So, I started this blog to talk about fitnessing in real-life, and one of the most important things I discovered in my ongoing quest for Healthy is that sustainability is key. Everything you do to be healthier should be with long term in mind. FOR EXAMPLE.
There is this one diet I was SO EXCITED to try after hearing about it from my roommate at the time. His name is Guillaume, he is from France, but this is AMERICA, so we called him Gyoom.
The diet was meant to give me abs (omg FINALLY) and eliminate any chance of my body even THINKING of creating fat, while making sure I was getting the nutrients in order to workout 7 – 8 hours a week. This was HEALTHY. I was going to be SHREDDED. Or as Gyoom called it, “shred.”
Here is the regimen:
- eat only “clean foods” (nothing processed, no ingredients with names you can’t pronounce)
- do not eat sugar after 2pm (including fruit and carrots)
- do not eat carbs after 2pm
- do not eat fats after 2pm (including healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like avocado, hummus, and almond butter)
- if you are a male, replace all “2pm”s with “4pm”s
- once a week, eat a single “cheat meal,” which can be whatever you want, including alcohol (but you cannot make this meal last for 16 hours, I checked)
HEY THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE.
Well, not completely. There are a lot of great things in here (the first element is a great one to steer towards–you can’t go wrong with purer, simpler foods from sources you know). But, to follow this strictly (even if you only try to do it for one month so you can finally get some em-effing abs) can cause some problems. For starters, what do you eat after 2pm (4pm for all you bros out there)? The answer, and the only answer, is a lean protein and a green vegetable. Which causes issue for the mid-afternoon snack time (NO GREEK YOGURT WITH JAM??) as well as pretty much any restaurant you might be eating at for dinner–I don’t care what you order, there is no way it follows Gyoom’s rules.
BUT IF I FOLLOW IT FOR A MONTH WILL I GET ABS?
Maybe? I have no idea. I am very, VERY disciplined (my company’s accountants once called me “too thorough”) and I didn’t last more than like 10 days. And during those 10 days my eyebrows were furrowed in a constant, hungry “V.”
SUCKS FOR YOU. I AM GOING TO GO DO IT FOR A MONTH AND GET ABS.
Well, the point I’m getting at here is that it isn’t sustainable, to try and follow in its strictest sense. You really think you can have alcohol only once a week? Mmmm hmmm. Oh, you’ll have 3 ounces of baked chicken breast and some steamed broccoli at night, EVERY night, and be satisfied? Mmmkay.
No. Let’s be real here. We have a finite amount of will power, and being that restrictive can take up a LOT of brainspace (see Weight Watchers example here). Will you be less hangry if you add a baked sweet potato (which is SO GOOD FOR YOU) to that meal every once in a while? Yes. So do that. Do you want an apple with almond butter at 3:30pm (another great healthy choice)? Then have it. This diet has some great guidelines — my go-to dinner has become chicken breast and something green, with a flourish of something else added every now and then. And when choosing between products, I always go with the least processed, fewest-ingredients-having choice. But, if my friends invite me out for wine and hummus at 6:30pm, I’m going to say yes to that. Because I like my friends. And i LOVE my wine. And you can still be healthy and enjoy your life, but you probably can’t enjoy your life if you’re spending all your energy trying to suppress your craving for guacamole (which is ALSO HEALTHY AND OKAY TO EAT Y’ALL).
Don’t be a diet monster. Be a real person, who has fun, and doesn’t panic when 2 friends want to have dinner out in the same week, and who also loves fitnessing. It’s possible, and if you let yourself live healthily in a way you can stick to, you will see consistent, and increasing, results. And who doesn’t love results.
Oh and benefits, you’ll have plenty of benefits.