Category Archives: Uncategorized

what you can learn from a plate of fries

Before fries…Real Quick. 

Next week I am super excited to open enrollment for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh.  I created this because I had a new vision. I want to teach women how to develop an effortless way of healthy living . To free you from the diet cycle of on again, off again. Of restricting then indulging. Of time consuming workouts, then no workouts. Of all or nothing. There is an in between and I want to help you find it. Not by giving you an exact plan, but by helping you create your own way by changing your beliefs and changing your habits so you have the tools you need to move forward that you can use forever. Get on the wait list, or even if you are just curious and want more info, here.

NOW…

I find lessons in all areas of my life.  Sometimes it is on my walks watching the way my dog reacts to her surrounding, sometimes it is people watching at dinner, sometimes it is with a my plate of fries.

Last month on my vacation to Oregon I was at the airport with a 3 hour layover and grabbed lunch with my sister.  I usually order salads when eating out simply because they fill be up (with plenty of protein and fat thanks to chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado, dressing still on the side, not just lettuce cucumber and tomato) but on that day I was extra hungry and knew I needed something with not only that protein and fat but carbs too!

So I ordered a bacon, turkey sandwich and went to order my usual side salad but they said it was going to be $4.95. And I thought 5 dollars for a side salad which I know will be lettuce and croutons, no thanks. But my other option was fries.

IMG_0792

I did eat the entire turkey, bacon sandwich but I managed to leave most of my fries….

And if you have been with me for awhile you know that I do GREAT at sampling fries off my boyfriends plate. Although he kinda messed up my practice because this year he gave up fries for his new years resolution, which is a completely different story, for a completely different blog. Although I will say he has stuck to it like a champ!!

Anyways I have been so good and practicing this but I rarely practice ordering my own fries and moderating them. So within seconds I noted that this would be good *practice* for me to have my own fries and just have a few. I was actually a little bit nervous because what if I ate every single fry off that plate despite not being hungry. Because sometimes self control just goes out the window!!

But you know what? I had to practice, and I did. I ate half a sandwich and had a few fries. And then ate my other half and had a few more. This is not something I have always been good at. I used to eat them all and then I gave into the lazy way of self control. Just avoiding foods I can’t control all together. That way of thinking, while is a good way start, doesn’t really help us practice saying no. It is having to face the food you actually want and say now.

Now I have not always been good at his but I have practiced and practiced over the years and it has paid off!

So then do you know what the fries had me thinking?

How lucky am I? How lucky are we?

How fortunate we are that food is always be available to us?

I think sometimes we get so caught up in the idea that if we don’t have food and have it NOW that it won’t be available to us.

Like if we don’t have it now, we are saying no forever.

And alot of it comes into play because we tend to try to restrict ourselves and end up in this cycle of doing the same thing over and over again. Restrict, binge, guilt repeat.

But what if you changed your thought process and started to become more aware. Just because I don’t have dessert or wine tonight doesn’t mean I can’t have it tomorrow night. Just because I pass on food now doesn’t mean I can’t have it next week. Just because Girl Scout cookies are for sale now doesn’t mean I can’t get them next year when they are on sale.

How can you change? Start by using what I call my AAA formula.  

For every change you need an:

Affirmation + Approach + Action

You absolutely need to have the belief that you can change your ways. You need to have an approach (knowledge, desire, know how).  And you need to actually do it. When you are missing a link, nothing gets accomplished.

Once you change your belief that you don’t have to eat everything in sight, you need to learn how to apply it and practice it. And this is the strategy I will share with you today.

Practice saying no to food on occasion, when you are not truly hungry. Many times we eat food because it is circumstantial. Your co-worker brought in cookies, so you have one. Costco is giving out samples so of course you take them. It is a holiday, so you indulge. You have dinner at your moms so you clean your plate. You are at the movies so you need popcorn. The truth is, you do not need to do any of these things, unless you want them. Start to pay attention to when and why you eat, and if it is just because of the circumstance gently remind yourself that you do not have to. You can have the same foods tomorrow if you truly wish. Food will always be available to you. 

