I want to address a feeling that’s very common this time of year: guilt over having indulged.
Your mom shoved seconds in your face. Your aunt baked you cookies and the dessert assortment was just too good to pass up.
So now - should you just give up trying to eat well because you weren’t perfect for a few days? Let’s get real. If you eat more than you had planned and don’t feel so great, just move on. It’s punishment enough to feel guilty. If you beat yourself up and approach it with an all-or-nothing attitude, you learn nothing. For example, if you say: ‘I had cookies and shouldn’t have. Why even bother? I’m just going to continue eating everything in sight. What’s the point...?’, then you are in fact playing a game of perfectionism.
Rather than aiming to be perfect (hello, nobody is!!), aim for best effort. When you eat something not so stellar, make up for it instead of abandoning all efforts entirely. We are not playing a game of survivor diet island! Skip the guilt and instead try this mindset:
One bad meal doesn’t signal the end of your weight loss journey.
In fact, having regular indulgences, can preempt you from wanting more bad stuff.
So, if that dessert gave you a ‘fix’ and you balanced it out by reducing the carbs in the next 2-3 meals or skipped a meal or two or worked out, you created balance.
Why beat yourself up for something you CHOSE to do in the first place...?
Ultimately, an indulgence should feel like that. If you feel awful afterwards, it’s a punishment. Find the tipping point where you enjoy the taste and physical effects and where that switches into a negative experience. That’s where you want to stop (it takes time to figure this out, but once you have, you won’t be overdoing it anymore because feeling awful will become a huge deterrent.
BUT, I sure get it. We overdo it sometimes and it's actually quite normal. Sometimes we push ourselves so hard in one direction that doesn't feel quite right, but at the same time we don't know how to stop. You can blame the combination of carbs with fat. High sugar and fat or high starch combined with fat will trigger the brain into addiction. That combo lights up the pleasure center in the brain that says: "Don't stop. Keep eating this. Eat more."
We do arrive at a point though where we may feel gross, bloated, heavy, tired, sluggish, brain fog, even anxiety and depression. Those symptoms signal us that we overdid and we crave the opposite feeling. Feeling 'clean', lean, in charge, energized, light, and balanced.
Many people start the new year with a detox or an intense workout program. But, that's actually not necessary to reset yourself mentally and physically. And, surprisingly it's not about the foods you eat, but more about the foods you DON'T eat.
My time in Ireland was really relaxing and quiet, but I didn't get nearly as much exercise as I need to feel good and I had my share of indulgences. I will be focusing the next week on a few key steps that are super effective at resetting my system.
What are these steps?
1. REAL FOOD: I cut out all sugar and starches and focus on protein and veggies. Veggie smoothies with protein powder for breakfast, a veggie or chicken soup for lunch and a dinner of roasted veggies and a piece of protein. Or, some kind of salad with tons of veggies. The Effect: The absence of sugar and starch allows you to drop several pounds of water and bloat. Every gram of those holds on to 2.5-3 grams of water, so without them coming in, your body releases that yucky bloat.
Your digestion will regulate without known allergens, such as wheat, grains and some fruits, sugar and processed food. You'll feel lighter. Your brain fog will disappear without sugar. Your mood will balance out as a result of balanced blood sugar and your body will start burning fat (instead of food) in a matter of 2-3 days. 2. TONS OF WATER: I'll be drinking at least 3 liters of water a day, along with a branched-chain-amino acid product called MRM Reload that helps me reduce sugar cravings and slightly blunts my appetite and keeps me from losing muscle.
The Effect: Hydration gives your body and brain energy and reduces hunger. Proper water intake is the key for your metabolism to hum along nicely and to allow your body to metabolize your food and nutrients. It also makes your skin looking healthier and supple.
3. STRENGTH TRAINING + LOTS OF WALKING: I will strength train 3x a week, 20 minutes each using dumbbells. A metabolic sequence is the best way to get an intense metabolic boost and cardio effect, but it will not increase my appetite, sugar cravings or lower my energy afterwards. The right measure creates the desired effect. I always walk 2 hours a day, so that will continue to happen.
The Effect: Metabolic Sequences, like the routines in this video (password: sequence ) challenges the muscles at such an efficient level that forces them into repair mode to build lean and strong definition. The workout increases fat burning for up to 48 hours afterwards and provides the right ratio needed to see your body change and respond to each and every workout. You need to be breathing heavy, you need to feel the heat in your muscles, and you need to feel a level of fatigue that barely allows you to finish the routine. These effects translate into the right hormonal impact of your workouts. Yes, it's not about calories, but about hormones!!!! You want the right ratio of growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol and adrenaline to get leaner. If you haven't been seeing your body change in the past 2-3 weeks, you haven't nailed your workouts.
That's it. These are the 3 main focus points. No detox. No juice cleanse. No 'superfoods', no crazy supplements, and no restriction. It's really that simple. Give it a shot and let me know how you feel in a week, ok? I promise you, you'll want to keep going after that one week.
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