FAQ Food

Please Don’t Ask These 5 Things.

As I’m starting my journey with fitness and flexible dieting, I love the questions I’m getting from friends and family. It’s fun to talk about, and it’s exciting to spread the word about these healthy choices.

On the other hand, there are things people keep saying over and over that force me to take DEEP BREATHS before I respond….mostly because they are widely misunderstood beliefs. If people took the time to really think about them and break them down, they would fall apart.

So, here’s my sound off. Ready? Please don’t ask these 5 things:

1. Can you have {insert food} on your diet?

That’s kinda the whole point. I can have whatever I want to have. It’s not a restricted diet, it’s a flexible diet. I’m not “on a diet”. Here’s a few of the meanings of the word diet according to dictionary.com:

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The thing is- the way I’m eating is not a list of prescribed foods. It’s not even a limitation on my selection or the amount I eat.

It’s a diet {the food choices I make each day} based on the needs of my body at that current moment in time. The needs of my body are calculated by my coach- he considers my amount of activity daily, my goals, my food preferences, and the way my metabolism is used to functioning. Based on his calculations and closely watching my body’s reactions, I aim to meet certain measurements of macronutrients {protein, fat, carbs, fiber}. These numbers are changed or adjusted constantly.

2. Aren’t you going to measure that? Do you have to bring your scale with you?

Yes, when I’m home- I measure. When I make meals ahead of time- I measure them. I want my macro count to be as close and accurate as possible to my daily goal. Am I going to immediately gain weight if I don’t measure something once in a while when I’m out? No. That’s the part that makes the most sense for my lifestyle. I measure so much every day, and I know my body so well now, I can make choices about my food and portion sizes based on my own understanding of the science behind my food decisions.

There’s no such thing as “falling off the wagon” because I always make a conscious decision, even if it’s the decision to eat a huge bowl of french fries at a pub. I know exactly what’s happening in my body if I eat something that doesn’t fit into my day, and I know how to account for that.

3. Oh, so it’s kind of like Weight Watchers?

Ugh. No. I don’t know. I’m not a Weight Watchers expert- but to me, it seems like a lot of money to have someone give you information you should be able to figure out on your own with a little time and dedication. The figuring it out on your own is exactly what makes this a lifestyle. It’s not a subscription that expires. It’s a way of life- a way of getting to know what YOUR body needs and wants, not what works for some people. It teaches you to listen to the needs of your body and gives you the knowledge to meet those needs appropriately.

4. Well, I’m doing the Arbonne/Beachbody/AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, have you tried that?

I didn’t believe in that stuff before I started tracking, and I don’t believe in it now. Any company that wants you to fork over money with a promise of losing weight is functioning on a few basic, accurate beliefs that will lead to results, even without their product:

1. If you stick to anything for more than 21 days, it becomes a habit.

{That’s why it’s a 24 day challenge- you’re more likely to keep buying after sticking with it 21 days. You could achieve the same effect by sticking with tracking your food for 21 days.}

2. If you have the support of a community of like-minded people, you are more likely to remain successful.

{You will feed off of talking to other people doing the same thing, whether it’s one of these programs or not. So find other people thinking about the science of food!}

3. When you make a drastic change in your eating choices, you will see a change in your body’s reaction.

{Many meal replacement shakes and supplements force you into a caloric deficit. Of course you’ll lose weight! You’ll also gain it back when you’re done. You may pick up on some healthy habits along the way, which is great. But it seems to me that making a change in your choice and knowledge about food science will be more lasting, more meangingful, and it will cost less! Not to mention if you train your metabolism, you can eat the foods you want and add calories back in, forcing your body to use up all that energy.}

4. When you spend money, you are more likely to work toward a goal to get your worth out of your investment.

{You can get your motivation from another source. Motivate yourself by reading about successful people. Find out what they’re doing, and do that! And by the way, they probably aren’t drinking meal replacements. They might promote supplements, but you better bet they’re using them alongside educated food choices and hard work at the gym, just like your coaches do with these programs. Education first, supplement later…if needed.}

5. If you have the mindset that you CAN make changes in your eating and exercise, you will.

{Tell yourself you can do it. You got this! You don’t need some fancy schmancy powder to do it. Set your mind to it, and learn about what’s best for you.}

All of these 5 things can be achieved without any supplements at all. Find a community of like-minded people, online or anywhere. Read and research about the science behind food. Believe you can make a change, and do it. Then, if you want to add a supplement to increase your protein or fiber or whatever your goals are, make that choice based on your knowledge, not on a sales pitch.

5. All I see people posting with the IIFYM tag is junk food. Don’t you think about the health of your body? Shouldn’t you be eating clean?

A. Doesn’t one definition of eating clean vary from another? How would your body define “eating clean”? B. Of course they post junk food! They find ways to fit the foods they love into their food choices without the guilt. That’s worth celebrating.

YES. I do care about the health of my body. That’s one of the best things about counting my macros- I can read and research about processed foods and make choices that I feel comfortable with. I don’t have to rely on a list of predetermined foods- the choice is all mine. And if I want to eat ice cream, be it soy or fro yo or full fat Ben & Jerry’s, I know how it fits into my day, and my body will utilize every calorie.

Making the choice to eat more whole foods with ingredients you understand and know is a popular choice that I happen to agree with. But that doesn’t mean that mindlessly eating two heaping bowls of broccoli and quinoa for dinner or throwing a scoop of almond butter in a smoothie is a free-for-all because it’s “clean”. You’ll want to know what the breakdown of the food is and how much your body needs of each macronutrient. Many times that may mean adding in more of a different food, like a lean meat or even full fat yogurt.

I love you for asking me questions, I really do. I love answering them! But these are arguments that are engrained in people based on what they read online or watch on TV. Most of them are money-making arguments for big companies. I’d like to see people use their own discretion and education to make choices that make sense for a lifetime based on their natural tastes and habits. Now that makes sense.

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