What’s the Best Diet?

Short answer: The one you stick with.

Everywhere you turn there is a new eating plan. Many are just repurposed versions of methods that have been around for decades. There is so much conflicting “research” that it’s difficult to discern what’s good for you and what’s a “fad” – or even what’s a “fad” that’s also good for you. And by now we all know you can find research to back up ANYTHING you want to think is a good idea so just because a method is “scientifically proven” doesn’t mean… really anything.

Over the years I’m pretty sure I’ve tried some version of every diet imaginable. The two things I KNOW to be true are:

  1. Added processed sugar is bad news.
  2.  Mindless eating is a dangerous pitfall.

Perhaps for your New Year’s Resolutions, you chose a plan that didn’t fit into your lifestyle. Or maybe you bit off more than you could chew trying to deprive or eliminate EVERYTHING all at once instead of taking baby steps toward your goals. There is a simpler (and easier!) way to make strides toward your goals. There is a saying that the marginal plan you stick with is better than the perfect plan you abandon.

To take a page out of my friend Josh Hillis‘s playbook, I’m going to challenge you to keep a food journal for 10 days. I’m not going to ask you to choose to be “Paleo” or do a “Whole30” or be a vegetarian or follow any other plan that’s out there. For just ten days, I’m asking you to write every single thing you eat down on paper (or in an app) and explore why and what you are eating.

By being accountable to yourself you will second guess your choices and become more aware of your habits and patterns. Here are some questions to consider when you are recording your food:

  1. Why am I eating? (i.e. Am I hungry or bored? Did I just grab a handful of Goldfish crackers when making my kid’s lunch and almost not realize it?)
  2. Is this the best choice I have available to me? If not, is it meaningful and delicious? (For example, I talk a lot about my Aunt Teri’s carrot cake. It’s not the best option available but I see her MAYBE three times a year and I eat her carrot cake without thinking twice about whether or not it’s the best option.)
  3. Is eating this food moving me towards or away from my goals? There are no neutral foods. Everything you eat is either getting you closer to your goal or moving you away from it. Please do not interpret this as you need to starve yourself. I find a lot of dieters actually eat too few calories. Here I’m talking about the food choices within your calories consumed.

You don’t need to show your food journal to ANYONE. This exercise is to learn about yourself and your patterns and where you can make small steps toward lasting change. Try it out for just ten days and see what you figure out!

You Can’t Outswing a Doughnut

Right now we are coming to the end of the first week of our New Year’s Challenge. People participating asked me for a fourth one because they wanted a little extra in their Resolutions kickstart – and that’s great. BUT…

You can’t outswing a doughnut. I know, I know. Trust me, if I had my way I could eat whatever I want and work it off in the gym. It just (unfortunately) doesn’t work that way.

Don’t get me wrong – you will never get the physique you want without exercise but diet is the major player in fat loss. Trying to burn off extra meals and drinks doesn’t work in the long run and then it puts us in a vicious cycle of thinking of eating something off plan as a sin and exercise as a punishment.

So what is the answer?

  • Try to consistently make better choices. What is the good, better and best choice in the situation?
  • Think of your food as fuel. Because it is. What is going to better nourish your body?
  • Eat slowly and to 80% full.

And if you want to sweat an extra day this week, by all means do an extra workout. But don’t do it so you can fall face first into cake tonight.

New Year, New You Challenge!

It’s cliche and overdone that people start a whole new fitness program in January. It’s become a joke that people will be in the gym the first week in January and gone by Martin Luther King Day and it happens a lot – mostly because people try to make huge changes all at once instead of focusing on changing smaller habits consistently. It’s said that it takes 21 Days to create a habit and we are going to work on changing habits and making time for exercise 3-4 times a week.

New Year, New You is a 21 Day program where each day you get a 2-3 minute motivational video, 4 weekly workouts, and a printable Food Journal/Habit Tracker. The At Home Guide to Kettlebells is included for those who need to learn or brush up on their kettlebell skills and you have unlimited priority email access to me for any questions.

Signups run through January 1st, 2018.

This is not a “Whole 30,” “Keto,” “Paleo” etc… challenge (although I am an advocate of everyone doing at least one Whole30 in their life as an education on how certain foods affect you.) There is no one nutrition box for everyone and you can choose whatever eating plan you want and that works for you, your lifestyle, and schedule. What you will do is decide how many days you want to work out, and pick 3 habits to stick with. The habits can be simple such as “Stop eating when 80% full,” “Choose fruit instead of a processed snack,” or more complicated such as “Comply with Whole30 guidelines.”

The Saturday before each week, you will receive the habit tracker and food journal as a .pdf that you can print out and modify. You will also get your 4 workouts so you can plan your training sessions for the week.

The first Saturday will include some suggestions for your habits if you are stuck trying to decide which nutrition and lifestyle habits you would like to adopt.

The challenge will start on January 1st and will run through January 21. To qualify as a winner, you will submit before and after photos no later than January 25th to give you some leeway on start date if you don’t want to get started until the 2nd or 3rd. The 3 finalists will be posted on my FB page and the Train With Delaine page for votes. You may blur out your face if you must. The voting will run from January 27-30 and the winner will be announced on January 31st. You can solicit friends and family to vote.

The winner will win a Rogue Kettlebell of their choice (up to 32kg/70lbs) and a spot in the Strength Retreat 2018 in Costa Rica (flight and lodging not included.)

Sign up today and look for the kickoff email next Saturday, December 30th!