Contrary to popular belief, being out-of-balance is a freaking beautiful thing. It’s…
- That new relationship that makes you neglect other responsibilities because you’re absolutely fascinated with the human being you’ve just met.
- Pouring your heart and soul into building your baby business until its grown into something that lets you live the lifestyle of your dreams.
- The training that allows you to break your first record.
- The diet that helps you to reveal the body you’ve always imagined.
The problem lies not in being out-of-balance. It’s when we’ve been out of balance for too long that things get ugly.
Being out of balance for too long looks like this. It’s…
- That relationship where you lose your friends because you spend all your time with your boyfriend.
- Working to the point where your family feels forgotten.
- An overuse injury.
- Gaining back more weight than you lost after a seemingly successful diet.
As a society, we’re masters of making things happen, but terrible at maintaining them. We know being out-of-balance oh so well, but living with all aspects of life in harmony? Ha! That’s over-rated and impossible!
We know imbalance well when it comes to food and exercise: we’re either all in or all out. If we can’t make it to the gym five times a week we don’t go. If we screw up our diet Friday night, we turn it into a weekend binge fest and then get back to chicken and salads on Monday.
My theory? Work towards balance more and more as you get closer to your fat loss goal, and you’ll finally be able to maintain it! At last you’ll be able to live in harmony with food, instead of fearing you won’t be able to hold it together when the Christmas baking platters start showing up at work.
So I ask you, sister or brother, “What one thing can you start doing this week to restore some balance when it comes to nutrition?”
If you’ve never taken control of your nutrition, it’s probably time to restore some of that lifelong steadiness by swinging the pendulum in the other direction for a bit. If you’ve been strict with your food far too long, it’s about time you found some flexibility. Or, hell – even do a maintenance period!
Here are my suggestions for people at all sections of the spectrum:
If you haven’t had any kind of discipline with food in your life, take a step in that direction:
- Start tracking your food using My Fitness Pal to gain insight into what you’re really putting into your body.
- Hire a good nutrition coach who will help you develop a life-changing nutrition system instead of offering you a quick fix.
If you’ve been rigid with your nutrition for less than two months:
- Add in one refeed day per week. Note: I am not suggesting a “cheat meal” or “cheat day.” “Cheats” reinforce our already well practiced habit of extremes. A refeed day is one day per week where you eat closer to your maintenance calories – usually by eating more carbohydrates (mostly starch). This will help you maintain some balance and stay committed until you’ve achieved your goal instead of getting stressed out and overworked before you get there, and some say it will even speed up your fat loss. For more on the refeed day, preorder my nutrition eBook which will help you learn exactly how to set yours. OR…
- Take one day per week where you eat using the habits you apply all week, but don’t track your food. This will allow your mind, fingers, and phone a little relaxation and will help you stay stronger for longer. If this turns into a binge-fest, it’s probably time for the next step – a maintenance phase.
If you’ve been dieting for 3 months or longer:
- Hire a coach and do a proper maintenance phase. I suggest hiring a coach for this because most of us struggle with being objective when it comes to any decisions involving our own body. Body image is one of the biggest shame-drivers, and this is one of the reasons we go to extremes with our diet. If left to our own devices desiging a maintenance phase, we’ll probably continue eating in a calorie deficit and won’t reap the greatest rewards. Most women should be eating between 2100-2600 calories a day, and men should be eating over 3000. If this scares the shit out of you, you need to hire a coach.
Here are the benefits of a maintenance phase:
- Your mood and energy levels will stabilize. Your loved ones will be able to come out of the hiding places they found when you got hangry.
- Your workout performance will improve. You’ll lift more. You’ll have more muscular endurance. Gymnastics movements will feel easier. You’ll make all the right kinds of gainz faster.
- You might notice even faster changes in body composition. Sure, the number on the scale might not move, but I’ve seen some of the biggest changes in muscle definition while eating at my maintenance calorie number. You’ll be giving your body the raw materials it needs to add muscle, and by now we’re all familiar with muscle’s ability to help us burn more fat.
To really get to the body of your dreams, avoid extended extremes. Incorporate some balance along the way to finally forget the all too familiar crash-and-burn.
Here’s what balance is like:
- Hanging out with your new crush while never forgetting about your besties.
- A bustling business with boundaries that allow you to spend quality time with your family and even practice hobbies.
- The training program that’s “training and not straining.” It allows you to make steady progress over 5-10 years injury free, achieving your peak level of performance.
- The nutrition program that’s a lifestyle. It’s enjoying a few too many glasses of wine at your friend’s wedding without it turning into a weekend festival of food fun. It’s giving your body what it needs to become its best instead of depriving it to turn it into something you actually like. Eating the best quality food you can afford. Discipline combined with nurturing.
When it comes to food, just remember the eventual goal: it’s not to be on a diet forever, but to eventually get to a place we can maintain. Sounds harmonious, doesn’t it? To live a life of balance! Let’s build a society that knows how to build and maintain the life of their dreams – it starts with you and me.
What can you do to restore a little balance in your nutrition, and in your life, this week?
Sign up for my newsletter to receive an exclusive offer that will help you feel confident rocking a crop at Christmas.