Avoiding the Snowball Effect

With the holidays fast approaching constructing a solid foundation of health and fitness and fine-tuning your diet is imperative. Some think with just one a bad weekend of eating or having too much 'fun' all their hard work will be lost. Many people suffer from the snowball effect the holidays offer and turn a holiday into six months of poor fitness and eating choices. 

Knowing limits and having self discipline is an important characteristic to have. When it comes to the addiction of food many struggle with self discipline. 

In April of 2015  clinical trials and researchers searched through about 3,500 studies and considered 141 different weight-loss programs in hopes to find the best diet. What they found may be somewhat surprising

These researchers wanted to compare these diets over a year long process to see the longevity of these diets. Could these people in fact make these diets a lifestyle and make a healthy change for good?. What they found was that Weight Watchers was one of the best.

To me this was not surprising. For now working in the health and fitness industry for nearly 10 years, I've seen thepatterns and what works for the average person.  The average person cannot go "0 to 10" and kick all bad eating habits at once and never go back.  The average dietary change I see usually only lasts 1 month.  

Slowly building healthy habits while still allowing for some 'bad' choices is the key for the average persons dietary success.  It seems to be normal human psyche, once you say you can't have something that's all you crave!

My family always laughs at me.  When I see them it's usually on the weekends.  Sometimes I meet them at their house or go out to eat with them.  They laugh because I always eat a lot and foods some may consider unhealthy for a health professional to eat.  I'll eat a bag of veggie chips, chicken wings, or carbs containing the oh so frightening protein GLUTEN.  

What they don't see is that 18-19 of the 21 main meals of the week were spot on.  Monday comes back around and I'm on my 'A Game' again.  

This is what a diet plan like Weight Watchers allows people to do on a daily basis.  It allows you to have a small amount of the foods that will keep your sanity, but then urge you and force you a bit to eat properly.  Over time the foods that keep your sanity will be healthier choices and you won't even crave the junk.  But if you do you simply make it fit into your daily/weekly points system that Weight Watchers is known for.

This blog post is not an ad for Weight Watchers, but to rather demonstrate that it is OK to drag your foot off the wagon, but not to fall totally of the wagon.  

The concept, the want, and need to be extreme in this country leads to many unhealthy habits.  Many people take their lifestyle to the extreme in all aspects.  Whether it's work, politics, relationships, exercise, and diet.  Isn't the best outcome always in the middle?  Balance in your diet and the need not to be perfect is what I want from my clients and readers of this blog.  If you are able to find balance there will be no need to be afraid of the holiday weight gain.  

Action Plan Starting This Week  

  1. Start a food journal this week.  It can be on an app or old school pen and paper.
  2. At the end of the 7 day period review your journal.  Tally how many meals, snacks, and or drinks were healthy and how many were suspect. 
  3. Keep tracking the following week, however, cut the unhealthy meals/snacks by roughly 25%.  
  4. Keep doing this week in and week out until your ratio of healthy food choices to unhealthy choices is roughly 85% to 15%.
  5. If you hit a plateau, can't lose weight, or are gaining weight and your are consistently hitting the 85%-15% ratio then it's time for you to advance your concept of healthy eating.  

Have a great week,

Mark Radio  

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Mark Radio is CPT through ACSM, certified nutritional counselor, and has a BA in Exercise Science. He is an Exercise Physiologist/Manager for Body Elite Inc. and owner of Hardcore Home Fitness, LLC.