Holiday Food Guilt

holiday food guilt pumpkin pie

5 Tips to Help You Through the Holiday Food Guilt

What if you could still eat those delicious treats that come along with the holiday season and still continue towards your health as fitness goals? This can be such a stressful time of year, but navigating food should not be one of them! As a woman recovering from an eating disorder, I dreaded the holidays because of their temptation and subsequent roller coaster of emotions. I put together a list of some helpful tips I learned along my journey in hopes to help anyone else who might be feeling the same way. 

Take Morality Out of Food

Our diet culture, which is a billion dollar industry, creates a narrative that only certain types of food are healthy or unhealthy, good or bad, which is how many diets or weight loss programs are formed. Food is not inherently good or bad. When we label our food we give it moral value leading us to experience guilt, shame, and disappointment. The only “bad” foods that exist are ones that may cause an allergic reaction or ones that you simply just don’t enjoy. Another phrase to steer away from is “cheat meal”. This association can harbor those same feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment. With this mentality the perception becomes “This food is bad, I cannot eat it.” which inherently becomes “If I eat this, I am bad.”

Take away: Remember, food is not bad and you are not bad for eating it. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion as a friend. 

Do Not Overly Restrict

In the world of psychology there is what’s called the scarcity principle. The basis of this principle is that the less of an item is available the more attractive it becomes. In relation to food and dieting, when you cut a specific food group out of your diet with the expectation that you “can’t have it”, that food becomes scarce and suddenly you can’t stop thinking about it. If you’ve ever dieted, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Let’s face it, you will eventually end up eating this “forbidden food” and instead of eating a serving or two, you end up binging on it with the mindset of “tomorrow I will get back on track and won’t eat it again”. Once you stop telling yourself you can’t have something, your desire to eat it will begin to decrease. When you do actually have a craving you will more likely be satisfied with a serving instead of over indulging. 

 

Take away: Enjoy your cravings as they come instead of an all-or-nothing approach. Sometimes we eat for nourishment and sometimes we eat because it tastes good or we’re in good company. Either way, it is okay!

holiday food guilt pumpkin pie

You Do Not Need to Earn Your Food.

Say it again, you do not have to earn your food. Along with diet restriction, we tend to determine what we can eat by bargaining that we will either eat less the next day or that we will have an extra workout to make up for it. There were times I would spend 4+ hours at the gym trying to out work what I ate and it was miserable. When you do this you end up creating a negative relationship with food, exercise, and yourself. You are allowed to enjoy your food, whether it’s pizza or a salad, it is not a prize to be won or a privilege that is earned. 

Take away: You deserve to enjoy food with no strings attached. 

Ask For Help.

If you feel out of control and you don’t know where to start, ask for help. Registered dietitians are a great resource, they are the experts when it comes to diet, nutrition and lifestyle. Whatever your goal may be, a dietitian can help you get there in a healthy and sustainable way. We have a registered dietitian on staff who would love to answer any of your questions!

Therapy is another great resource to help you challenge diet culture and disordered eating patterns. Sometimes our bingeing and restricting behaviors can stem from our past trauma. A licensed therapist can help you work through these obstacles and help find better ways to cope with emotions without using food. 

Take away: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. 

Health and Fitness is a Journey, Not a Destination. 

Your diet will not be perfect all of the time. Your workout routine will not be perfect all of the time. You are human and that’s okay. Creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle means that there is room for dessert, a rest day, or whatever life throws at you. It means that you have the flexibility to still be healthy and happy, while also enjoying your favorite foods. 

Take away: Everyday may not look the same but trending in the direction of our goal over time is what ultimately matters. 

Enjoy your holidays and remember, what you eat does not define your worth. Life is too short, so just eat the damn cake!

Author: Mary Pershall, BS, Full Scale Fitness Personal Trainer

personal trainer posing in saint george utah for Full Scale Fitness

 

Mary Pershall, personal trainer in St. George, UT.

The Keto Diet

Listen to the Registered Dietitians (RDs), not the celebrity magazines.

