentally unhealthy.

I have never been secretive about my struggle with anorexia several years ago because it’s not something with which I am ashamed to have endured and have left behind.

Looking back, it’s amazing and scary that for several months I secretively but proudly ate between 700-900 calories a day, all the while strength training and running half marathons.  I went from a size 6/7 to being able to take off 00 pants without unzipping them.  To my sick brain, that was a measure of success.  When I lost my period, success.  When I skipped meals but didn’t feel hungry, success.  When I skipped meals, felt hungry, but didn’t eat, even better.  Anything and everything that resulted in a smaller and skinnier frame, I was willing to do, regardless of the consequences to my health.

Luckily, I was snapped out of it, gained weight, got muscular, and a few years later had my daughter.  Despite being less obsessive about food and exercise, I still wanted to “achieve” some of the physical benchmarks I once valued- 10-12% body fat and, of course, a 6 pack.  I didn’t see these goals as a problem until one evening when my 8 month old daughter was playing in the tub w/ her toys.  I, on the other hand, had taken my usual position in front of the mirror to scrutinize my belly.  I pinched it’s fat.  I looked at it front ways, side ways, stood back from the mirror, stood close, ALWAYS with a disgusted look on my face.  I was loathing my post partum body when, all of a sudden, I caught my daughters reflection in the mirror.  She had stopped playing w/ her toys and her eyes were fixated on what I was doing.  She was studying my behavior.  She was learning from me.  She was learning to hate her body from me and I was horrified!!  I knew that if I didn’t walk the walk, it wouldn’t matter how many times I told my daughter she was beautiful.  She would never believe it because I didn’t believe it of myself.

From that day forward, I have taken my mindset journey as seriously as my physical one.  Of course, like every person, I have my “good days” and “bad days” but since I no longer bully myself into leanness or white knuckle my way through hunger, I know that I have the power to make even the worst of days good ones.  I still train hard, push myself, take progress pictures, cook healthy meals, but my fascination with food, mileage, clothing size, body weight, food measurements, macros, and calories is gone.  I can walk past a mirror and not feel the need to pinch anything.  I don’t count calories, fats, proteins, or even carbs because I now understand that there are no magic numbers.  Instead I know I’ve built a solid meal for myself because I don’t binge, I don’t get “hangry”, and my energy level is steady throughout the day.

This is me, on the left, 4 months ago, when I’d end up binging in my pantry 2-3 times a week.  This is me about a week ago after 4 months of focusing my eating around eliminating my “need” to binge.  Since binges can be indicative of not fueling properly I very much wanted to get this habit out of my routine.   I haven’t a clue how many calories I was eating before nor how many calories I eat now.  Don’t ask me how much protein I eat either.  I’m not certain.  What I do know is that my binges are gone so results followed.  They aren’t dramatic nor show stopping but they are visible.  More importantly, I got results without deprivation or self loathing.  My aim was not perfection, to lose a specific number of pounds, nor get into a different size pants.  My aim was to curve a behavior by adding on to my meals or replacing one item with another.  (Go back to week 1, 2, and 3 to begin to play with how you should begin to change your plate!)

This week, find some time to sit down and ponder those 2015 New Year’s Resolutions.  What behavior(s) cause you to plateau or gain?  How can the #7DeadlySins Challenges play a role in creating results?

 

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

When I was anorexic, benchmarking happened almost daily and if I didn’t match my PR or beat it, I would punish myself with less food or more exercise.  As you see your numbers during the benchmark challenge you have to be mindful of what they actually mean.  Your body isn’t always at it’s best and it takes time to build solid strength.  Give yourself some grace considering the holiday week has been intense.

2.  Nutrition- Bedtime fast!

A common question when trying to lean out is, “when should I have my last meal?” or  “What time is too late to eat?”
That question is extremely complicated to answer because of the amount of things that need to be taken into consideration.  However, to keep things simple:  Play around with one of these two techniques:
1.  Spend equal amounts of time fasted as fueled.  In other words, if I eat dinner at 8pm, I won’t eat (am not hungry to eat) breakfast until around 8am the next morning.  I generally workout early so I use BCAA powder to make sure I have a good workout.
2.  Stop eating about 3 hours before bedtime.  Simply put, somewhere around the 9hr evening fasted mark you begin to dip into your stored fat.  In other words, if you eat dinner at 6pm, somewhere around 3 am is when some awesome, effortless, magic is happening.
* Because of my schedule, technique 1 is what works best for me, usually!  However, look at the big picture…with either habit you are looking around a 12 hour evening fasted lifestyle.  Don’t be afraid to flip flop between either technique to see what works best for you or to use BOTH techniques.  You might find that on weekdays you work best with #2 and on weekends you prefer #1.  Experiment!!!  Either way, you are spending equal parts fueled to fasted.
3.  Activity- Strength Workouts!
You spent these past two weeks with some very metabolic workouts.  Now it’s time to settle down a bit and add more strength to your regimen.

