We have a special treat for you today.
Today we have a guest post from the owner of Hardcore Core and the Ignition nutrition program.
I asked Karen to write something for me after she joined WG-Fit recently and we started to learn about her no nonsense, (un)common sense approach to nutrition coaching.
Many of my crew have been quizzing her and I’m liking the answers she gives back.
So without further ado, I’ll hand over to Karen as she says:
Fuck Fad Diets
Fad diets piss me off. Because they completely and utterly fuck with your mind. They are pseudo-science. They make you skinny, for a while. Then they make you fat again, then skinny again, then fat again, then skinny again, then fat again. See the pattern? Fad diets are nothing more than a money robbing vicious circle of unhealthy muck.
Not only do fad diets make you fatter than before, they also make you feel guilty, like a failure, like a piece of shit and just pure useless at times. Fad diets are not realistic, not sustainable, not maintainable, and are a complete mind fuck. They tell you what to do and don’t allow you to think and choose for yourself. They tell you not to listen to your very own body’s wants and needs. Unless you are completely devoid of hormones, as well as being emotionally detached from your body, then fad diets are bullshit.
Fad diets encourage compulsive obsessive habits and nutrition “rules”. They restrict or eliminate fun foods, which can later lead to binge eating. They encourage extremely unhealthy disordered eating patterns, or even worse, full blown eating disorders. Fad diets are simply harmful. They are gimmicks that drive you away from having a healthy relationship with food.
To build a healthy relationship with food, you must first FREE YOUR MIND. This might sound a bit hippy dippy to some people, but this is the bottom line. If you don’t do this then your relationship with food will be an extremely unhealthy and unhappy one for forever more.
Here’s an example of what I mean. You’ve decided to start following the Paleo diet, now picture the following two scenarios:
You get up in the morning and commit to being 100% compliant with your diet that day. You have a super duper healthy breakfast of eggs, some lean bacon and salsa. Elevenses hit and you have your berries and nuts that you brought to work with you. So far so good and feeling amazing, well done you, 100% so far.
Lunchtime rolls around and you unpack your Tupperware of salad with chicken breast, nom nom that was good and still 100% on track, woo! But then all shit hits the fan, uh oh, a meeting goes on late in work and by the time you get home you are STARVING so you grab the nearest thing when you get inside the door, a slice of toast.
Ensuing thought process: “Argh I’ve ruined my 100% compliance, I’m such a failure, I’m so useless, I can’t even stick to one day being 100%, I’m doomed, may as well have 3 more slices of toast now and half a pack of biscuits considering I’ve messed up already.”
You go to bed that night feeling like shit and wake up the next morning with a pending feeling of DOOM that you have to start your diet ALL OVER AGAIN, UUUUGGGGHH. Fuck it, you’ll wait until Monday and start the diet then instead.
You get up in the morning and say that you will give your best effort that day to be as compliant to your diet as you realistically can. You have a super duper healthy breakfast of eggs, some lean bacon and salsa. Elevenses hit and you have your berries and nuts that you brought to work with you.
So far so good and feeling amazing, well done you.
Lunchtime rolls around and you unpack your Tupperware of salad with chicken breast, nom nom that was good and still giving my best effort, woo! But then your meeting goes on late in work, uh oh, and by the time you get home you are STARVING so you grab the nearest thing when you get inside the door, a slice of toast.
Ensuing thought process: “Grand that will keep me going while I chop my veg and throw some chicken under the grill. One slice of toast is barely 10% deviation from my nutrition program… deadly that means I am still 90% compliant, go me, I am great, job well done! Now to find the hot sauce to drown my chicken in…” That night you go to bed feeling great about yourself, and wake up the next morning feeling even better knowing that you are one step closer to succeeding with your goals, HOORAY!
The single ONLY difference that day was the thoughts you had that morning. Those thoughts became your behaviours, and your behaviours determined the outcome. Think effort, not perfection. And if you fuck up from time to time, then that’s ok. Life happens.
Give yourself a God damn break.
This “All or Nothing” mind-set leads to the same sort of behaviour that fad dieting encourages. This is a very demeaning way to live your life and encourages very low self-esteem due to a constant perception of failure.
Change your thoughts, change your behaviours, and ultimately change the outcome. I know all this because I have been there. I’ve been an obsessive dieter. I’ve been to the bottom of the fad diet barrel. And it is my sincerest hope and intention to do everything in my power to prevent others from going there too, as it is the most unpleasant, darkest and unhealthiest place I have ever been.
ACCEPT who you are.
BE who you are.
GIVE yourself a break.
FREE your mind.
And for fuck sake, GO EAT a Mars bar every now and then.
Enjoy every single last lick of the Mars bar. Then move on and never think of the Mars bar ever again. Vote for moderation. Vote for a freer happier mind. You will be more confident than any magic diet pill or fad diet will ever make you. The body will follow.
My final thoughts: Succeeding with fat loss takes a truck load more than just blindly following a “diet” or mindlessly eating from a meal plan that a nutrition guru gave you. It takes patience. It takes consistency. It takes finding a balance that works for you. It takes setting achievable realistic goals. It takes ridding yourself of unnecessary expectations. It takes understanding that it will take time. It takes giving yourself a break. It takes eating a Mars bar every now and then.
by Karen Coghlan
You’ll be hearing more from Karen on this blog, but until then, check out the links above.