I saw this poster at my physio the other day, with a famous Australian PT, saying “6 days for hard work and exercise, 1 day for lazy mornings and breakfast in bed”, and it stuck with me. You know, whether you want to take care of your health or have a bangin’ body, doesn’t mean you’re forced to give up everything you enjoy. The amount of times people tell me that I have to “live a little too”.. Who gets to decide the definition of what living is? Those who know me have seen my cheat-meals on Saturdays, and they’ve seen the amount of candy I am able to demolish if I really want to. They’ve also seen how sick it makes me feel. And how hungover I look the following day (true story, food-hangovers do exist).
So many people eat like shit and go to the gym, thinking that the exercise will outweigh the lack of healthy eating. But it won’t. Of course, working out should be encouraged no matter what you eat because of the obvious health benefits. It is no secret that losing weight is a matter of energy in vs energy out, but a calorie isn’t a calorie when it comes to nourishing your body. Think of your body as a car – for it to run smoothly you need to fuel it right.
Of course it is okay to enjoy “the bad food” now and then too, but you shouldn’t be enjoying that every day. Trust me, the things you crave taste so much better when you’ve been wanting it for a week! And once your body has gotten rid of the desire to eat something unhealthy, you fill up a lot quicker when you once in a while do eat the crap food.
A simple way to “live a little” and eat clean as well could be the 80/20 rule; i.e. eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging 20% of the time. I find it easier to stick to the clean eating when I exercise regularly, and honestly, choosing the banana over the package of biscuits isn’t that hard when you know you’ve just burnt 700 calories hating life on a crosstrainer.
We’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen, and they sure are – no matter how many sit-ups you force through, your abs are not likely to become visible unless you lower your body-fat, which is accomplished through eating the right food. I just want people to keep in mind that in the same manner as eating one unhealthy meal now and then won’t make you fat or affect your everyday health, eating a healthy meal once in a while (instead of every day) won’t make you fit or skinny or whatever your goal might be.
I used to think I didn’t eat thaaaat unhealthy, and frankly I didn’t either, but try writing down everything you eat in a week, and I can promise you’re in for a little surprise or two. Those little “snackies” you have “now and then” suddenly turn out to equal an entire package of chips. I have friends counting the calories in the fruit they eat, instead of focusing on removing that “protein-chocolate” they think is nutritious, from their diet. Unless you eat 20 oranges a day, you shouldn’t be having to count the calories of your fruit! Even though you spend 4% of your day exercising (an hour every day), you’ve got another 96% left to make sure is on the right track. Keep that in mind.