And just like that Christmas is done. January isn’t far from being finished either. Time waits for no one as they say.
Speaking of time, you’ve probably spent a bit of it on the couch over the Christmas/New Year period. Mostly feeling sorry for yourself and rubbing the food baby you’ve created from eating too much pudding.
Don’t worry I’m guilty of it too. More often than not my eyes are way too big for my belly and I’ll generally eat whatever is served (as long as it’s not spicy of course). It can’t be. Not even a little.
FYI for those that don’t know, tomato sauce makes me sweat! I’m a princess I know.
Like most family get togethers whether it’s Christmas, birthdays or any event for that matter there’s always an enormous amount of food dished up. If you have a big family like mine there’s so much food a small village would struggle to finish it off. This Christmas in particular was a big one. Mums side of the family for lunch and then Dads for dinner. A lot of driving and a LOT of food.
And a lot of food that doesn’t always hit the right nutrient requirements either if you are conscious about what you’re feeding your body.
Obviously my family knows what I do for a living however the odd question still gets thrown up when everyone is in the kitchen loading up their plates ready to tuck in.
I often get asked why I’m eating the same foods as everyone else. Jokingly a cousin will throw in a ‘you can’t eat that can you?’ or ‘are you allowed to have this?’ ‘What about this one?’
Just because I’m a personal trainer doesn’t mean I eat ‘clean’ foods all the time. In fact I enjoy treating myself to whatever is on the table on any occasion. Especially when I haven’t had to cook it myself!
I have noticed though that people often do talk about how much they love their food. Like they’re obsessed with it. I mean yeah I like food as it’s essential to keeping us alive but people literally froth at the mouth whenever you mention their favourite dish. I’ve never been that way. Yes food can be great but there’s peeps out there that are seriously hangry 24/7 and borderline possessed.
I know a lot of people view food the wrong way though so maybe this is why. They look at food as something that purely satisfies them and fills an emotional void. It’s like an addiction that can’t be broken. There’s a certain attachment to food that they can’t get away from even though they know it’s not doing them any good.
I can understand why people have bad relationships with food and any one of a number of factors can be at play. In most cases there’s significant underlying issues and these shouldn’t just be brushed off.
For me, I look at food as fuel for my body so I can give it the right nutrients to get through the day, compliment my training and function healthily. I keep it really simple and I honestly believe it’s a matter of getting your mindset right, surrounding yourself with a rock solid support network and properly educating yourself.
We humans are all creatures of habit. Bad habits are extremely difficult to get away from but guess what? Good habits are just as hard to break. If you can manage to slowly turn the wheel and start challenging some bad habits you know aren’t serving you well, you’ll be surprised how your body and mind respond in a positive way.
So here’s some guidance for anyone that’s struggling with their food…
You have to look at food as fuel for your body and the number one priority in terms of reaching your goals.
Simple rule of importance – 80% eating 20% training.
The RIGHT foods allow you to train harder and for longer. The result – more energy and better output so for someone looking to strip fat away you’ll have the ability to burn more calories while training and also at rest. It’s a no brainer.
The more you train the more you need to eat to compliment. Remember it’s fuel for your bod. The more you eat, the harder your body has to work to break down the food and utilise it so essentially you’re burning calories digesting. Its a win-win.
Wanting to lose body fat by not eating at all and depriving your body of vital nutrients is NOT the way to go about it. In fact you’re setting yourself up to put on more weight once your body has adjusted. This WILL happen by the way. It’s just a matter of when. It’s something that a lot of females have trouble getting their head around so if you’re still of that mind set all I can say is – don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Ideally you want a combination of different food sources in every meal. Carbohydrates, Proteins and Good Fats.
Get your carbs from plant foods. Anything that grows on trees or in the ground – Fruit and vegetables.
Eat protein. Chicken, fish, lean red meat, eggs, low fat dairy etc. If you’re against anything like that it just makes it a little harder but there’s always legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Protein supplements can also play a part if you’re struggling to get enough into you but just remember – it’s a supplement not a meal replacement. Whole foods should always be your go to.
Good fats – Fish, nuts, avocado. Flaxseeds and oils are great too and can help keep you regular. Fish oil tablets and omega 3 supplements can also play a part.
If you can base your eating around these food groups and do it consistently enough (80-90% of the time) it will hold you in good stead in terms of reaching your training goals. This will also allow you to treat yourself every now and then and be a little naughty. I’m talking to all you chocolate monsters out there by the way!
In fact I actually encourage everyone to treat themselves to their fave chocolate or pizza or whatever their go to junk food is. It’s because it’s all about balance. If you you are constantly depriving and restricting yourself and doing it in a way that is unsustainable, you’ll eventually crack at some point and eat yourself into a coma. In the process you’ll blow your calorie intake out the window and also the hard work you’ve put in in the gym.
Your body will also be in a constant stop-go mode and will not have the ability to work out what the hell you’re doing to it. Your metabolism will be all over the shop, body functions will be erratic, moods and energy levels will be inconsistent and results will therefore suffer.
On the flip side having at least an 80-20 balance week in week out will suppress your urges to lose your shit and over eat which will inevitably yield better and longer lasting results in the gym.
So when it comes to Christmas, birthdays, weddings or any family gatherings I can enjoy them without guilt and eat whatever the hell I want. Its because I’m confident knowing I’ve done the work in the gym throughout the week and I’ve also eaten well enough to compliment. You can do this too!
Remember it’s a lifestyle approach. Be patient and enjoy the journey because it’s a long one.
‘’If you have a body, we can help you’’
Infinite Fitness Peninsula