Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comfort foods, emotional eating, guilty pleasures... let's straighten this out once and for all.

What is your number one "guilty pleasure" as far as foods goes? That one indulgence you struggle to resist once in a while, a little too often in fact, that is holding you back from achieving your goals in terms of weight loss or body conditioning?

How would you like to overcome that problem, RIGHT NOW?

That's not a rhetorical question. Before you read any further DECIDE and say to yourself "yes, as a matter of fact I would like very much to overcome that problem right now".

Good then.

Those are all trick questions by the way.

#1 eating whatever the hell you like isn't hurting anyone else. So why should you feel "guilty" about it? Unless your idea of "pleasure" is pulling the wings off butterflies or something horrible like that, it aint nothing to feel guilty about. We're here for a good time not a long time god dammit.

#2 still, guilty or not if there's a thorn in your side preventing you from achieving the goals you have set for yourself, that's a problem to be addressed. IS IT, though? Is that one meal or snack in isolation enough to bring your otherwise flawless efforts undone?

Nope.

If you're training effectively, and especially if you also have an active and busy lifestyle outside of the gym, you require a certain amount of energy. I say "require" as it is not really optional. You require a certain amount, and if you're in the habit of failing to consume that amount, you're really just running yourself into the ground. Now THAT is an unhealthy choice we need to stop making!

Even if your goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, this still applies to you. You need to meet that minimum requirement of energy and other resources from foods. Now, we can run some maths and apply what we know about sports nutrition to determine with pretty good accuracy what that requirement might be. Given that it is a minimum requirement though, and we're interested in producing tremendous results in changing body composition and condition through training (rather than destructively trying to starve weight off, which we all know doesn't work), your optimal requirement is likely to be considerably higher.

Now, if we're in the habit of consuming somewhere within those minimum and optimum intake targets, what do we know? We know that literally all of that energy and all of those other valuable resources are being taken up and put to good use. Regardless of the source of those resources, they are being utilised in producing your goal body condition. Whether they are from the most responsible, healthy and nutritious source, or whether they are from the most frivolous and indulgent choice, all of it is fuel and resources that your body REQUIRES.

I cannot  stress that enough. Your body requires energy, just as it requires protein, vitamins, minerals, water, oxygen, and so on.

Which is not to say just eat as much as you want of whatever you like with reckless abandon. We still need to arrive within our target range for total intake, with adequate protein, and enough fresh fruit and veg to meet our vitamin, mineral, and fibre requirements. Too many frivolous choices will make that goal less likely to attain. Some indulgent treats here and there, fit nicely into a plan that meets both your physical requirements as well as your psychological ones? Absolutely fine, and in fact more than fine. Beneficial. Required. Non optional.
 
Success in achieving your goal weight range and body condition isn't down to willpower, discipline, restraint or any other "moral" personality traits. It is down to providing a suitable energy balance to enable your body to perform at training, and to recover and adapt with the creation and maintenance of more lean muscle and bone tissue at the expense of adipose (aka fat) tissue.

For those of you who don't know, I have a nice system called "Flexible Fueling" which has helped a lot of people overcome problems with emotional eating, disordered eating and just plain old "trying really hard but not seeing satisfactory results from training and dieting" as well.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can eat without restriction whilst still losing weight click the link below and get started with the FREE pre-program, and you'll have priority access when I launch the next season of Online Coaching.  There's a great testimonial on that page as well, go see what my clients are saying.

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