Train Loco Readers…How Are We Doing This Month!? Today we have a great guest blog by our friend and colleague, Carrie McMahon, also known as “This Fit Chick.” There’s a lot of misleading information in the fitness industry and we asked Carrie to share her experience and thoughts on finding a long term sustainable training and nutrition plan. Please give your undivided attention to Carrie McMahon. Enjoy!
-Eric and Chris
Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Zone, Eating Clean, Pilates, CrossFit, Weight Lifting, Zumba… If you have dabbled in diets and training protocols, you have probably come across many of these names.
As a coach I am commonly asked, “Carrie, what is the best diet and workout routine to get me fit?” This is one of the most difficult and frustrating questions to answer. Why is that? Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is no “one magical formula.” By that, I mean there is no “best” way to go about your fitness goal. In fact, there are lots of great ways to get to your goal. What it comes down to, however, is which method works best for YOU. That means the method that makes you happy, keeps you healthy and is sustainable as a lifestyle.
We all read about different diets and new training protocols out there. It’s extremely overwhelming and it’s especially tempting to hop around and try out new styles when you still feel you haven’t found something that works for you. I think this trial and error process is healthy. However, it is important to realize while some of these methods will “work” for you in terms of getting to your physique goal, not all of them can “work” for you in terms of keeping you happy, healthy, and being able to sustain them as a lifestyle.
Take me for example… When I first got serious about fitness, I started running. I ran a lot and I loved it, but eventually I realized I didn’t want to run and do races for the rest of my life. That’s when I discovered weight lifting and I decided to give that a try. I fell in love. Weight lifting not only gave me the physical results I wanted, but also, I felt strong, healthy, confident and most importantly, I felt like I could do this forever.
It felt like a lifestyle to me, not a temporary fad. I also started “eating clean,” which is a popular term out there in the bodybuilding world. This “worked” for me for a while. I felt good physically, but mentally, I did not. I started fixating on food: when I could eat next, what I could and couldn’t eat, how I could eat out etc… It consumed my every thought. Restricting myself of certain foods only led to binges.
Eventually, I realized this was not a lifestyle I could sustain, so I tried out something new: flexible dieting. I have been doing flexible dieting ever since now. It is my lifestyle and it works for me and my physical health as well as my mental and social health, which is key.
The bottom line is that running, weight lifting, clean eating and flexible dieting all “worked” in terms of keeping my physique in a place I liked, but they did not all work in terms of keeping me mentally healthy and happy. It may take some trial and error to find what works for you long term, but it is worth it. Before you start a new diet and workout routine, ask yourself, “Is this going to be sustainable long term?”
If the answer is “no,” start over.
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