Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going To Extremes, and Why It's a BAD Idea...

Most of the people who know me, know that I am a bit of an extremist. I like to sky dive, I like to take flying trapeze classes, and when I commit to something, I tend to take it to extremes.

That being said, in my time as a Personal Trainer, and also through my own weight loss journey before I was a Personal Trainer, I have experimented on myself with many extreme diets.

I want to tell you a little secret. They all sucked.

Whether it's the cabbage soup diet, the adderall diet, the raw food diet, the vegan movement, the HCG diet, the Paleolithic Diet, the Skinny Bitch Diet, Atkins, or whatever other diet movement you have recently become attached to, I want you to remember something very important. Listen to your body. Listen.

My body got mad. It is tired of me experimenting on myself all the time, and I have to say, my days of test driving fad diets are over. I'm not going to be stupid about it anymore. After trying hundreds of diets, and seeing that none of them are the magic bullet, and trying tons of supplements, and realizing most of them are wasting your money, and some are actually quite harmful (the most recent one was a REAL doosie), I have decided enough is enough.

My body hated some of those diets, and even worse, some of those diets hated my body and sent me into some real situations. There is so much conflicting information out there, but ultimately, here is what I believe.

We are meant to eat whole, unprocessed foods, like veggies, fruits, small animals, and nuts and seeds. We are not meant to eat weird, chemically altered foods, like cheese-its, snickerdoodles, reeses peanut butter cups, or any of those foods that live longer than we do.

We are not meant to take weird supplements, even if it is the sap from the guggle tree, the bark of a white willow tree, or whatever else. Would you ever go suck on a guggle tree? I don't think so... it's in India, good luck finding it. So don't take the supplement. If it isn't a natural source of caffeine, don't drink it or take it in pill form (I'm talking diet pills).

Eat small portions, eat lots of fiber to keep yourself full, and stop stressing out. I promise, if you start preparing all your meals at home (perhaps pre-cook some of them for convenience), maintaining a good caloric intake for your goals, you will start seeing your body transform. Stop eating boxed foods, cereals, triscuits, chips, etc, and your will not only feel better, you're body will start shaping itself, and you will be healthier. Add exercise on top of it, and you get one sexy body, no fad diets required.

You may feel deprived taking Oreos out of your diet, but it doesn't mean you have to get all crazy and start trying some fad diet where you can only eat 3 heads of cabbage, and only if it's 6 hours before you go to sleep (see, I can make fun fad diets, too!). Be reasonable, give yourself a break, and if you accidentally (or not accidentally) eat a little cheesecake at a party, enjoy it, and then get right back on track. The point of healthy living and eating is that it should be a lifelong thing. You should be able to keep up good habits forever. Which is why indulging every once in a while is good. It is important for you to be OK with allowing a few mistakes, so that you don't just give up and give in to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Enjoy your health. Think of your food as fuel for getting you through the day, and your workouts, and eat accordingly. Remember, I am just a Personal Trainer, not a Nutritionist, and this is all pure advice, nothing more. I just want you all to be happy, and successful, and I want to make sure you aren't out there giving yourself a hard time when you should be enjoying the journey.