 

Week 4- #Gluttony

Well isn’t gluttony the most obvious choice for week 4 as Thanksgiving day feasts hit us right smack at the end of the week?

You are crazy if you think I am going to restrict you from any of your Thanksgiving day favorites to help you achieve a fitness goal.  In fact, I am a big believer that THESE are the no brainer worth it cheat meals! To spend a holiday counting your calories or macros instead of your blessings sounds miserable and it’s not necessary to get or stay lean.

So what is required of a lean eater?  Here are my top five non-negotiables for Thanksgiving.

How many of these do you already put into practice?

1.  Don’t eat like it’s an eating competition!  
Enjoying food isn’t gluttonous but eating as if the abundance available to you will immediately disappear, truly is.  While you may be excited that so many of your favorites are on the table, approach the feast with the gratefulness that there is more where that came from.  The material parts of Thanksgiving, for a large portion of us, could be duplicated any day of the week.   If you acknowledge that before you dig in, you will put less on your plate and also eat more slowly.
2.  Don’t give up eating your favorites!!
Take a holiday meal off!!  PLEASE eat the pie…and the scoop of ice cream!  One cheat meal is considered a 2 hour deal. That gives you time to enjoy a few drinks, eat, and have dessert.  Cheat meals are a mental and physical part of fat loss.  Google the hormones leptin and ghrelin if you want the science behind the strategy.
3.  LISTEN to your body.
If you have several homes to visit on Thanksgiving day your body will naturally ask that you taper each meal down.  Are you eating out of hunger or obligation?  Each Thanksgiving meal that you get to be a part of, does not have to look the same.
4.  Workout for fat loss, not endurance
If you can work it in, get a metabolic workout in the morning or about two hours prior to your cheat meal.  Set your body to burning mode.  Sweat has a Mystery Class on Thanksgiving Day for that reason!  Exercise isn’t punishment but it is part of the strategy!  If you cannot make it, you can always have fun with the burpee tabatas we did last week, do the benchmark workout three times through, or lace up those shoes and do sprint intervals (no steady pace running for fat loss!!)
5.  It’s a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK!

Try your best to treat the week as if it’s any other week.  I know it’s NOT any other week and between family, football, and the kids at home, normal is out the window.  However, this is where you must be happy with good vs. being perfect.  I know we often strive for perfection, but many times we let ourselves fail at good simply because we know that great is impossible.

By the way, I totally agree…GREAT is damn near impossible this week.  Set your expectations so they are realistic and achievable.  Don’t decide to binge the whole week simply because you know you won’t be perfect.  Decide TODAY, RIGHT NOW, that you aren’t going to do your worst simply because you can’t be your best.  There is a middle ground!!!!  BE HAPPY WITH GOOD!!!

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

See you Monday!!!  Time to beat your best!!

2.  Nutrition- Maintenance!
On Thanksgiving holiday week you have YOUR TOUGHEST nutritional challenge yet…MAINTAIN!  FORGET adding anything new, can you continue your three food challenges on a week commercially built around gluttony?  Can you continue your workouts, drink water, get your protein snack at 3, and continue w/ adding fiber at lunch or breakfast on a week where routine has gone out the window?  THIS is a true test to see if you are making this a lifestyle!
3.  Activity- Metabolic Workouts!
This week is no joke in terms of food and football.  I challenge you to insert a METABOLIC workout each morning you plan on veering from plan.  Set your body to burn vs. store!

 

Week 3- WRATH #7DeadlySins

“What someone else thinks of YOU is NOT YOUR BUSINESS NOR YOUR PROBLEM to solve!”

