Monday, December 2, 2013

Best Strategy To Prevent Emotional Binge Eating, part one.

You know... sometimes I suspect my subtle style of genius is a bit toooo subtle for people and goes unnoticed. Also my modest humility, perhaps.

I think most things are pretty simple, but we have a tendency to over complicate them. We have a tendency to place too much importance on things that really don't matter all that much. Things that might fall into the "probably a good idea" or "probably not helpful" categories we treat as if they are "make or break, all or nothing". I think in the biz there's a bit of wanting to impress each other with advanced technical knowledge of nutrition, biochemistry and so on... and for the general public (as well as industry people), there's a definite, almost universal proclivity to insist "it can be done this way, therefore it can't be done any other way" and if one thing is good, anything else is bad and must never be done, ever.

Maybe it is human nature. I don't get it but that's my observation.

What does this have to do with emotional eating and binge eating? Cool your jets, hot shot. I'm getting to that.

So my thing is that every now and then there's an oh so serious discussion going on, and I'll throw in some little one liner... almost as if I'm being flippant. It goes over most people's heads, but the ones who know me and know my style usually will realise there is some subtle fkn genius at work here.

For example... oh I don't know. How about "my client has a problem cutting out the chocolate. She's making great progress at training and the rest of her diet is not too bad but how do I convince her to give up the chocolate?". 20 odd people weigh in (no pun) with some sports psychology, motivational life coach type stuff... and me? "That's fine, chocolate is good for you".

"[whatever] is good for you" is one of my favourite catch phrases.

Here's how I look at it. Whether you have a significant amount of weight to lose, just a little bit of weight to lose, or your weight is already about right but you don't feel you're in the best shape you could be... whatever. At the risk of repeating literally every other post I ever wrote, again, here's what you need.

  • A strategic training program. This means your body has a reason to actually use the fuel you put into it, to get healthier and stronger. 
  • An appropriate daily calorie target, suitable to maintaining your goal weight range. It will be above BMR, but below the amount required to maintain current weight.
  • A suitable balance of macro nutrients.
  • A little flexibility to include the foods you enjoy, that keep you happy.
So assuming you have that plan in place, and you're sticking to it with reasonable consistency... most of what everyone else is arguing about doesn't really make that much of a difference. Sure, you're going to want to base your plan on the most sensible, wholesome choices of foods that you enjoy, but if you can find room in the plan for that aforementioned chocolate, or ice cream, or whatever else... where's the harm? Especially in a weight loss plan, you're still only consuming a total amount suitable to maintaining a lower body weight. In other words, it is ALL energy that is going to be utilised. If squeezing that little treat in is the difference between finding it easy to stick to the plan, and being stressed out trying to force yourself to be strict and disciplined... then yes; chocolate [or whatever it is] is good for you.

Now, right now I'm kicking off a 12 Week Flexible Dieting Challenge and there's not much to it other than me putting together a plan like the one described above, and people have to stick reasonably close to it more often than not for 12 weeks. Now, what I'm really trying to promote here is that if you're "reasonably close more often than not" for 12 weeks, you're going to get results. Given that all we're asking of ourselves is "more often than not", let's add one more point to our plan.
  •  The freedom to blow the whole plan off once in a while and eat as much as you want as whatever the hell you feel like.
Pretty much the opposite of any other diet or similar challenge where you're supposed to have willpower, discipline, and whatever else it takes to strictly adhere to the rules. Right? Really though, even if you do have a day here and there where you go way, WAY off the plan... on the whole over the course of 12 weeks you're still going to be getting it about right.

That's the set up done! Check tomorrow's entry for our Strategy To Prevent Emotional Binge Eating. That's the link!