I’m running a five-day nutrition group this week to give people a sneak peek into what it really means to eat “clean.”
I’m going to be honest. I used to struggle with nutrition. I grew up in a home where the answer to gaining weight was an extreme diet (I can’t even look at a plate of plain soggy whitefish and green beans without gagging just a little). I wasn’t a particularly active kid. Chocolate while I was reading? A bag of chips just because? A plate of fries and a coffee because it was cheap and fast? That was my life. Study snacks in university, and lunches at Jim’s Restaurant were a weekly, if not daily, occurrence.
Fitness came to me before changing my diet did. Younger self would have laughed her butt off if I had even told her she’d love cycling, running, and weight training as a grown up.
Gradually, it hit me. A pastry is not the same as a piece of whole grain toast and a couple of eggs when it comes to fuelling my long runs. My bike ride to work is so much easier when I have that bowl of oatmeal and some fruit.
Food is fuel for the engine that is our bodies. Much like our cars, we run more efficiently when we put the”premium” fuel in that engine.
Changing your diet doesn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly. It’s replacing that one sugary drink a day with water. Then replacing another. It’s moving on to replace that afternoon cookie with an afternoon apple and nut butter break. It’s choosing the salad instead of the fries when you go out to eat.
But, and here’s the important part… you cannot deprive yourself and expect a lifestyle change to stick. Cutting out bread completely will never be sustainable if you love bread. You’ll rebound and eat the entire loaf. Love chocolate? Have the small square of the good stuff. It might cost a little more to buy quality, but you won’t be sitting there surrounded by the wrappers of fun-sized bars wondering what happened.
For the TL;DR crowd: you can’t see changing the way you eat as a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. Making gradual change is easier than an “all or nothing” approach. You can’t deprive yourself because you’ll rebound hard. Aim for 90/10 or even 80/20 and you’ll succeed.
As always, if you’re looking for help taking those steps to wellness, reach out! I’m happy to give you the motivation you need.