#WRATH is an intense feeling of anger or can take on the form of vengeance. In relation to fitness and health, I see both rage and revenge through food quite often.  Many times it’s due to the LASTING EFFECTS of another persons judgement on their physical or emotional self.  People seeking comfort and fullness, not from the gifts of life, but from the taste of food.  Other times people look to release resentment, not through reflection and meditation but from junk food.   Sugar comas provide temporary numbness from pain and binges can induce feelings of empowerment by impulsivity.  Food is a way of coping with wrath.

To address wrath properly let me go ahead and say, to FEEL RAGE IS HUMAN.  I don’t expect anyone to walk away unscathed by painful words.  With that said, this blog post is not about HOW NOT feel wrath but HOW NOT TO INVITE wrath into your lives.  This post is about our ERRONEOUS BELIEF that we NEED TO KNOW, HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW, and MUST WORK TO CHANGE what others believe to be true about us.

Bluntly stated, “What someone else thinks of YOU is NOT YOUR BUSINESS NOR YOUR PROBLEM to solve!”  Be aware that your desire to be “in the know” or to have influence over how others assess your actions, appearances, beliefs, and decisions is a reflection of your own insecurity more than anything else.  You are taking valuable time and energy towards changing unimportant and useless knowledge.  If you strive to live ethically and value the intangible richnesses of this world first, then how another person interprets you carries NO VALUE.  It is for that reason that in these instances IGNORANCE IS NOT ONLY BLISS BUT needs to be MANDATORY so that you are in better control of keeping wrath out of your heart.

This week I want all of you to pay particular attention to the things that you ALLOW to influence the levels of happiness you experience throughout each day.  Make it a point not participate in verbal conversations or written threads where others are giving you information about how others view you or how others view those you know.  Walk away, check out mentally, hit the “unfollow” button on FB, or keep scrolling the screen.  Wrath is no match for silence.

 #7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

Once again, expect all our Monday classes to begin w/ our Benchmark workout.  Worry about YOUR numbers and YOUR form.  What some else is or is not doing is no reflection on YOU.

2.  Nutrition- HIGH FIBER AT LUNCH AND/OR BREAKFAST!

Your 3 MOST IMPACTFUL fat loss tools are water, protein, and fiber.  As of this week we will have hit you in some way shape or form with EACH.  Feeling full at all your meals should come from whatever combination of these three make you feel energized, satiated, and satisfied.  Fats and starchy carbohydrates (think breads, beans, rice and potatoes here) are all ALSO essential and ABSOLUTELY can be present at your meals but ARE NOT to be the stars of the show.  Fats and starchy carbs add richness to your meal but it’s the commitment to the ADJUSTMENTS in the amounts of water, protein, and high fiber/low sugar foods in your meals that will have the BIGGEST impact on how fast you lean out.
SOME Examples of low starch/high fiber fruits and veggies
fruits:  apples, pears, berries, citrus, cucumber, tomatoes
veggies: ALL leafy green veggies, celery, peppers, green beans, jicama, zucchini, summer squash
I want all of you to at least pick EITHER BREAKFAST or LUNCH and commit to adding OR adding more of these foods.  How much more?  As much as you need to feel satiated and energized!  I guarantee you if you are carrying more weight than you’d like these days it’s NOT because of an excess of any of these foods.  Go to town on your low starch, high fiber foods!!!!  This week I promise to show you my standard amount and I’m betting you’ll be surprised just how much I eat!
If you already do a green smoothie or veggie frittata for breakfast then work with your lunch.  If you already love a large salad at lunch then work towards seeing a rainbow at breakfast.  Ideally, I’d like everyone to have a big pile of veggies for their 3 main meals but most everyone’s habits are to wait until the MOST OBVIOUS way to get veggies in, dinner time.  Once again, those evening binges will be reduced and tamed if you step out of your comfort zone to discover how low starchy/high fiber sources will satiate hunger, keep you energized, reduce cravings, and in turn kick you into fat loss gear!!
3.  Activity- REAL recovery!
Without a doubt I can say that those who come to Sweat, love to sweat!  I have a harder time getting all of you to slow down vs. amp up. It’s a good problem to have but recovery is also a huge factor in fat loss.  For all of you who have not needed the Week 1 and Week 2 activity challenge because you are at Sweat 4-6 times a week, this challenge is specifically designed FOR YOU!!!
Recovery!!  Humor me…at least once this week (or more if you can) do any of the 6 activities below.  Take note of how you feel? Take note of any change in your level of intensity on the days you workout because you took time to recover.  By the end of our 7 weeks, you should definitely experience a positive shift in mood and your ability to handle stress.
And if you think that rest will equate to adding fat to your body, science proves you wrong.  However, rather than cite research, I can SHOW YOU first hand this week a friend whom I’ve worked with since Sweat practically opened.  She has leaned out because I finally convinced her to TAKE RECOVERY SERIOUSLY.  Overtraining will put your body in a state where it will not burn fat!!
What does REAL RECOVERY look like?
1.  Yoga for Athletes w/ Karen Doehrman, Sundays at 4:15pm
2.  30 min Epsom Salt Bath- NO PHONE ALLOWED!
3.  30 min walk- NO PHONE ALLOWED!
4.  sleep in!!
5.  get a massage
6.  20 min foam rolling
I can already see those of you who are hard core rolling your eyes at me but you can find at least 30 min this week to take on this challenge.  No excuses, right?

