by Paul Dexter, copyright dextertraining.com
Eat half. It’s that simple. That is my recommendation to any of our clients who are starting out on a new program. It isn’t overwhelming, isn’t too drastic, doesn’t set you up to fail.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint…….
90% of our clients are looking to be healthier, lose weight, have more energy, and live longer….not suffer and be miserable. Who wants to live longer if those extra years are spent being hungry and cranky?!
I believe that, unfortunately, very few of us are blessed with metabolisms that will allow us to eat whatever we want. Therefore, we must exercise and pay attention to what we put in our mouths to stay healthy and maintain some sort of an athletic appearance.
Balance is the key. If you deprive yourself of things you love, it will lead to over indulgence. That is why I recommend to “eat half”. If you go out to eat and really want that cheeseburger, order it! Treat yourself, but just “eat half”. This will allow you to satisfy your craving, and not get discouraged that you blew your diet. Obviously, if you make that the majority instead of making smart/wise food choices….you will be fighting a losing battle. You can’t change yourself, if you don’t change yourself.
It is about portion control. It is very hard to blow your diet with anything that is the size of your fist…. just eyeball everything. I recommend that every plate should have 1-2 servings of protein (each the size of a deck of cards), carbohydrate no larger than your fist, as many vegetables as you would like, and use fats sparingly. No, need for scales or measuring cups. If you stick to those guidelines it is very hard to blow your diet, no matter what you eat. Pasta only gets a bad rap because people eat about 4-5 fistfuls at a sitting! If you control your portions you will stay within your caloric range.
If you can’t control yourself, than don’t order that cheeseburger. I can’t order pizza when I’m dieting because I can’t stop until it’s gone, and I think a large Dominos equals more than a few fistfuls! My wife and I are famous for having waitresses ask if there is something wrong with our food because we always leave half an order of nachos on the table. If we are craving nachos, we get them and don’t feel guilty about it. My mother would say that we are wasting money, but I look at it as, I’m paying for the experience of the nachos not the quantity of the nachos. Plus, it’s worth wasting $5 in order not to have to do an extra 30 minutes on the stepmill!
My point to take home is this, we all are trying to live a healthy lifestyle… and it will never be easy. There is never enough time to exercise as much as we should, and too much stress to always have the willpower to avoid the foods we shouldn’t eat. Don’t say you can’t, or that you blew your diet so you are just going to eat whatever you want the rest of the day. Educate yourself in finding out how many calories are in the foods you crave and think of how many hours of exercise you would have to do to burn it off, and then ask yourself – is it worth it? You may look at that cheeseburger a little differently if you knew that you would have to burn off 700-1000 calories (yes, it’s really that much!). That is the equivalent of 60 minutes of an intense weight training session, followed by a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise with your heart rate consistently above 70% of your max HR.
You should never follow a diet, that you couldn’t do the rest of your life. That is why liquid diets don’t work, atkins diets don’t work, any gimmick diet doesn’t work. If you had the discipline to actually lose weight on those things, most likely you weren’t able to keep it off because once you went back to eating normal – you put the weight back on. The reason is, you never learned how to eat!
It’s not easy, but it’s not rocket science either. We can get better as we get older; it doesn’t have to be a painful sacrifice either. You should work smarter, not harder.
Follow a balance diet, don’t starve yourself, eat every 3-4 hours, make smart food choices, make time for exercise and if you can’t fight a craving – give in and just “eat half”.