Because practice makes progress! And progress is what we want and need for growth! Next time you have the opportunity practice. You may eat it all the first ten or twenty times. But if you stick with it, you will get better. The only way you can’t improve is if you give up.

Again be sure to get on the wait list for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh program. Because the answer is not to eat less and less and to work out more and more. The answer lies in your Affirmation + Approach + Action!

Guilt is not going to help you

AJ-21-1When it comes down to it guilt is not going to you. Or me for that matter.

I spent years in the eat, guilt, eat, guilt cycle and I really wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Because the thing is, guilt doesn’t change our choices, it does not undo our mistakes and it sure doesn’t motivate us to do better next time.

I have been socializing and traveling a lot of more in the past couple months than I ever usually do and this use to be hardest for me because I was “off” plan. I would have food and drink that I normally won’t “on” plan as I was super rigid with my diet. And even with as rigid I was, my body didn’t change a whole lot. Sure it did when I nailed it for a month, but in the big picture, the more I worked out and the stricter I was with my diet, the less change I saw.

And if you have experienced any similar feelings I really feel for you because it is no fun and I if I am going to eat something a little more indulgent I would rather just not feel guilty all together. I recieved great feedback from my email about this topic and though I get a bit more personal in my newsletters I wanted to give you a few ways to work through these guilty feelings.

3 Ways to not let guilt hinder your progress.

Accept the reality of the situation. 

When you simply start looking at the situation for what it was, not what it should have been, everything changes. Because when you look at it simply for what it is, you have nothing to compare it to. One of my favorite perspectives is from Byron Kaite. Ask yourself what you are without that thought?

I ate too much.

What are you without what you should and should have not done? What is the reality without the emotion attached to the thought? It simply is that you ate to much.

When you are able to look at the situation for what it is not what it should be, it takes away a lot of the struggle, the suffering and the pain.

Forgive yourself.

There is not point in stressing over something that you simply can not change. Move on and grow stronger. Feel what you need to feel and move on quickly.

Compassion is a greater motivator than criticism and studies actually show that. Guilt and resentment keep you in the past and forgiveness and acceptance keep you  moving forward.

Practice gratitude.

I go in spurts with how I practice gratitude. Some days I journal, some days I shoot a friend a text or email, some days I let my mind wander and think about all i have to be grateful in my life. Because perception is everything. We can view the world as full of opportunity or view it full of misfortune. It is all in how you choose to view it, even in the lowest of moments.

From scratch, healthy homemade cookies

I am not a fan of recipes and even when I follow one I tend to alter or adjust it almost all the time. This leads to creating my own recipes though I am the biggest non cook you will ever meet. I just don’t enjoy it most of the time. BUT everyone once in awhile I like trying something new or find myself in awe over my creations completely from scratch.

My sister and I actually created this recipe just with what she had in her kitchen.  We kind of winged it (“yeah lets throw some of that in there) so the measurements may not be exact. Feel free to add your own goodies or adjust the recipe as you wish.

IMG_8801

 

Ingredients:

2 mashed bananas

1.5 cup of dry oatmeal

1/2 cup of coconut flour

2 TBSP of honey

1/4 cup of Sunflower Seed butter

Sprinkle of baking soda

1 tsp of vanilla

A huge handful of chocolate chips (ok two huge handfuls).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash bananas and mix together all ingredients.

Place in cookie shaped sizes on a foil lined sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

 

 

What my mother gave me: the gift of imperfection

IMG_7347

Putting things in perspective even at a young age. 🙂

My mom always told me that when I grew up I would take the things I liked about her and her parenting and I would use them as my own and the things I did not like so much I would leave behind. I always have admired the bravery and authenticity in this statement and admission of imperfection.  That she was doing her best, the best way she knew how and it was ok if I did not agree with her 100%. I did not have to follow in her footsteps 100%.

