Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trainers who don't "Eat Clean"

I shot a little video blog before training yesterday... it was just off the top of my head in one take, so it requires a little elaboration.

A while back I was talking about french toast, on facebook... and I got a little bit of a lecture from some other trainers like I should be "setting a better example for my clients" by cutting out bread. This was in the context of... you know... the usual sort of conversation about carbs being the devil and "clean eating" being the way to manage your weight and get into great shape.

Well... my opinions on this subject are already well documented. To lose weight and get into great shape you need to eat "about the right amount, more often than not" and follow an effective training program. There are certainly better choices of foods that will make it easier to hit your targets for total calorie intake, macro nutrient rations and mirco nutrition (that's vitamins and minerals) requirements... but the idea that "you can't do it" if you're not on some kind of clean eating / green eating / caveman style / low carb diet is ridiculous and unhelpful. People already have enough of an unhealthy, disordered relationship without us trainers telling them most common every day foods are a "deal breaker" that is going to ruin their lives.

That kind of thinking is called ORTHOREXIA and in my opinion, promoting it with misinformation like that is just as irresponsible as the other forms of "pro eating disorder" and self harm glamorisation that fucked up people are putting into the heads of young people. It's terrible.

SO anyway I've already talked about that a lot and this post was supposed to be about something related but a little different, which is:

What about Personal Trainers who eat junk food?

You see these conversations on the internet a lot. Like... oh, "I was in the food court and there was a trainer in there eating something unhealthy. Lol what a bad trainer"... that sort of thing. People like to spot trainers and make an instant judgement call about them not being very good, don't they?

So I wasn't really happy with how I said this in the video so I'll type it up a bit better here.

First possible scenario: trainer doesn't appear to be in tremendous shape and is eating "unhealthy" food.

Well... you could be right. Maybe they don't have an adequate knowledge of how to train and eat for a goal body type. OR, maybe they've actually done tremendously well already... starting out as an overweight inactive person, getting into training, becoming a qualified PT, they're about half way through their own transformation and this is their one "cheat" meal of the week? How would you know?

Second possible scenario: trainer appears to be in decent shape, but is eating "unhealthy" food.

Again... they could be one of those people who simply do not get fat no matter what they eat. And that's not necessarily a good thing for a trainer, as it may or may not mean that they don't have that necessary understanding of how a normal person (aka a client) needs to eat for their goal body type. But then again, they might. OR once again, it could just be their one "don't give a fuck, gonna eat what I want and enjoy it" meal of the week. How would you know?

Third possible scenario: it's me eating pizza on a Saturday night.

People who have a real understanding of this stuff... and that means actual trainers as well as people who you might describe as "successful enthusiasts" have a healthy relationship with food, and know that as long as they get it "about right" more often than not throughout the week, it's fine to have that "this one is just for enjoyment" meal once in a while. This is important for your sanity as much as anything else. Setting an unrealistic expectation of following a perfect "clean" diet 100% of the time isn't even necessary to start with, and beating yourself up for eating like a normal, non-obsessive human being once in a while is certainly a lot less healthy than allowing yourself a little guilt free indulgence once in a while.

So the example we should all be setting is MODERATION. Achieve your goals through healthy, sensible and moderate approaches.

Anyway here's the video.