- In Weight Loss Challenge
By: Lizzy Greener, Sporting Club Personal Trainer who is also pursuing her Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Drexel University
Just like one trip to the gym is not going to give you chiseled abs, one “less healthy” meal is not going to ruin your life, your diet, or your progress! After an indulgence, get back on track with normal healthy meals that have components of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. One of the biggest mistakes people make is skipping meals because they “ate too much the night before” or are “still full from all that pizza”. This will only make you hungrier later and form the cycle of picking the easiest, and usually most unhealthy, thing to eat when you are starving. If you get back on track right away, you will break this cycle which often turns into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating.
Don’t stress about that dessert or that snack that wasn’t part of your “plan”. If you enjoyed it and enjoyed it with good company, don’t stress. Like I said earlier, one indulgence won’t ruin your progress. Enjoy food that you feel is worth it in the moment and avoid foods that will make you feel horrible. Stressing over your choices will cause your body to release cortisol thus increasing appetite. This is another vicious cycle that can happen if you add more stress into your life while trying to reach weight goals. Weight loss and fat loss are processes that take a long time to yield results, so moderation is key! Strict dietary rules will not last in the long term and will only cause stress and a reversal to old habits.
Enjoy your workouts and separate them from your food! Finding workouts that you enjoy is key to consistency. The important part here is to do the workouts because you love them, because you feel great after them, or because you love the people you do them with – not to exercise to work off what you ate. That goal is not motivating and will put you into a cycle of stress eating and only working out to work off the calories. Unfortunately, this is not good for our minds or our bodies. Exercise is needed to maintain optimal health, regardless of what you eat. Therefore, exercise cannot wipe away a bad diet or the effects of those foods.
Find “healthified” products that you love. These days, there are tons of brands making healthier and less processed versions of crackers, chips, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, cream cheese, etc.! These foods can be eaten in moderation, just like their counterparts, and may help satisfy a craving without the adverse health effects like trans-fat and random additives. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want examples of such products or more information on where to find them!