Are you looking for a new meal plan that will help you lose weight?

Let’s look at some truths we can all agree on.

Food is fuel.  Calories give us energy.  Macronutritents support body functions.  We all have a BMR (basal metabolic rate) – a unique number of calories burned each day as a result of being alive.  Eat more than that amount, and you will store the calories not used.  Eat less, and you will burn some of the reserves.

On top of those facts, we then add our own thoughts, traditions, and habits about food.  And this is where it gets tricky.  Boy, does it get tricky.

It can be very helpful to use these facts to help keep us on track when changing our nutrition habits.   Food is fuel.  Food is fuel.  Food is Fuel.

This may make some people a little sad.  We bond over food!  We celebrate with food!  And often times, we “treat ourselves” with food.  But if we are looking to live a healthier life, lose weight, improve blood markers, etc, we have to change the way we think about food.  We have to get over it and make some changes.

So let’s look at an example.  It is Friday.  I have worked a really long week.  I am tired, a little stressed, and I deserve something, a reward, for all of that hard work.

I start with pizza, and wine.  And finish it off with a walk to Coldstone.   A few hours of happy taste buds, and a lift from the sugar and wine, follow.

But let’s watch how it unfolds and get back to the first question.  Is that “treat” really a reward?

  • I ate it and it tasted GREAT!  Tastebuds were going crazy.  Brain is buzzing (part sugar spike part alcohol) and I feel HAPPY.
  • Check.  But now what?
  • Minutes, later, the guilt creeps in.  There goes my nutrition plan.  I shouldn’t have done that. That was BAD.
  • That night – less than ideal sleep (also thanks to sugar and alcohol)
  • Next day, more guilt, then maybe – “the weekend is shot.”  “I will eat better starting Monday”
  • More negative self talk or excuses that make me feel worse.  “I have no self control” ” I am never going to improve my health” “I can’t make a change right now” 
  • I carry residual negative feelings about myself into the next week.  

The results were at best 10% positive and 90% negative.  Not exactly a reward.

Next time you are going to reward yourself with food, take a deep breath, and think about the big picture.  Be honest with yourself about how the choice will really make you feel.  While treating our selves can make us feel good in that moment – staying on track toward our goals will make us feel better in the long run.  Think about the residual positive feelings after making choices that support your goals: pride, happiness, gratitude, optimism.

And then eat it or don’t.   It’s your choice.  

At CrossFit Renaissance, we have the best nutrition coaches in Philadelphia. Check out our nutrition coaching services for more information.