Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 5 of 30 What You Eat Matters, Fasting and Free Meals!

We all know the phrase, "You are what you eat".  But do you really know the meaning of this phrase?  I tell many people when I first meet them, "One day, you'll find yourself driving down the road, smiling.  Not because of some great incident that happened, but just because you're happy."   If you haven't had this happen to you, you're missing out!  Today, I found myself smiling all the way my car.  Obviously this has happened to me time and time again since I share this experience with my students.  It holds true.  We are what we eat and its SO much more than the initial thought of appearance.  You see, when you eat right, here is what happens:
  • You do indeed start to look better
  • You feel better
  • You have a sharper mind
  • You gain confidence
  • That confidence leads to:
    • Better job performance
    • Better relationships
    • Better parenting
Overall, it brings on a happiness that EXCEEDS the initial self image reason you started on your mission to change what you eat.  I met with a new member today.  He hit me smack dab hard in the middle of my heart.  It was the first time we met, he opened up to me, obviously knowing he needed help.  He knew he had an unhealthy addiction to food and bad behaviors. It was out of control.  He was very emotional.  His father had died of diabetes, he knew what he was doing was wrong and this would lead him to the same path if he didn't change.  He hates the way he looks in the mirror and has been on 1 date in almost 10years.  His addiction to food is influencing or even taking over his entire life.  For this young man, when he beats his addiction, he will have a whole new outlook on life.  He will be healthier, have the gained confidence and may just find the love of his life.  I can't WAIT to see him at the finish line.

As for me, I'm still going strong on meat/eggs/fish and veggies.  I am continuing to learn a lot about myself.  I use to be so tied up in counting and timing everything, I lost site of what my body was telling me.  Removing the stress has been invaluable.  I feel amazing and I can't tell you the last time I went without food for 15 hours, but I did do this yesterday, including sleep time.  I do believe Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint has a point when he says it doesn't interfere with metabolism.  He discusses how our ancestors were many times feast or famine and they were well....a heck of a lot leaner than we are today.  It gets me thinking.  I'm around MMA fighters quite a bit while working at X3 Sports.  They go through fasting periodically to cut weight and their metabolisms are fine and healthy, even the older ones, where the process has been repeated for many years.  I do think there is a point of long term fasting that can have an effect on metabolism but short burst...I see no issue.  In fact, I can actually see some benefits.

What we have to remember when we go without food for long periods of time, is to eat the proper foods when we do eat.  I think conventional teachings about timed eating every 3-4 hours is based on this.  To prevent people from gorging on all the wrong food when they are hungry because they didn't eat all day.  I do think there is a place for this and teach many of my students this method.  It's a learning process and a step to make before moving on to the next.  All a part of the journey.  I had a discussion with yet another CEO of X3 Sports about this, this week.  He doesn't like to stop during the day to eat, so when he gets home in the late evening, he has an issue of overeating.  If he were to come off sugar and program himself to eat the proper foods when hungry, this would not be an issue.  He can keep his eating time-line if he would have at least a moderate breakfast before his day starts (as I said earlier, in my opinion, short burst fasting can be ok...repeated long fasting can hurt metabolism).  He just needs to alter what he eats....meat, fish, eggs and veggies followed by moderate nuts and fruit.  It's really hard to overeat meat and veggies.  If you don't believe me, then I challenge you to 30 days of only meat and veggies, no limits - see if you gain weight!  :).  Most likely, you will lose body fat, while possibly gaining muscle.

Typically, on Friday evening, I have a "Free Meal"  whatever it is I want.  Today, I'm breaking that habit.  I thought it may be an issue, as I've always looked forward to this time.  I do think there is a place for free meals and I allow these to my students.  It is another step in the learning curve, adaptation to change.  BUT, I think I will be removing these so called planned free meals for myself.  I'm ready for advancement!  In fact, I think the free meals hurt me more than they have helped in my most recent times.  I think they increased my urges, made me eager.  I found myself so obsessed with the Friday night "treat" (remember yesterday's discussion on treats?) that it took over my thought process by midday on Friday until I was able to indulge...then, without fail, would have more than I should.  Many nutritionist, especially those in the body building arena will tell you to have "free meals".  They say it helps mentally and it increases leptin and there is some truth in this.  However, I think it can be done in a safer, mindful way. One that doesn't reverse advancement and increase cravings but one that works in favor of increased metabolism and decreased cravings.

I tell my clients who start out with me.  "You are going to cheat.  Plan it!"  As with any change, it has to be gradual for most people.  Planned cheat meals play a role in the process of changing ones lifestyle.  Depending on where my clients are when we meet, both in diet and mind, will depend on how frequent they are allowed to cheat or partake in a "Free Meal".  My thought process behind this is to teach them to be on plan for one day, two, three or a week...when they feel the urge or craving for a food coming on, they are to tell themselves, they can have it.  They just have to wait a few days.  This is all a technique to retrain the sub-conscience mind.  Our sub-conscience mind is like a computer, it's programmed to like certain patterns.  If you throw complete change at it, it will fight you every step of the way.  If you tell it no, or it can't, it will fight you even harder.  So saying: "Yes, you can have it."  and putting it off to a planned time to have it, this increases your success rate while going through a lifestyle change. 

For me, I am finding, I need to let go of the obsession of that next free meal.  I personally, don't like the way it took over my mind, nor did it make me progress metabolically in any way.  I'm not saying I will never have another pizza or slice of cake ever again.  I'm just not going to have a planned or set time to where I'm so fixated on cheating and then over indulging.  It worked for a while, it served its purpose, but I no longer see its need.'s all about a process, learning, growing, listening and understanding ones self and what works best.

We are all different.  We all have different needs, thoughts, body types.  I don't believe in any one size fits all program.  Timing for each individual's process is different as well.  We just have to take the time and most importantly pay attention.  Learn about yourself!  If you have a hard time doing this, find someone who can help guide you. 

Until tomorrow!

Going Strong....ALL DAY LONG!


Blogger Ali said...

love it!!! i couldn't agree more!!

March 26, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Caroline Brown X3 Sports Nutrition said...

Thank you!!!

March 26, 2011 at 5:33 PM  

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