Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. You may have read the title of this and laughed. Yes, I did use the words joy and diet in the same sentence. It CAN be done.  Today we are going to take a look at how to get you eating better with REAL food. If you have any questions or would like recipe suggestions, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

We all know that eating right is important. That doesn’t necessarily mean we like doing it, though. When faced with the choice of eating a slice of pizza or sticking to our diet approved chicken breast, you’re likely to be tempted by the former. Who wouldn’t?  As a society, we are pulled to the greasy, salty, buttery foods because our minds have correlated the ingredients with things that “taste good”.  Meaning, when we eat those things we receive an endorphin release saying, “mmm…I enjoyed that, where’s more?”  Have you ever tried to stop eating processed sugar?  Our bodies go into withdrawal in the first few days, because the endorphin surge had been so constant.

I have a friend who refused to eat “healthy” because he was convinced everything would taste like cardboard.  Well my friends, what these websites and articles on healthy eating fail to tell your salivating tastebuds, is that eating healthy doesn’t have to be an endless journey of suffering.

By and large you know what is and isn’t healthy when it comes to food. Any diet in its early stages will be effective by making the smallest of changes: cutting out fast food, eliminating fizzy drinks from your day-to-day, keeping sugary treats down to a minimum. If your goal is to lose weight and keep that weight off, the most important aspect is to continually feel excited and motivated to eat better.

Portion Sizes

Let me begin with the fact that our plates are HUGE. Since the 1960’s our plate sizes have gone from a 9 inch diameter to a 11.5 plus sized diameter. You may think, “Hey that’s only a couple of inches.”  Right, but consider how many extra calories we slop on those two extra inches, not thinking about portions.  My first recommendation would be to replace your dinner plates with salad plates. When your mind sees a full to the brim smaller plate, you will find yourself equally satisfied at the end of the meal and not unbuckle your pants kinda full.  This will bring you into the realm of portion sizes.

Also, forget what you once knew about the food pyramid, this is what our salad plates should be comprised of:

That’s 40 % non-starchy veggies (i.e. red bell pepper, zucchini, cucumbers, etc.), 30% Lean Protein (i.e. turkey, 90/10 ground beef, chicken, etc.), 15% Healthy Fats (i.e. Avocados, pecans, cashews, etc.), and 15% carbs (i.e. quinoa, blueberries, kidney beans).  All on top of Half Your Body Weight in Ounces of Water everyday. 

We have more strategies for figuring out exact portions of each of the above categories to help with your diet. Give us a call and our personal trainers in Amarillo will help you out.

Work Through the Cravings

It is important that when cravings get the better of you, that you adapt what you eat rather than banning yourself from them all together.  I personally love hamburgers, but I’m not going to a restaurant and ordering the biggest, cheesiest, one with the most bacon and covered in bbq sauce. Nope. I am going to modify my order so that I sate my craving, but I don’t ruin all the hard work I have put my body through.  Mostly, because I don’t want to start from the ground up again.

We all experience cravings from time-to-time, and the best way to deal with them is to find out exactly what the body wants and deliver that in the healthiest way possible.  When I do allow myself a cheat day, I show up at the restaurant with my altered order ready to go, so I can’t waiver. I order my burger without the bun, no bacon, no sauce, but yes on the cheese. I pass on the fries, but bring some veggies with me to replace them.  Follow that up with a bottle of water and I can go to bed happy knowing I made an effort to maintain my diet.

Before long, these hankerings will start to fade. The sugar won’t taste as inviting, the greasy will seem heavier than you remember, and the carbs just lead to bloating.  Your body, more importantly, will start to reward you for making the change. Your mood will become more positive, you’ll be able to deal with things in a much more productive way and, of course, the changes you start to see on the physical level will only encourage you to continue on.

Make sure to plan in a ‘cheat’ meal once a week when you first begin. Knowing that a treat is only a few days away is the perfect way to stay on track until that point. A dangling carrot, if you will, it will allow you to feel like you earned the food you love, making it taste all the more sweet. **Side note, I said A cheat meal….not cheat day, yes I know what you were thinking.

Pairing Diet with Exercise

A well-rounded diet is so powerful that, combined with the right exercise program, it can literally turn your whole life around. It’s not just a case of burning body fat or increasing muscle tone – although these are two huge benefits you’ll see after implementing a proper nutrition plan. It’s about your overall well-being and how you feel from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep.

Eating right can be directly responsible for putting you in a better place, making you feel great and giving you a new lease of life. Learning how food is consumed by the body will also help you understand what to eat and why, turning a diet into a lifestyle. Coupled with the right workout, it’s a one-stop shop to ensure a long, healthy, happy existence.

As always, if you have any questions about our personal training, nutrition counseling, or group classes and programs, please contact us at: info@customfitness.biz or 806-322-3188. At Custom Fitness we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day everybody.