How did your week go? Get up to anything exciting? This week was nice in that I got a lot done, yet didn’t feel totally crazy-stressed out all the time. I even had some free time before work and after training Monday and Thursday evenings!
I think my rigid schedule is starting to work in my favour. By having everything planned out by the minute I’m able to focus on a specific task for the amount of time I’ve allocated to it, and then as soon as the time is up I move on to the next thing. I’m much more productive when I have a deadline, whether it’s for writing a blog post, working on some other ideas, or getting my sweat on.
Beginning next week I’m going to be doing a weekly link-up with a few of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors where I will challenge myself and you lovely people to exercise at least 10 minutes each day. TEN MINUTES! You can totally do that, and I know I can too.
I’m a huge advocate of taking the recommended thirty minutes of physical activity each day and breaking it into 10-minute increments; your body still reaps the cardiovascular benefits, and your busy self can relax and not have to find thirty minutes in your jam-packed days to get some exercise in.
I’m not going to count my walks to and from work or wherever else I have to go as my 10 minutes of activity, because frankly I think that would be cheating since I walk so much. I really want to incorporate more yoga into my life, so I think this will be a perfect opportunity to add 10 minutes (or more!) of yoga into my days.
SO my friends, challenge starts NOW! How are you going to get in 10 minutes of activity each day? If you’re on Twitter or Instagram share your successes with us at #FFFChallenge so we can see how you’re kickin’ butt. Can’t wait to see your posts! If you’d like to check out the other girls taking part in the challenge, they can be found here:
Nora at Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo
Kristen at Exploring Domesticity
Brandi at Noteworthy Running
Michelle at Fearless Beauty Fitness
Kathy at Mama Marathoner
Diane at Runnin Rocker
Alicia at Never Ever Been Skinny
Now for today’s hot topic: losing weight while still eating the foods you enjoy! Because we all want to look good, but we don’t want to be starving and miserable while eating boiled chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Am I right? 😉
There’s a few ways you can approach this. Some go for the “Cheat Day” mentality. They eat “clean” foods that are in line with their goals throughout the week, and then they pick one day each week to get their fill of foods that aren’t so good for the body but are good for the mind
Others find ways to work little treats into their day, by eating whole, nutrient-dense food 80-90% of the time, and eating things like oreos or cupcakes 10-20% of the time. Some days may have treats, and others may not; there is little restriction with this method of eating.
Proponents of both methods swear that their way is the best way to achieve balance in eating, but I tend to disagree.
Like most things in health and fitness, how you balance your food intake is totally dependent on YOU. By being restrictive all week, some find that once the cheat day comes they go HOG WILD. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast. A big greasy sandwich and fries for lunch. Pasta for dinner and ice cream for dessert, and multiple sugary snacks throughout the day.
Doesn’t sound very balanced to me.
Likewise, as much as us fitness professionals preach balance and moderation, some just legitimately struggle with moderation. We all have trigger foods that once we start eating them it’s difficult to stop. For me, it’s ice cream. I KNOW that when ice cream comes to the party shit is goin’ down and I’m totally prepared for it.
But not everyone is able to identify their trigger foods and prepare for the consequences. So what was originally a harmless a Timbit – “hey, I ate a high-protein breakfast, a nutrient-dense lunch, and my big green smoothie…I can afford this tiny Timbit!” – has turned into an all-out donut hole binge.
Again, not very balanced and let’s be honest: not conducive to weight loss.
My advice? Be honest with yourself. Are you an all-or-nothing type person? If you take the Cheat Day approach are you going to restrict yourself so much during the week that once the weekend comes you’re going to let go of all inhibitions and eat the entire candy isle? If so, maybe that’s not the best route for you.
Likewise, do you really struggle with practicing moderation in general? Or are there certain foods you can think of that you enjoy but don’t have the same “MUST EAT EVERYTHING” effect as others? When you’re in weight loss mode, try focusing more on those foods as your treats and skip the binge-inducing foods for awhile.
When you’re on a weight loss journey remember that eating one meal off plan one or two times each week isn’t going to derail all progress. Neither is a Timbit here and there. But if it becomes a regular thing then it’s going to take longer to reap the rewards of your hard work.
Find ways to cook healthy foods you enjoy. If that means throwing a little bit of BBQ sauce on a chicken breast, then so be it. If that means a piece of Ezekiel bread with your veggie omelet in the morning then go for it. Extremes are not sustainable, and finding a way to create a healthy lifestyle that works for YOU is the key to lasting success.
Do you find yourself on the Cheat Day end of the spectrum, on the moderation end, or somewhere in the middle? How have you managed to achieve balance with your eating habits? Do you have any foods that cause you to go hog wild like ice cream does for me? 😉