And I have found that while growing up  this has happened almost automatically.  I have taken with me the things I work for my approach in life and set the rest aside. This Mother’s Day I want to share my moms top 3 pieces of advice that were ingrained into my brain. So much in fact, that now a days I just laugh when she gives me this advice. Because she still does.

Put it in Perspective.

I remember coming home from a shopping trip mad because I didn’t get the shirt I wanted, was annoyed by my sister, or complained if I had to eat peas at dinner. My mom would always respond by telling me to put it in perspective. “There are people out there who are not as fortunate as you. You should feel blessed for what you have.” And even at a young age, it was really easy to understand, and really hard and frustrating to argue, because I knew she was right. To have food, clothes and love in abundance was a luxury that some did not have. So that is where my perspective mindset began.

We have 100% control of how we view ANY situation. From the worst of the worst we have control of how we will work through it and how we will come out of it. And yes life happens and we will be faced with the unbearable at times. But on a day to day basis, I would rather put every situation in perspective to lessen misery, resentment, frustration and anger.

I do this by asking myself.

How can I turn this situation around?

Can I see this from some else’s point of view?

What do I have to be grateful for in this moment? 

I know this stuff is tough and takes practice. It is something I still work on from time to time but it does become easier and require less conscious effort as you practice it. I can chose to view the world through a lens of possibility and opportunity or through the lens that everyone is out to get me make me miserable. No thanks. I’ll take the first.

IMG_4139

Something does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.

This story could be another blog in itself but to sum it up quickly. My grandparents were traveling through Germany in the 1970’s and my grandfather wanted to buy my grandmother the ring he wished he could have given to her when they got married. So they settled on a gorgeous 2 carrot diamond set on a ever so thin band to replace the “itty bitty diamond ring that I borrowed $150 from my father to buy.” Words of Grandpa by the way. The jeweler, in being transparent, told by grandparents that while it was a beautiful stone, it did have a small flaw that you could see with the naked eye. And it did but my Grandma replied that she was still interested by saying “Something does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I think my Grandma was ahead of her time with her positive psychology thinking and this perspective was passed down to my mom who passed it down to my sisters and I.

 I think sometimes we get so caught up in perfection, that we ignore reality and the concept that perfection is an illusion. I can’t tell you how many times I get consumed with constantly trying to do everything! Why can’t I do it all?  But instead of comparing my sad looking dinner, my un photogenic closet, my failed workout, or Lulu’s never ending dog hair around the house to  pictures on Pinterest, maybe I could just give myself a pat on the back and tell myself that I am  doing the best I can. And that sometimes I just need to let my best be good enough.

I have to remind myself that “perfect” does not guarantee pain free living. We start to associate doing every thing right, (being perfect) with automatically bringing happiness and joy into our lives. And when we do things wrong, (when we are not perfect, act perfect, or look perfect) it represents that we are not worthy. It is ok to strive to do our best but I don’t think this works unless we have some compassion for ourselves along the way. We are all just trying our best and our best does not have to be perfect to be beautiful, to be accepted, or to get things done.

Soak it.

Ok so this is somewhat of a joke because my mom’s remedy for everything seems to be to soak it. Growing up whether we had a tired body, a headache, were stressed, had a blister on our toe my mom would draw up a bath and tell us to soak it. I think that was my mom’s way of saying that we can’t make everything better but we can try. And if we can just focus on the positive we can make it through with less pain and more joy.

You see, my mom is one of the kindest, most warm hearted people on the planet. She is the master at killing people with kindness with the genuine interest to make their day better. Growing up my mom would do things like this. “Let’s see if we can make this cashier smile. She looks like she is not having a good day.” I would roll my eyes in embarrassed as my mom would chat with the cashier, give them a compliment or two, and it was obvious in her approach that there was no way they could really not be nice back.

