Stop worrying about these 3 things
1 – Chemicals
As far back as 5 years ago the fitness industry became obsessed with ‘eating clean’ which basically encouraged a very restrictive type of diet. It was all based around eating foods as natural as possible (which isn’t a bad thing) but was very anti-eating anything processed.
Why? Well there was 1 particular course that myself and around 300-400 other fitness professionals attended that basically told us that any foods with additives to preserve their shelf lives were full of ‘toxins’.
I’m cringing just writing this now but apparently the body didn’t recognize ‘toxins’ and therefore immediately dumped them in the fat cells.
So basically if you ate cereal, a cake, maybe some biscuits – because of the ‘toxic’ additives the body would simply store fat. Notice there was no mention of calories at all there.
And of course we all bought into it and came away preaching to our clients about ‘super strict’ clean eating and only giving your body natural food so you could give up the nasty toxins from the liver and lose weight.
I can safely say that trying to eat this way, combined with being a dad to young kids and with little sleep, had me verging on an eating disorder and constantly feeling guilty for not being able to sustain it and subsequently binging on ‘un-clean’ food.
Thankfully there is a more common sense message in the industry now and a focus on calories in versus calories out.
There is also an understanding that all foods contain ‘chemicals’ even ‘healthy’ foods.
This means that no foods should be off limit; yes you can eat a little chocolate or the odd bowl of cereal and still lose weight!
As for detoxifying to lose weight, if someone even mentions the word, please run a mile and save yourself the misery that I went through!
2 – Bread
I absolutely love bread and in my younger and fatter days would eat a load of it, thinking it was okay because it was the brown type.
I was miserable and overweight despite flogging myself half to death training.
Now when I got into the fitness industry, started to learn more about nutrition and also move a lot more (I went from a driving job sat on my arse to being on my feet all day coaching) I lost weight and fast.
This was down to, what I believed to be, going on a very low carb diet, basically eliminating all starches like pasta, rice and of course bread and replacing with a tonne of green veggies.
I lost weight, I got lean and my energy was good so of course I blamed the old me being fat due to things like bread.
‘I’ll never eat bread again” I told myself and also preached this to all of my clients.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was simply reducing my calories massively by replacing the amount of bread (pasta and rice etc) I was eating with a tonne of green veggies.
Veggies contain very little calories and fill you up nicely and we also don’t tend to binge on greens like we can do on bread.
Notice I said ‘amount’ of bread – yes I wasn’t just eating 2 slices a day I could easily eat up to 8 if you included my breakfast lunch and evening meal.
Now in the long run, did I really want to give up bread totally? No because toast with butter is tasty and also bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese are sensational too!
So these days with an understanding of energy balance (calories in versus calories out) I don’t have too. If I want the odd slice of toast or bagel then I’ll have it, I understand that the danger is in the dosage. 2 slices of toast a day probably isn’t going to be a danger to the waistline 8 or so will and isn’t it easy to eat 8 slices of toast right?
Not one food group will make you fat, it’s the amount you eat that will do that. Bread is easy to over-eat on, it doesn’t mean however that bread alone will make you obese.
3 – Sugar
Once again I hold my hands up, look back and cringe that I used to preach that ‘sugar was toxic’. I also believed that any sugar consumed would lead to an ‘insulin’ spike that would make you fat.
These were down to courses I went on that made me so paranoid I was scared to chew gum incase I had an insulin response and went into fat storage mode!
Thankfully due to getting myself more educated and interviewing a lot of my peers on my podcast I am aware that the danger with anything is in the ‘dosage’.
Sure living off a diet high in sugar is not going to be good for your health but the odd bit of sugar when you have a balanced diet and are moving plenty is not going to harm you.
If you’re diet is too restrictive you are only deemed for failure – trust me when I say that trying to eliminate chemicals, bread and sugar only lead me to binge more on those foods. I don’t want the same for you.