Welcome to another Sunday. Thanks so much to everyone for the support you have given to our recent time-table adjustments. Even these small changes cause a lot of stress I have to say – even a 15-minute change can impact significantly on the positive habits that people have developed. Whilst so far so good in terms of class numbers, I really do apologise to anyone who has experienced any issues due to our 15-minute time ‘push’ each afternoon from Mon-Thurs.
At the challenge ‘briefings’ last week, I did mention that I had tried to make some notes about ‘stuff that goes wrong’ when you are trying to manage your body composition by tracking your food. Now – I know a lot of people have immediately rolled their eyes and said “I’m not EVER going to do that” – and I get it – BUT if you do have a clear goal you are chasing (be it muscle gain or fat loss) you really do need to have a clear plan when it comes to your food. I don’t want to cover all of that here – after all, the challenge packs covered three methods (using the Perfect Plate model, the serving size model based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (refer to the ‘Eat for Health’ website) and using the Katch-McArdle calculator to determine your BMR) so please refer to the information in your challenge packs first…but if you want some info about what can go WRONG, read on.
Stuff you drink counts (so does stuff you spread).
If you squirt some dressing on your salad…that counts. If you put a scoop of peanut butter into a shake…that counts too. It is so easy to add ‘little things’ that ‘add flavour’ to your snacks/meals without taking into account that there are calories associated with them. It’s like adding cream to your coffee…the cream counts! Fruit juice 100% counts, ALL the contents of a smoothie count…If you are counting, make sure you count EVERYTHING.
It’s all about the ‘SALAD’?
You can pretty much eat an ‘unlimited’ amount of leafy greens. Right? An unlimited amount of salad? Well, you sort of can…until you can’t. This is a bit of a tricky one as ‘tracking’ quantities of your greenery really does seem like a bit of a pointless exercise – I mean, this stuff is GOOD for you right. And it is hard enough to get the 5x cups (girls) or 6x cups (boys) of veggies in each day without being worried about actually OVER-doing it. Not only that, it is really hard to eat salad to excess…BUT…But…but…
There 100% is a point where more salad officially becomes ‘too much’ more. And even using the ‘Perfect plate’ model, 50% of exactly ‘HOW BIG’ a plate is what you should be eating?? Honestly, I would really put this one into the ‘little things’ category for most people but when your salad portions grow – and when “extra salad” also means extra olive oil, extra fetta, extra cashews and so on, well, you need to make sure you are accounting for all of that ‘stuff’ in your daily totals. It’s just a reminder really – EVERYTHING counts (and if you are counting, count EVERYTHING).
“Weighing and Measuring” vs Weighing and Measuring
So…measuring is TRICKY. When you measure something out – a lot of the time that measure will be using the world famous ‘TBSP’ method – aka ‘Table-Spoon’. The question is, how much is actually IN a tablespoon. The answer SHOULD be 12g. But I am pretty sure each time you scoop into a jar of peanut butter with a tablespoon what comes out is a ‘little bit’ more than 12g…as in, it will be closer to 20g. And if you have some peanut butter in your shake every morning…
Not only that, little things like ‘a medium banana’ (which is what the Australian Dietary Guidelines reference on the ‘Eat for Health’ website)…what the heck is a ‘Medium’ Banana. Well, when you dig a little deeper on the site, it says a ‘Serve of Fruit’ (aka a medium banana) equates to 150g. So rather than GUESSING whether your banana (or apple, or pear, or GRAPES – and yep, that one’s for you Tracey!) is a large one or a medium one, chuck that on the scales as well.
Basically, there is weighing and measuring and THEN there is Weighing and Measuring and whilst it ‘PROBABLY’ wont matter for most people, for some people it 100% will.
The ‘Guesstimate’ approach
Well…we’ve all heard that you should eat a piece of steak that is the ‘size of your palm’. Cool. Tell me again, exactly how THICK is this mythical steak going to be? I’m all for speeding up the process and most times once you have measured stuff out 3-4 times you will have the hang of it and can probably put the scales away for a couple of weeks (at which point when you ‘re-measure’ you will find that the measurements for things you “like” will need to be adjusted down and the measurements for things you “dislike” will need to be adjusted up!) but…
If you rely solely on ‘comparative’ measures (size of your palm) to measure out your portions you are not going to get the outcomes you THINK you will get.
Clean Cals Count. Weekend Cals (and this isn’t fair!) also COUNT.
Snacks count. Whether you are eating chicken McNuggets or grabbing a handful of almonds, you need to count them. Whether it is beef jerky or half-a-bag of donuts, the calories count. Whether you are eating a frozen yoghurt treat OR eating a Magnum, the calories count.
Everything you eat counts. You don’t get to decide that because the almonds are a ‘healthy’ option they don’t count…you just need to count them.
Then we get to the weekends.
This is the single biggest issue that compromise everyone’s ‘progress’ in the gym. Weekends. We all train hard, eat ‘clean’ (well, mostly!) from Monday morning to Friday morning…but then it’s Friday night beers and burgers, a ‘breakfast’ of chips and gravy from the sports club canteen on Saturday before a lunch sourced from the food court of the local shopping centre…Saturday night is more drinks and ‘eating out’, big brekky Sunday followed by some afternoon chillaxing with a glass of wine, cheese and crackers…It all sounds amazing I know. And it ALL COUNTS.
Everyone should 100% do ‘what they want to do’ but if you want progress, well, it comes over 7x days…not 4 + ½. And if you think you can’t blow a week of ‘good behaviour’ out of the water in two short days, just re-read that weekend synopsis I just went through and tell me that doesn’t happen in the ‘real world’.
Are you making some mistakes? A lot of mistakes? Well…don’t worry about that. What is important is that you understand that even with the world’s BEST intentions, you can still be slipping up. And just by-the-by, ‘slipping up’ is OK. I’m certainly not advocating you should live on plain rice and water like ‘The Bride’ in Kill Bill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhrnwBraRy0) BUT if you do like to enjoy a couple of squares of chocolate every day – add it to the total count. It’s fine. There are 23 calories in a square of Cadbury chocolate – so eat it, enjoy it (and count it). There are 73 calories in a Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut ball – so eat one, enjoy it (and count it).
If you are making the effort to ‘count’ so you can really track your progress – that’s awesome. If you want to reach your goals, make sure you are counting ‘RIGHT!’.
We know this can be a daunting time. You’re probably wondering if we really are the right fit for each other. And it’s OK! Many people before you, have felt the same, and that’s why we want to offer you something special – our $29 Health Check.
Let’s work out together to see if we’re the right fit. Just hit the button below to let me know if you’re ready to see what’s included.