Do I Need to Be ‘All In’ for my Weight Loss Program?
Nope! When it comes to exercise and nutrition, an all or nothing attitude can actually be a problem.
Dangers of the ‘All or Nothing’ Approach…
…when You’re Injured
Let’s say you’ve injured your ankle, so jogging, or any type of cardio using your legs is impossible right now. Does this mean you shouldn’t go to the gym at all? No, you should definitely still exercise! Why not workout your arms, abs or back? There are a lot of cardio exercises that can be done without moving your legs. Just focus on exercising the areas that don’t cause you pain.
If you follow the ‘all or nothing’ approach, you may also tell yourself not to worry about your diet during an injury. You may believe that if you can’t burn the calories in the gym, there is no point to watching what you eat. This is definitely not a smart approach. While healing an injury, it’s very important to watch what you eat. Better nutrition can even help you heal faster.
…when You’re Travelling for Business
On the flip side, let’s say you’re travelling a lot for work and you have little control over the food served. Those that follow an ‘all or nothing’ approach may think that if you can’t consume your usual diet, there’s no point to exercising either. You may as well go into vacation mode. The opposite is true, if can’t control what you’re being fed, it is more important than ever to exercise. Try to burn as many of those extra calories as possible!
Also, remember that no matter what you are being served, you always have control over your portions! Try eating on the smallest plate available, or only fill the centre of your plate up, to help with portion control. Remember to eat slowly, to give your body a chance to figure out and let you know when you are full.
What is the Best Way to Lose Weight?
Some of you may still be worried that if you can’t keep up with your usual fitness and eating routines, your results will be compromised. Just realize that SOME exercise and consumption of veggies is better than ZERO exercise and veggies. It’s not all or nothing!
I always tell my personal training clients:
A little something + A little something = Something
Nothing + Nothing = Nothing
The bottom line is that it’s critical for you to always do the best you can do, given your current circumstances. Going into maintenance mode when your life gets hectic, is a realistic strategy.
The 80/20 Rule
I swear by the 80/20 rule in my own life. 80% of the time I’m exercising hard, and focused on eating unrefined, nutrient-rich foods. The other 20% of the time is for my time away from the gym and my “non compliant meals”. These are the meals where I eat what I want to eat without worrying about it.
Trying to exercise hard everyday often leads to injury or burnout. Trying to eat “clean” 100% of the time is usually a recipe for failure. It often leads food cravings that can lead to uncontrolable binges.
To Sum it Up…
When it comes to exercise and nutrition, an ‘all or nothing’ approach is often problematic. When you stop exercising completely and let your nutrition slide, you will often start falling backwards. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s critical for you to always do the best you can do, given your current circumstances.