Have your pie... and eat it too!

on Sunday, 31 May 2015. Posted in Nutrition & Exercise

Heck, if you can’t finish it all, we’ll help!

Here at Catalyst, we are among the growing but few members of the fitness community that believe in a flexible approach to your traditional “dieting” that allows for permanent lifestyle changes, that are realistic, safe, sustainable, and yield long term results.

You’ve heard it time and time again that you should fight off every food temptation you have ever had that does not coincide with your typical “clean eating” format and with that, usually throw away any and all satisfaction derived from eating.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all tried it and most of us likely (especially this time of the year) still do it.


With laser focus precision we consider our food sources and amounts for the day. A few servings of Chicken, vegetables, a whole wheat or grain carb source (of course not more than ¼ cup at a time), perhaps a fruit, but never more than two. For those with an open mind to supplements, perhaps a whey protein shake with some almonds, a couple glasses of water to curb the appetite and the day repeats itself.

Now when it’s time to cut some fat in preparation for the summer months or specific clothes we’re trying to fit into, out goes any form of fat, probably all to most carbs and we switch to “leaner” types of meat, forcing us to stick to boiled chicken, egg-whites or very likely just tilapia.

It’s easy, mindless, temporarily effective, and of course, you guessed it… as boring as can be!

Does this sound familiar?

Thought so.

The biggest issue with the “clean eating” concept is derived from the fact that most people use this method as an excuse to shortcut the absolute necessity of training themselves in the art of counting calories or macronutrients. The foods above although perfectly healthy and absent of preservatives and artificial ingredients in their natural state, still contain a high caloric value if not considered in the appropriate amounts. Weight loss is a science… not magic and certainly not contributed to any one (or the absence of) number of food groups.

Many might argue that one’s weight should fall second to eating such artificial ingredients and yet I would urge those people to look up the hundreds of studies that show the harmful effects of severe abdominal body fat. Not to mention, it is important to stress that the same people that are obsessed with “clean eating” will be the first to pay no mind to what or how much they might eat come the infamous “cheat day”.

At this point, all rules need not apply regarding artificial ingredients and weekly caloric consumption.

When has “cheating” on anything ever been a good thing? Regardless if you’re able to get away with it, it’s still cheating.

The desired result of cheat days are essentially raising ones metabolic rate while boosting leptin (the satiety hormone that helps regulate fat storage). Of course along with the scientific explanation it also increases ones energy level (possibly giving them will to carry on, although not likely). At the end of the day this practice more likely results in more fat gain because the amount of calories consumed on that day, far outweighs the caloric restriction they were on all week. And I’m sure I don’t have to get into what this effect does to one mentally and their willingness to continue (thus the new years resolution joke).

There are far more effective ways to reach this outcome (structured “re-feeds” being one).

The problem we continuously face is hearing from thousands of “fitness guru’s” all the do’s and don’ts of nutrition and their obsession with banning any form of their clients enjoyment in their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. As if the more painful the process and greater the martyrdom, the more effective it will be.

This brings on one-size fits all, flavor of the month diets (or my personal favorite, one shake fits all meal plans). These methods are boring, unsustainable, dangerous and ineffective over the long term. Inviting uncontrollable binges, eating disorders and massive weight fluctuations, causing depression and de-motivating even the most determined to succeed.

If these are the practices you’ve been led to believe is your salvation and have had little to no success over long periods of time, I urge you to reach out to us or another that could show you the ins and outs of flexible dieting.

Educating yourself on the details your own caloric needs, with simple ways to track food, requiring minimal thought once understanding the concept, allows you to not only enjoy a meal or drink with your family or friends, but finally gives you the balance in your life that you deserve.

So with that… Yes. This Thanksgiving I want you to have your pie and eat it too and then come in the next morning, after your Black Friday holiday shopping rush, and get in an extra hard workout, using the calories you’ve consumed to burn more than you normally would!

Reach out to us to start taking the steps to learning how eating in controlled moderation, without being fearful of any one type of food can yield the best and most sustainable results you’ve ever imagined.

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