This morning I had a client come in for their third PT session. Let’s call her Jane.
Jane had put on 2lbs… shock, disappointment and disbelief. I could see the horror on her face, because Jane felt she’d had a good week, she had followed my exercise plan to the letter, had even added in an extra couple of walks. So before we started the PT session we took five minutes to chat about her diet this week. Firstly, Jane hadn’t been using her food diary, feeling that she would review each day on its own. Jane told me that she had been having smaller portions, and no carbs for supper, but after a little more digging Jane remembered ice cream and strawberries, hot chocolate and shortbread, finishing the kids Easter eggs to name but a few “treats” this week.
This is not uncommon. Clients very often fall into this trap at the beginning of their weight loss journey and start to think that because they have increased their activity levels that they can or should be able to treat themselves. Does that sound familiar?
At Brealy Bootcamps we promote developing a real relationship with food and do not advocate removal of any foods from your regular diet. Research has shown that total abstinence or restrictive diets fail time and time again. Once you remove a food completely you can start to develop a contrary desire for it, sometimes this feels more like a compulsion and you can find yourself binging out on the removed food and then feeling guilty and ashamed of yourself. This spiral of denial, guilt and shame is not productive and only sets you up for failure in the long term.
But, there is a but here…… in the early days of your weight loss journey you do need to exercise caution around when you include certain foods. The key is stabilising your blood sugar, so eating your three main meals and two small protein rich snacks is important. This stops you from feeling “hungry” so you are less likely to make bad choices while keeping your metabolism high. Secondly, remember a treat is exactly that a treat… not a regular occurrence, so a daily treat is not a treat, that’s becoming part of your regular diet. If you want to reward yourself for your increased activity you need to find a non food way to do that so that you don’t undo your good work.
As you grow in confidence and motivation as the lbs/Kgs start to come off and your new shape reveals itself you will find it easier to make healthy choices, but for now you need to practice and treats should become just that “occasional treats”.