She would almost always get a smile out of the person. And you know what I did yesterday at the grocery store. I started chatting with the cashier, giving her compliment, and wishing her a great weekend. As I was walking out of the store I was thinking about how nice it is to just make connections with people. To go out of our way to give a compliment or be nice. To extend that extra gesture of kindness when we really do not have to. And it was not until I this very moment, writing this blog, that I realized exactly where I got that from. My mama.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, and to all the mom’s out there.

I asked on and off social media for the best advice you ever received from you mom and I just love the responses I got back.

“To be a smart, confident and kind woman with manners.”

“To be ME. And to never let anyone influence me to do otherwise.”

“That a mom’s most important role is to raise good humans…no matter what they do as a career, what’s inside is what matters.”

“To go with my gut.”

“Have a kind heart to heart others and be your true genuine self.”

“Have a magnanimous heart.” ( Had to look it up. Magnaminous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: noble).

Cameron Diaz said what?!?

IMG_1598Awhile back I saw Cameron Diaz being interviewed on Oprah. Gorgeous, glowing and ever so sweet and vibrant, she sat chatting about everything from movies to body image. Oprah asked her something along the lines of if she struggled with her body image at all? Did she ever even have a bad day?

“Of course I have bad days,” Cameron responded without even hesitating. “I have days where I look in the mirror I and don’t like what I see.”

This was an aha moment for me because it really opened up my eyes that I could have someone else’s body or physical qualities that I deemed “perfect” but still be unhappy or have bad days.

I completely acknowledge the value of wanting to feel confident in our skin and healthy in our own bodies but beyond looking a certain way, at its most basic element it is a choice. It is something we can make before reaching where we want to be whether that is improving our bodies or improving our jobs.

It takes a radical shift in our psychology and the way we think about ourselves.

Seeking out a certain look to just to feel validated or accepted really digs into our own insecurities and inadequacies of not being good enough. We think we we just just be leaner or just look a certain way we will be have all the joy, happiness, and good things in life we need.

In reality it is trap when we caught up in the “if, then” psychological mess of thinking that, “if” we looked a different way, “then” we would be happier. It is a comparison trap really.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

You have heard this before I am sure but have you ever thought about a day when you feel like you are rocking it and then you see someone else rocking it too and suddenly your achievements and “goodness” don’t quite measure up?

Remember the woman with the perfect body, she has struggles too. The effortlessly matched fashionista, may not view life as effortless. The successful business person may not enjoy the work like they are portraying. The parent who seems to have everything together, may just be trying to hold it all together.

We all feel inadequate in our own ways. And while we are all so different, this is an area where we are the same. The challenge is to not let our self proclaimed inadequacy rob our happiness and self love. We must realize that how our bodies are shaped, how our clothes look and whether our dinners look like they do on Pinterest do not define our value or worth. (I know you have had that Pinterest thought before). 

You are not only successful when you get to where you want to be but you have little successes along the way that should be celebrated each and everydayIt is possible to have ambition and feel blessed with the life you have at the same time. 

Learning to embrace the journey is what life really is all about. Once one goal is met, another is usually created because we are not usually most happy not when we achieve something, but when we are engaged in the process itself.

How do I shift my thoughts?

 

I want to give you simple question to ask yourself when you are struggling. It could be with body image or anything else in life, from relationships to your parenting or career.

In the book, Loving What Is by Byron Katie and she points out a valuable question that I have started to ask myself during moments of comparison, when I am having trouble in a relationship, or feeling stressed. 

What is one stress-free reason to believe that thought?

What is one stress free reason to believe someone is more attractive, more successful or “better” than you? What is one stress free reason to compare? You may find a stress free reason and if you do, that’s fine. If you cannot find one, release your feelings, release your thoughts.