As a personal trainer, I am exposed to all types of questions regarding nutrition and diets. Majority of the time I have an answer and provide the information they need but that isn’t always the case. Recently many clients have been asking about the ketogenic diet and if it is right for them. Initially, I always say the same thing when it comes to a question on a specific diet – if you can’t do it for a lifetime, don’t do it at all. Therefore, the ketogenic diet (a low-carbohydrate diet, higher fat consumption, higher protein consumption and scheduled fasting stages) is something that isn’t recommended. I did want to find out more information on the diet itself and what our registered dietitian (RD) thought about it.

Carbohydrates are your brains main fuel source

Rachel Suba, RD, LD is currently the online registered dietitian for Full Scale Fitness. She also is the head of the sports and nutrition program at the University of Oklahoma. Rachel is a highly sought after in her field and I 150% take her professional and clinical word to be the truth. So I asked Rachel, “What is your professional opinion on the ketogenic diet?”

She responded…

“My professional opinion on the ketogenic diet:

  1. It’s only been scientifically proven to be beneficial for those with the medical condition epilepsy. Even so, only been found to be effective in children.
  2. The diet itself puts you in a TOXIC state of ketosis and those in ketosis (for medical purposes) are monitored by a physician.
  3. It cuts out key food groups with key nutrients the body needs.
  4. Carbs are you brains MAIN fuel source and even some brain cells cannot function without carbs.
  5. As far as sport performance, research does not show an improvement in performance and in fact even shows decreases in performance since the body has to work harder to process foods and therefore it takes longer to get the “energy” from the foods.
  6. The long term impact is that people regain the weight back (if they’re using it for weight loss).
  7. Other negatives – Muscle loss (due to the lack of carbohydrates to supply muscle growth), constipation (missing a lot of fiber), high cholesterol (due to the high fat consumption), and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

Overall, it’s a fad diet and isn’t advised by health professionals.” – Rachel Suba, R.D., L.D.

Please keep in mind that carbohydrates are what fuel your body to keep going! Carbohydrates are digested and stored into the muscle tissue / liver as glycogen. This glycogen is then extracted and broken down by enzymes through a process called glycolysis and formed into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is what your body uses for physiological processes / muscle contractions and is found in all living tissue. Therefore, a decrease in carbohydrates equates to a decrease in ATP production and that is not beneficial for any athlete or individual exercising (again, see bullets 5 & 7).

You heard it here first folks! Avoid the ketogenic diet unless you’ve been suggested to do so by a licensed physician and/or registered dietitian. If you’re looking for help on finding the right “diet” or nutritional program to follow, contact us at Full Scale Fitness! We will gladly help you out. Our personal trainers are always eager to help clients out in the nutritional field and for those that need the extra assistance (such as a meal plan or consultation), our registered dietitians are here to help as well!

Andy Hanson, M.S., DBC-1

Honey For Your Health

Akron Honey Company x Full Scale Fitness

People often associate honey with Winnie the Pooh or Baloo the bear from The Jungle Book, but don’t typically think about the actual health value that comes with the golden sweetness! Granted, two big lazy bears don’t conjure up the best body images! So, we decided we would ask a local beekeeper and Akronite entrepreneur on the health benefits of honey.

A DELIGHTFUL DISCOVERY

Wesley is the owner of the Akron Honey Company (www.AkronHoney.com) and has established himself as one of the top honey-men in the Northeast Ohio area! Wesley has been responsibly raising honeybees in Akron, since 2013. What is unique to his story and company is that the beekeeping locations are residential and not countryside. His apiary sites are located right in the heart of Akron at Crestland Park, Highland Square (Saint Vincent Saint Mary) and Middlebury.

When we asked for some general information on the health of honey, Wesley stated, “When eaten, it has been known to assist in weight loss, boost energy and the immune system.  It also is excellent at soothing a sore throat, improving the digestive system, and has been known to assist in falling asleep faster and more easily, as well as soothe coughs.” This was supported via our registered dietitian, who informed us of honey having antioxidant, antimicrobial, and general soothing effects for those who partake in the consumption. Our RD also directed us towards the World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics in showing that they recommend it as a natural cough remedy for those >1.5 years of age. Craving honey yet?

