You’ve probably heard that one before!
It’s true. If you always eat foods that don’t match up with your fitness goals, you’re going to struggle to make progress, even if you train hard.
But with Christmas approaching, it’s worth mentioning the flip side to that saying: one special meal isn’t going to derail your progress.
Sometimes people who work out hard and eat well get stressed near major celebrations because a big family feast doesn’t fit into their plan. That’s understandable. We all want to optimise results in the gym.
But don’t stress too much if the holiday season finds you eating or drinking a little more than usual.
We’re not saying you should go wild and massively over-indulge on food and drink. But it’s important to enjoy yourself and relax a little bit. In fact, many coaches believe that a little leeway from time to time makes it easier to stay on track long term.
Ever heard of the ‘80-20 rule’ in nutrition? It’s the idea that if you eat in a way that matches your health and fitness goals 80% of the time, you can afford to indulge 20% of the time. The numbers aren’t exact, of course, but you get the idea.
Here’s the rule stated another way: more often than not, make good choices when it comes to food and drinks. And when you choose to enjoy yourself from time to time, don’t worry about it too much.
It’s important to avoid being rigid when it comes to food because ‘all or nothing’ thinking generally leads to nothing, which can make us feel like we’ve failed and lead to giving up on a health and fitness programme altogether. Not what we want!.
If you’re giving yourself a hard time for eating one of the mince pies in the office, don’t worry! If the rest of your day has been pretty spot on and the mince pie isn’t a daily occurrence, it’s not going to matter in the long run. You’re still on track!
Some people, of course, are very rigid in all aspects of their lives. And that’s OK if that works for them. But if that’s not you, don’t worry if the annual family holiday buffet is on the calendar. Just enjoy yourself, then get back to the gym and your normal eating plan as soon as you can.
Remember, if you make good choices 80% of the time, you’re still going to accomplish your health and fitness goals.
If you’ve got some festive feasts approaching and want to make a plan to manage the trickier 20% or if you just want to talk about how we can help you improve your nutrition in the other 80%, let’s chat!