 

 

 

Week 2 – ENVY #7deadlysins

ENVY is the resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions.  

Envy is a death sentence on the spirit.

One of my core values as a business woman is that the success of Sweat Fitness Studio does not mean the failure of another trainer, studio, box, or gym.  Sweat’s story does not hinge on another’s misfortune.  It is my heartfelt belief that Huntsville is dynamic enough of a city that fitness must take on many different voices.  I spend my energy and time making sure that our Sweat community receives effective and safe workouts alongside valuable nutritional recommendations.  I will never go to bed resenting or wanting what others do or create with their own energy and time.  Envy is not part of our business plan.

Similarly, the health and fitness success or failures of your family, friends, foes, or frenemies does not diminish nor augment the value of your own journey.  What others have or do not have is NOT a reflection on you, EVER.  There will always be someone stronger, faster, leaner, or quicker than you somewhere and also someone else you can beat with ease.  If you find yourself resentful that someone else has found success with fat loss or gained consistency in their athletic training, your time and energy is being lost.  (In addition, if you find yourself happy that someone else has fallen off the wagon and is struggling while you succeed your focus is also in the wrong place, but we will deal with PRIDE week 6!)  Envy must be eliminated from your daily thinking.

Reflect, redirect, and regroup.  Everyone, including yourself, deserves to reach their dreams.  There is room for EVERYONE’S happiness and success.

 1.  Benchmark-
Once again, expect all our Monday classes to begin w/ our Benchmark workout.  Worry about YOUR numbers and YOUR form.  What some else is or is not doing is no reflection on YOU.

2.  Nutrition- Protein!
The number one struggle I hear about at Sweat is the early evening binge.  I hear about the “continual meal” from 4-7pm.  Once you start in that pantry there is no stopping until after dinner.  You are famished even though you have been “good all day long.”  This critical error has A LOT to do w/ everything that happened or did NOT happen prior to your 4pm binge.  You, in fact, have NOT been “good all day”.  You have likely been depriving and underfeeding your body all day, leaving it no other choice than to enter into survival mode to which your will power is absolutely powerless!
The good news is that you have two greatly underutilized weapons against this habit and this week we challenge you to accept the first:  a PROTEIN based snack at around 3pm!  That’s right you are NOT to “white knuckle” your way to dinner.  I want to see you grab a lean, complete protein in ANY form.  If you want to jazz it up a bit, PLEASE do so.
Examples:
greek yogurt, handful of favorite fruit, handful of nuts
small grilled chicken salad
protein shake w/ a handful of whatever fruit you like and a handful of whatever greens you like
cottage cheese w/ the same “fix-ins” as a yogurt
vegetable omelette
On the go?
The Juice Bar has great protein shakes available- choose from hemp or whey for a complete protein.  As an added bonus mention “7 Deadly Sins” and get 10% off!!!!!  Yeah!!!!
Stop by Absolute Nutrition and grab Quest Bars or a protein powder to make your own shake.
Eat these snacks while in car line, with the kids while you help them with homework, or at your desk at work.  No more “waiting til I get home.”
Don’t forget to continue w/ your minimum 64oz of water and STACK ON the protein challenge!!!
3.  Activity- Mix it up!
Last week you amped it up by adding one additional day of intense physical activity to your life and this week you Mix it up!  For all the cardio lovers, strength is your next priority.  I better see you in Vain or TRX this week.  For all of those who fear the breathlessness of Punch, Drenched, or 20/20/20, it’s time to step out of your usuals.  Get UNCOMFORTABLE!
We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you this week and how active you were in finishing this year strong.  Continue to tag Sweat Huntsville and use the hashtag #7deadlysins.

