Here's the type of fat loss plan I followed in 2010:
It worked ok... I gained some relative strength. I was fairly fit. But I wasn't enjoying my life. I was regularly saying no to outings with friends for fear of not sticking to my diet. I was doing two-a-days in the gym in lieu of anything else. I was active, and by anyone else's definition I was eating healthy. But my emotional + mental state was anything but healthy. A GoodLife trainer (where I was working out at the time) told me that another member had asked him "how do I get a body like hers?!" He had responded "she's here twice a day everyday... you probably won't unless you want to give up spending time with your children." I remember thinking to myself as I drove home from GoodLife - "when is this ever going to end for me?"
My strength numbers skyrocketed - I went from from 135lbs to a 300lbs deadlift.
I improved my mobility. I went from avoiding squatting because of poor ankle mobility, to squatting 230lbs and valuing my long-term joint health over the attainment of a six pack.
My time spent in the gym decreased significantly.
My time invested in friends + family increased.
I experienced a level of happiness I had never felt before.
.....but I still wasn't eating to support my fitness & aesthetic goals.
Paleo made me feel food shame...
The Zone diet was too complicated for me to do day to day...
What did 'Eat Clean' even actually mean and could the average person sustain any of these long term?
In 2015 I began counting macros. Contrary to picture #1... this is what a typical day now looks like for me:
I add in the occasional long distance run or 30min+ metcon when I'm feeling it.... but I have never felt so comfortable in my skin, and have my fitness & nutrition be so effortless and enjoyable. I eat mostly whole, natural, unprocessed foods. I can successfully have dinner out a a restaurant. I can go to a potluck without feeling deprived. I don't have to avoid a glass of wine. I can eat things without feeling instant guilt or regret.
Setting up a few non-negotiables in my day has allowed me to reap the benefits of eating whatever I want, following an enjoyable workout program that I never dread or make excuses for and build a body I am proud, confident and comfortable up. For me, these non negotiables are:
1. Move everyday.
- whether it's a spicy metcon, or a 20 minute walk, I make sure I am never sedentary.
2. Get at least 75% of my protein.
- ideally, I am hitting 100% of my target everyday, but life happens, so I am happy to arrive at this numberand know it won't throw me off track.
3. Make my nutrition fit my lifestyle.
- I am a chiropractor, gym owner, soon-to-be wife, friend, sister + daughter. These are important roles, and ones that should never be put on the backburner for the sake of fat loss. Rather, I do my best to work my healthy ideals into my day to day life. Instead of catching up with a friend over a meal on a busy day- maybe I'll ask them to go for a walk instead.
Cheers to simplicity & building a life of fitness & nutrition that you love!
- Dr. Alli