It turns out that it gets better as Wesley then added an additional area of wellness that we were not familiar with! There are topical application / wearable benefits of honey. Wesley informed us that, “When we use honey on our skin, the benefits are as equally stunning. It improves skin quality as a moisturizer and exfoliate, softener and soother, prevents wrinkles, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.” Straight from the keepers mouth!

Be sure to check out www.AkronHoney.com and support local Akron businesses! If you have any questions feel free to contact a personal trainer or our registered dietitian at [email protected] or Wesley at [email protected] We hope to hear from you soon!

Life-Styling | Not Dieting

There was a time when I wanted to have a lifestyle not dieting when I was trying to lose weight. I have tried and done it all!  Whether it was trying to do different types of diets, I tried cutting out all things sugar, I tried depriving myself of yummy food, I even tried unhealthy ways (just not eating). It’s not that I was never “fat” but I was never happy with my body. Being a three sport athlete, I still weighed 20-30 lbs heavier than my teammates and I had NO idea how they could be so small by eating worse than me and we exercised the exact same amount. When I went to college my lifestyle changed. I was no longer exercising like I was in high school. My sleeping schedule was horrible, I was sitting most of the time, and I couldn’t afford healthy food.

It's a lifestyle, not a diet.

In high school I was about 150 lbs and when I came home from my first semester of school I stood on the scale and I was 179 lbs! What?! How in the world did that even happen! Some people say Freshman 15, I was more like first semester freshman 30. It was CRAZY! I immediately joined weight watchers and I started working really hard. Even with my hard work,  I only lost 9 lbs! Something had to change! I finally threw everything out; tossing my recipe books, my food diary, I smashed my point calculator and I decided to do things differently.

By the end of it I had lost 50 lbs. and went from 180-130 in about 6 months. I know I had the benefit of only being 21 years old, but I also worked really hard to get there! How did I do that?

The Lifestyle Approach

  1. I found an exercise program that I enjoyed! I was tired of doing exercises and workouts that I hated and would dread. Who would be motivated to follow a routine that they hate? That is why I started my search for an online personal trainer who could write me workouts that I was able to do and more importantly, workouts that I enjoyed doing! This is how i stumbled upon Full Scale Fitness. After reviewing the company and what they stand for, I moved forward with online personal training. From there, they started me on a Phase 1 Program with my personal trainer and I loved every minute of it. This was almost like a reintroduction to exercise. Since then I have advanced into Phase 2 of my programming and I’m having great success.
  2. Meal sizes had to change! I ate until I was comfortable but I never over ate and that wasn’t always the case. Seeing food as fuel helped me eat things that I knew were healthy and good for me, but they weren’t so extreme. I didn’t just eat raw tuna and dry salad for each meal. Potatoes, bread and even cheese were a part of my diet! But I ate it all in smaller doses!
  3. If I was craving something, I would let myself have it. There were times where I wanted some McDonald’s French fries then I would go and get a small fry. Depriving myself from things that I loved made dieting almost impossible and when I would be around that food I would binge eat, because I hadn’t eaten it for so long. I lost WAY more weight by occasionally letting myself have a small craving (small being the important word).

  4.  

    Comfort eating was no longer a “thing” for me. It was hard to realize how much I was eating because I was sad, lonely or bored. I started really thinking about whether or not I was hungry or having emotions convincing me to eat. This was probably the most important development that I had to make!

  5.  

    Drinking more water was a necessity for me. It surprised me how often I was just thirsty instead of hungry. I started drinking 10 cups of water (yes I counted) each day and I would find myself not snacking as much. If I started feeling hungry, I would drink water and if I was still hungry then I knew that I was actually hungry and not just thirsty.

    Remember – It’s life-styling, not dieting! If you need help on your diet or getting your fitness in-line, give us a call! Check out our personal training options here: www.fullscalefit.com/services-all