The Cookie Monster Within Us!

First and foremost, if you want to get a grip on cravings you HAVE TO eat properly.  There is no way around that and for our “Braking Bad” group this has been one of the most positive changes they have experienced.  Nothing beats the impact of balanced nutrition throughout your day.  However, we aren’t robots and life can be unpredictable so accept that no matter how “perfect” a day, week, or month you have eating wise, cravings will eventually surface.  This weekend I touched upon the topic of temptations vs. trigger foods with the “Braking Bad” group.

Trigger foods are any foods you enjoy that will create a cycle of intense cravings for several days after indulging in them.  They are not only hard to resist at the moment but under most circumstances as well.  Will power is under constant use.  To contrast, temptations are simply foods that you like and enjoy but do not cost you any or much will power to turn down.  Under normal circumstances where you are fed and fueled you don’t feel much need to partake in these items when they are near.  You can enjoy them and move on.

I have chips, M&M’s, Twizzlers, and loads of other pre-packaged snacks front and center in my pantry and most of the time even when I come home hungry, I don’t want a bite of them.  If I choose to have some, I do.  No guilt.  No binge.  No worries.

However, you will no longer find brownies, cookies, or peanut butter in my house.  These are treats that I do allow myself when I’m out to eat but do not have easy access to reach on a normal basis.  If will power is like a muscle, it will reach failure and I need my kitchen to be a mentally peaceful place, not a constant battle of wills.  Brownies, cookies, and peanut butter trigger true BINGES for me.  Remember The Cookie Monster?  That’s me!

To make matters worse, I enter what feels like a sugar detox for several days later where I crave the same binge again.  When I decided to treat my trigger foods differently from other temptations I was finally able to create a balance and make peace with these foods.

1.   Never buy them to bring home from the store.

2.   Never order these items in bulk no matter the discount.

3.  When out, choose to eat the very best of the trigger food.  It has to be WORTH IT.

No food is to be truly forbidden from your life.  If you completely restrict yourself from eating something you love, the mind games and misery begin. However, if you recognize certain foods that make you lose control and make your kitchen into a war zone where you are constantly exercising your will power, then step back, acknowledge the situation, and create a realistic boundary.  There is a healthy middle ground.  You just have to find it!

 

Good, Great, and Guilt

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, on Oct. 13th Sweat kicked off Braking Bad, Sweat’s first ever online nutritional coaching workshop led by the uber talented and experienced RD, Tammy Beasley.  We are two weeks into the program and our group of 15 can boast about big time breakthroughs regarding appetite, energy, and mindset.  Hot topic today…good, great, and guilt!!

95% of diets fail.  66% of those who have fallen off their “diet wagon” will actually gain back MORE weight than before.  Why?  The sexy diets out there kill your metabolism.  They teach you nothing but to acknowledge and love short term weight loss wins because those translate to multi-million dollar book sales.  $$$ is sexy.

Braking Bad is definitely about what and when to eat but has just as much to do with your mindset towards food.  Are you sad about good because great wasn’t achieved?  Do you feel guilty about each and every “bad” food you eat?

1.  Follow plan but there is to be no food guilt associated w/ a spoonful of ice cream or stealing a couple of fries off your child’s plate.  While you can view them as cheats, the reality is that it’s those small “permissions to let live” that create lasting fat loss change in the long run.  These small imperfections reduce food anxiety while satisfying a craving and will keep those big binges at bay.  Unless your goal is to be on stage in 12 weeks in a bikini competition, you do not need to sweat over every little bite of food.

2.  There is to be no food guilt associated w/ good in comparison to great!  Do you ONLY praise your child for making A+ marks?  If your child struggles in math and makes a hard fought B- are you disappointed?  Can I get a Facebook brag for a “grind it out C!!!”  If you spent most of this year over exercising and under eating and now find yourself making decisions, as Tammy says, “MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,” that leave your appetite down, your energy stable, and your binges at bay then you are on the right track.  You can turn that C into a B next time, as your skill power improves.  The C is a win and will create change!!

In short, a lifestyle change must match your unique metabolism, goals, and life’s schedule.  Once you have attained that, acknowledge that perfection is neither required nor to be admired.  Give yourself permission to live!