Ditch the 30 day challenge
It’s so easy to be sucked into the idea that you can quickly wash away all of those holiday desserts, fast food trips, and excessive amounts of alcohol in a quick 4 week challenge. We all get pumped up after New Years to change our bad eating habits and decide it is time to stop using the excuse of “bulking.” But there are no quick fixes to losing weight or easy way to detox our bodies of our unhealthy lifestyles. Do you ever wonder why every January we seem to start this same cycle over again? The goal is a short-term fix, something simple that warrants fast results. The simple fact is that the only way to get healthy is by transforming your lifestyle, getting to know your body, exercising, and taking responsibility for your own health. Sorry to have to break the news to you… but there is no big diet secret.
Like many women, I spent most of my early twenties restricting my calories to basically nothing followed by binging for a full weekend or a full week… sometimes months. This was then followed by self-loathing and an unhealthy relationship with food. What do most of us think of when we hear the word diet challenge? Restriction, hunger, self-control? Generally not something anyone is super eager to embark upon. In fact, it seems a little scary. The reason for this is most diets today are focused on fear in one way or another—fear of fat, fear of sugar, fear of calories. The list goes on and on. And I don’t think I am saying anything revolutionary when I suggest that perhaps these diets aren’t quite working out long term.
This is not a post to discourage anyone from starting a New Year’s resolution to clean up their eating and drinking habits! We definitely encourage this! What we don’t encourage is limiting yourself to 1200 calories a day and creating strict rules for what you can and can’t eat (don’t demonize your food!). These methods are completely unrealistic long term. You will most likely feel like you are starving (because you are) and trying to get motivated to train whilst being undernourished is an impractical feat. Holding yourself to these kinds of standards will eventually make you feel like a failure. That is the opposite of how we want any of our members to feel.
So instead of doing a gym wide challenge this year we are going to encourage a few simple guidelines. First, eat a wide variety of foods that provide a variety of nutrients and eat according to your energy expenditure. In other words, there are no foods that are off limits in moderation and make sure you are eating just enough food to fuel your daily lifestyles and fitness goals. You may have to track your food to make sure you are doing this properly. Secondly, have patience! Many times we have the best intentions of using a well balanced approach to our diets, then we start making more restrictions and cutting more calories in order to see faster results. Trust the process and see guideline #1. Don’t be surprised if this takes minimum 12 weeks! Thirdly, let go of the need to be and eat perfectly! Stop comparing yourself to these “perfect” fitness models or crossfitters on social media. Everyone has different body and nutritional needs. Lastly, ask for help if you are someone who just doesn’t know where to start. Asking for help or getting a nutrition coach is a great way to build a healthy foundation to a lifestyle transformation. Stay Tuned – We will be providing more content and resources on how to maximize your weight loss (or weight gain) soon!
Let’s finally rid ourselves of strict diet challenges and start embracing the healthy nourishment of our already incredible bodies.