Because at that point it is only your perception holding you back, keeping your from happiness and joy. It is only your thoughts controlling you. The beauty is, you can change those thoughts as difficult as it may be sometimes, you have the power.  Seriously? Yes seriously, and this is very exciting because it is all on you. But instead of being burdened with this personal responsibility, get excited. It is all on you, to change your thoughts, to change your way of living if it does not serve you currently! 

Focus less on what others are doing and more on what you are doing. Honor your own journey and all you have to offer to yourself, to your relationships and to the world around you. And remember that someone else’s success, beauty, and achievement does not diminish your own.

Protein Pumpkin Loaf and Candy Cane Coffee in April


IMG_7560You may see a trend that I am all about creating your, own, unique rules when it comes to eating and sometimes I think we get so stuck in the rules, that we never allow ourselves to step outside the box and follow, gasp, what our body is really asking for. What a novel concept! (Just a hint of sarcasm here).

I felt like pumpkin the other day and, with an oh so late Christmas exchange with one of my best girls,  the candy cane coffee I received was just enough motivation to feel a little holiday like in April.

Here is a healthier alternative to a pumpkin loaf that should be treated just like all other food. Everything in moderation. Meaning if you have been craving just “a little something”, eat it.  It will NOT derail your goals and could actually save you from binges later on in the week or month.

What you eat NOW will directly affect what you eat in the future. So if you are restricting yourself with an apple for breakfast, lettuce for lunch and picking at dinner, just know your hunger and cravings will catch up with you at some point and you will over consume in some shape or form.

Pumpkin Loaf

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 TBSP of vanilla

1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/4 cup of honey

1 TBSP of pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

Sprinkle of salt

1/4 cup coconut flour

1- cup of almond flour

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1 tsp pf baking powder.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix together eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, oil and honey.

3. In a different bowl mix together all other ingredients.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Pour into a well greased pan or foil lined pan coated with cooking spray.

5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife cuts it out clean.

6. Find some candy cane coffee and enjoy! 🙂

IMG_7648

Using the oven for veggie lovin’


I am all about finding new and different ways to get veggies in my diet, because they CAN be tasty.  And I love using the oven because I do not have to attend to it constantly. I can pop a baking sheet full of veggies in and let them cook for their designated time while I do other things. Plus, I like the slight crisp they get from roasting.

I find that those who are not big fans of veggies are chomping on celery sticks, eating green beans out of can, or are eating plain salads of iceberg lettuce and cabbage with an oil dressing. Your right, those kinds of servings do not sound all that great to me either!

Check out my cauliflower cakes recipe and I have a PDF for you to check out more veggie recipes you can cook using just the oven!

Cauliflower Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small cauliflower head (trim off the core)
  • One egg
  • One egg white
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Optional additional seasonings: garlic powder, cayenne, oregano
IMG_7527

The cauliflower chops up quickly in the blender.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place cauliflower pieces in a food processor or blender and blend for a few seconds until it is finely chopped.
  3. Add egg, egg white, cheese and seasonings. Blend for a few more seconds.
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil and coated with a cooking spray.
  5. Take 1/4 cup and scoop mixture onto sheet and spread into small pancake shapes.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until firm.
  7. Remove from oven, carefully flip each cake and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Let cool and serve as a side, top with avocado and eat as a snack, or use it to make an egg sandwich.
IMG_7529

This batch turned out a little crispy, just the way I like it!

 

How meal plans help you fail

What would your life be like if you were not dieting or constantly thinking or stressing about food? What would it be like if your diet and eating felt effortless? The truth its, it can! It does not have to be all consuming and energy draining. You just have to get through the initial phase of feeling like you have to follow rules dictated by someone else for you to be successful.

The first time I experimented with meal plans was during my college days. It was 2 months out from spring break and I started following the Slim Fast plan. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, sensible dinner, and maybe and apple or some celery and carrots  during the day. It was not too dreadful, other than the fact that I was starving all the time. I really liked the chocolate shakes and it satisfied my sweet tooth.

