Everything in Moderation, or Maybe Not…
I found a great article by Neghar Fonooni of Eat, Lift, And Be Happy about her personal experience with diet and nutrition. There are a lot of points I can relate to, but the most important thing to take away is that everyone is different when it comes to nutrition. As much as I would love to have a one-size-fits-all answer for my athletes, it really comes down to what works best for you. I’ve learned after years of experimenting with diet that I am not an “everything in moderation” kinda girl. I have always struggled with keeping a balance and I tend to err on the side of excess if I don’t give myself any restrictions. A huge part of success in healthy eating is psychological and it comes as no surprise that my “all or nothing” attitude towards life would directly apply to how I eat and train.
Here’s what I have discovered works for me…
- Strict clean-eating Mon-Fri. What does that mean for me? Lots of veggies, protein and healthy fat, no grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar or even fruit. (I’ve always struggled with a sweet tooth and I’ve found I slowly increase my fruit intake over time when I allow myself to have even a little.)
- Weekend “clean treats” - my portions are more relaxed and I allow myself fruit, dark chocolate, coffee and alcohol if the mood strikes. I have found I have an intolerance to gluten so I steer clear of gluten b/c the negative effects tend to last for too long afterwards.
- Random 24-hour fasts. I’ve tried variations of intermittent fasting and doing it on a regular basis does not work well for me. I’ve found it’s super easy when traveling or the day after a vacation as a sort of detox method.
- Vacations are a freebie. I love to travel and I love to eat when I travel! Psychologically, it would kill me to try to maintain perfect eating b/c so much of what I love to do when visiting a new place is try out new restaurants. Vacation-mode = eat whatever I want!