I am not a fan of diets. There is a reason DIE is in the word. Just kidding, I’m being dramatic, but my point is this: if you want to have long lasting health and wellness, most of us could use an attitude shift when it comes to food. I know what you are thinking…aren’t we dieting right now on this 28-day plan? Actually, no. At Egan’s Fit Body bootcamp, we have developed a “meal plan” that focuses on WHOLE foods. There is no painful calorie counting, it gets results by encouraging you to eat REAL food, lots of veggies, less sugar, less saturated fats, and less processed foods. You could and should eat this way 90% of the time! And when you’re not giving your life a jump-start with a program like this, I personally believe there is room for a little wine, french fries, dessert – whatever it is that floats your boat!
You are much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, when you focus on adding healthy, vibrant, REAL food to your plate, rather than agonizing over what you shouldn’t eat. When we label foods as “bad” and set unrealistic, extreme goals about what we shouldn’t put into our bodies, we set ourselves up for failure. The psychological domino effect this can cause often ends up being more damaging than the “bad” food itself.
Take this example: You tell yourself ice cream is “bad” and you’re never going to eat it. Then you are tempted to have some ice cream at a party. You eat it. You feel guilty. Ice cream is bad. Now you’re bad. Now your “diet” is blown and so you inhale some more ice cream and some cake too because now what does it matter? You’ll start your “diet” over tomorrow or next month or whenever. Mmmmm…ice cream and guilt…yummy.
Now, consider the alternative, more loving approach: You know you love ice cream. It’s awesome. You know there are things with more nutritional value, but you know having a little won’t kill you. You are tempted to have some ice cream at a party. You have some. You eat it slowly, savoring each creamy bite. You enjoy every bit of it, knowing that you’ll burn it off in your workout tomorrow morning. You are inspired to google low-fat ice cream recipes when you get home. You don’t over-think it and you get right back to your super nutritious eating style.
Feel the difference? This may not resonate with everyone, but it is how I like to approach nutrition. No beating yourself up, no all-or-nothing thinking, no extreme calorie restriction…just creating a healthy lifestyle that feels good and works for you. Make it fun! Search the internet for healthy dishes that inspire you, look through cookbooks, go to the farmer’s market, get inspired! Whatever you choose to put in your body, take the time to slow down and get conscious about your eating – where your food came from, how it tastes, to how it makes you feel. Your body has infinite wisdom within, you just have to slow down and quiet yourself long enough to hear it.
Now that being said, there are a few things that I would recommend avoiding because they are scientifically proven to be damaging and possibly carcinogenic to the body, these include: trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, processed meats, and artificial sweeteners…but again, I think if you truly listen to your body, you will find that these foods make you feel crappy anyway and real, whole, nutrition-dense foods make your body sing!
Michael Pollan summed it up best, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Here was my delicious and nutritious lunch today:
I also had to share this adorable photo of one of our rock star bootcampers, Julie, who is doing the 28-Day Challenge with us. Here she is eating her oats before class. Notice the Beneful container! LOL!
OK, everyone! We’ll check back in tomorrow. Keep up those workouts and nutritious eating!