I adhered to this for a few weeks like a pro. I was even getting super intense workouts in with my strength coach. (On a side note being a college athlete and trying to do this was one of the least smart choices I ever did make in relation to eating). I was losing weight, feeling great, getting compliments, low on energy, stressing about food, and counting down the seconds until my next meal. Then one day I went out to lunch with some friends and had a mini breakdown inside my head. What am I going to eat now turned into what am I going to eat for the rest of my life. I can’t keep buying these shakes forever! And this is exactly what meal plans do to us.

IMG_5130

They keep us dependent and ignorant about our own bodies.

One of the worst things about meal plans is trying to keep it up and trying to be social at the same time. Even if you can, and want to be on a meal plan most days of the week, what happens when you go out to dinner? To a friends birthday party? Your aunts house for dinner? Ice cream with your kids?

What do you do when the meal plan does not tell you what to eat? One of the most common themes I come across is that people get scared when they are left on their own, without anyone to tell them exactly what to eat, or what rules to follow. They fear they will mess and ruin their diet all together. You know what? Messing up on our diets is not the end of the world. It is actually feedback for ourselves now and in the future. Messing up is good because it lets us know what does not work.

It takes away our responsibility completely and does not help us learn about ourselves. 

The fear is, when we are not following a diet, created by someone else, we have to take full responsibility if and when we are more indulgent than we would like to be. And it will happen, its called life. When we have a meal plan or a specific diet, we can blame the program or the person who created the plan for us. When we learn to create our own rules when it comes to eating, we have to take full responsibility. And that can be tough sometimes.

The beauty is, we are also in full control to learn more about ourselves and help create our own unique way of eating. Because it is unique. Each and everyday is unique based on the foods we have available, where we are located and what we are doing. Following a meal plan is a great way to pretend we are always in control with our eating. But it is also a highly stressful tool when our food availability does not go as planned. If we can see our self considered failures as opportunities to learn, we can better create a way of eating that works for us.

Meal plans mess with our minds.

Whether it is paleo, gluten free, slim fast, zone, weight watchers, south beach, it does not matter. All these diets have rules, on or off foods, things we should or should not do. And when we do not comply, we feel like failures. We feel like we lost control and will continue to lose control and spiral downward into the land of failed eating yet again. The thing is eating one bad meal ( or one bad day of eating) will not break your diet just like one good meal (or good day of eating) will not make your diet. Consistency is the secret. 

If you are convinced that meal plans are for you, at least show yourself compassion if you fall off track. Self compassion is a great motivator than self criticism.

Diets and meal plans focus on too many rules.

You may have questions such as:

When should I eat breakfast?

Should I have carbs or just protein and fat? Or all three?

Should I workout fasted?

What should I eat before and after I workout in the morning?

Do I have to eat before if I am not hungry?

Can I have potatoes? Can they be white? sweet? purple?

Look at how much stress is surrounding your thoughts about food and it is not even past breakfast. Too many rules, create too many decisions, which will eventually lead to failure. These questions above are fine to have. But the only way to you can truly know what works is if you try it yourself and see what works.

I have a better way. I created Drop A Size in 5, an at home workout and eating guidebook that helps you create your, own, unique, rules when it comes to eating. YOUR Meal Design. What would it be like if at the end of 5 weeks you would know exactly how to eat for the rest of your life and it would be created by you? It will be launching at the end of April so be sure to sign up to get on the wait list for more info about YOUR Meal Design.

And let me tell you that once you create your own rules, you can end up anywhere, from Starbucks, to McDonalds, to Whole Foods and still make healthy, appropriate choices, in line with your goals.

 

YMD_Stacked

Loving Lulu: 10 reasons dogs make your life better

Happy 4th birthday Lulu!

