Revamp Your Relationship With Food
If your goal is weight loss or losing body fat, your primary focus should be on nutrition i.e. how you FUEL your body.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Aahh I ate 4 slices of pizza!! Guess I’ll work it off at the gym tomorrow.”
“I deserve these cookies, I worked out SO hard today.”
Not only is this a twisted (albeit common) way of thinking, but you need to stop associating crappy, non-nutritional food with working out.
True story, even after college I ate like a poor college student. I literally kept graham crackers, peanut butter and Tostitos underneath my bed to snack on after a long day of work. I hadn’t eaten horribly throughout the day and I thought I could just wake up and work it off on the treadmill. But guess what? That’s a horrible cycle to be in: eat shitty and work it off? Try changing your mindset to food is FUEL!
Let me repeat; Food = Fuel for our bodies. You wouldn’t fill a Ferrari with coca-cola and a Big Mac but so often we are filling our perfectly created, performance machines that we know as our bodies, with garbage, unhealthy “food”!? We need to eat a certain amount to survive and maintain a healthy weight but if we eat more than “maintenance”, we will store some of that fuel as fat.
I remember the first time I heard this phrase “Food Is Fuel.” I was mesmerized. What a crazy concept! And that’s exactly what food’s purpose is but we regularly center our lives around it; we plan parties around it, we use food as gifts, we use it as a reward, we use it for comfort, it’s the center of billion dollar industries and the list goes on. Revamping your mindset does not have to be complicated. If you’re trying to lose weight, eat less.
Some things that have helped me:
*Ask yourself before you eat, how will this food fuel my body for all it needs to do later today or tomorrow? Or, how will this food nourish my body? (If you’re mindlessly snacking out of a bag of Cheetos, hint: it’s not nourishing anything)
*Watch your portions! Eat off of smaller plates and related to my above point, never snack out of the bag or box!! Weigh/measure your portions out (refer to the label). I didn’t realize how small a tablespoon of peanut butter was until I actually weighed it out! My food scale is now my best friend
*If you’ve got major goals, use My Fitness Pal to help keep you on track. If you’ve never used it before, it can be eye-opening for helping you realize what true portion and calorie relationships look like. (My username is BarbieMcCFit, feel free to friend me there and watch my diary to get meal and snack ideas!)
Just because you did a workout does NOT mean you’re entitled to eat poorly, it WILL catch up with you. You should WANT to fuel your body well enough so you’re ABLE to workout optimally and get the most from the time you put in. You can't out-exercise a bad diet.
For me, exercise is an endorphin rush, a way to let go of negative energy and anxieties. If you’re strictly motivated by aesthetics (you want a tight butt or tighter tummy...) start in the kitchen. Eat as cleanly as possibly. Choose simple, whole foods with lots of variety in color. Eat lots of veggies and drink lots of water throughout the day. Don’t justify eating like a 7 year old by thinking you’ll “work it off tomorrow.”
Changing habits require discipline and consistency but if I can let go of my graham crackers dipped-in-peanut butter addiction in the name of health, anyone can shift their thinking to food=fuel!
Group Fitness Coach
NCCPT, AFAA, NASM, CES, IYCA
Healthy Moms Pre/Post Natal