The Fitness Expert
Treats not cheats - be disciplined
In this week's column, fitness expert Bogdan Merkes takes us through the discipline required when allowing yourself a little treat in between workouts.
After a couple of days being good with food, intense with training and disciplined by getting to bed early you tell yourself, "F**k it I deserve it". And sure why the heck not? The key to long term success for any strict health and fitness regime is to reward yourself and to praise your achievements.
Your mum’s favourite bake, a fatty pizza or even a having a few drinks with close buddies on a night out will give you that needed break, right? Well, as long as it doesn't spur you on lusting for more, then why not? The calorie dense meals and favourite night time beverages, things you might also refer to as "cheats", are still the most desired ways for people to reward themselves at the end of a tough week of dieting and exercise.
This behaviour can be more counterproductive then you might think when over-enjoyed in an uncontrolled manner. For example, you have been cutting out the junk food and managed to be nutritionally balanced hitting your fat loss goal by consuming 2500 calories per day. You manage six days on the trot when you decide to reward yourself with a well earned lads’ night out. You start binging on a 2000 calorie pizza, then you put on your dancing shoes and head out on the town to neck back 2000 liquid calories.
On the way home you pick up some munch in a takeaway for a further 2000 forgotten-about calories. The 6000 insane calories you just consumed got your average daily calorie intake for the week soaring well above your goal at over 3000. And you wonder how come week in, week out, you follow all the rules to the book with nutrition and exercise, never to reach your fat loss goals? Your desire to be a lean, mean, fat shredding machine is now ever so distant, edging you slowly into a fat storing turkey.
So here's how to do it:
To help you Irish men with your typical Irish behavioural patterns for those times when Guinness and Abrakebabra are your choice of treat, then follow these rules:
1. One treat a week. That's it, don't be greedy!
2. Choose either food or alcohol never both. No guilt of the sin here.
3. Don't stock up until next time. Be reasonable, don't consume more bold calories than your allowance per meal.
4. Don't deprive - Give yourself one treat per week. It's one meal, not a whole day, so let's say if you eat 5-6 times per day one of those times you can slip yourself in a dirty delight.
5. Don't be greedy - one treat is enough. Overstep this rule and before you know it your grasping for more every time and at the end of it all, your treating yourself with every meal. If your calorie goal is 2500 per day that is broken up over 5 sitings, then that allows for 500 cal per meal. Don't exceed this with your treat.
Control is the essence of success and you should find just that in these simple steps that will empower you to greater discipline over your body and mind. By simply applying yourself to these behavioural patterns with food and alcohol you will soon acquire self motivation for other aspects that may have been uncontrollable before.
Bogdan Merkes is writing a column every Wednesday until the end of September. If you want to learn more about his services check out ultimatefitcrew.com or like his page on Facebook. Check out more articles from Bogdan on his blog at bogdanmerkes.com, and you can also follow him on Twitter. All comments/questions/suggestions gratefully accepted.