DSC_0525

I can’t blog fitness, eating, health, relationships, and not dedicate at least a few to my precious fur baby Lulu.  She does get mentioned quite often as one of the cutest creatures you ever did see, and is infamous for making it difficult for me to leisure walk, as it is simply too exciting of adventures, not to check out everything in sight.

Lulu and I have had quite an adventure together and believe it or not we have lived in 4 different places in two years. She has happily accompanied me from place to place, always excited for the next adventure. I did not always like dogs, (I love last years birthday post you can check out here) but I have grown to love them and believe that they make your life better for so many reasons.

1. They take part in your joy and happiness.

DSC_0600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. They like to get outside, be active, and move.

IMG_2504

 

 

 

 

 

3. The go with the flow.

IMG_9970

 

 

 

 

 

4. They are good company and companionship.

IMG_2670

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.They like to cuddle.

SAM_0713

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. They know when things are not going well.

IMG_3151

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. They want to help make it better. “Hey mom, if you could just let me on the bed, I can comfort you.”

IMG_0301

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. They believe in rest and recovery.

IMG_0590

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. They show unconditional love.

IMG_6558

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Every day is the best day!

Alert: Be Careful of The “Less Strict” Eating Philosophy


You may have seen posts or read articles about fitness enthusiasts or  professionals who follow eating strategies such as IIFYM (if it fits your macros), where it matters less about what you eat and more about meeting your exact number of macronutrients of carbs, fats, and protein.  Cupcakes post workout? No problem!

Or you may notice a trend of those who just follow a less strict, more moderate eating philosophy where they drink wine, have fries, and eat dessert on a regular basis. You may have even seen me post about my daily love for chocolate and how I manage to get in my piece of dark chocolate, chocolate protein shake, and healthy chocolate pudding all in the same day. You may have also seen me throw around phrases “like don’t eat less and exercise more.”

However, I do want to throw in a few words of caution, when it comes to these philosophies. We usually all have a very strategic, well thought out plan behind them. And if it is effortless to, it is because we have put a lot of practice into it and have a developed healthy habits around it. Here are a few things to consider.

IMG_0972

You still need to incorporate healthy, whole foods. Typically foods that are labeled as bad for us, are not as nutrient dense or have as much benefit to our health as things like animal proteins, certain starches, fruits and vegetables. Butter and sugar combined? You are not going to get the health benefits, or satiety, as  you would as if you some type of animal protein and vegetables, and perhaps some potatoes too. You can get more nutrients and feel more satisfied from eating healthier foods more often, than you can from eating pop tarts and granola bars all day long. There is always room for treats but it is all about balance.

You still need self control. This type of flexible, moderate eating may seem like people are just eating anything and everything they want, but that is definitely not the case. No matter what kind of diet you follow, even if it is one you created for yourself, you still must give and take a little. A few glasses of wine at dinner? Maybe that means you leave out the bread. A whole dinner of indulgence? Back on track tomorrow. Chocolate after dinner. It is probably just one piece.

Eat less, exercise more clarified. Essentially, yes, there needs to be a caloric deficit to lose/maintain weight/fat. But..there also needs to be hormonal balance. And hormonal chaos is created when we go to extremes of eat less and exercise more. Think about a time when you may have decided to amp up your workouts to 5 days a week for 1-2 hours a day.

What happens? Exercise makes you hungrier. At the same time you decided to start eating very strictly lowering your caloric intake. What happens when you eat less? You become hungrier. Your hunger jumps up along with your cravings  and your energy drops. And the problem beyond that is that this is not sustainable. You will not be able to maintain this way of eating and that is one of the key ingredients to fat loss/maintenance! Sustainability.

Finding a balance between what you eat and how you workout is so crucial. If you are working out a lot more, eat enough (not more than) to meet your needs. If you are working out less, don’t eat quite as much because your body is not demanding as much from you.

A little self control can go along ways and build a lot of confidence within ourselves. I am a fan of the less strict philosophy, but it does come with some work and a plan.