Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 8, 2017
There is no tougher (or in some instances, easier) subject for me to talk about than when it comes to food. In respect to my own life, food has been such a powerful and troubling force in my life that I really don’t even know how to write about it. I hate the very notion of eating in a lot of ways, because I know for a fact I am a food addict. Food and the lack of control was the reason why I ballooned into a 400+ pound behemoth and was on my way to an early death. And even though I am in a much better place, I still feel extremely overweight and self conscious of myself. These ill feelings often times create this sense of dread inside of me, where I find myself eating a lot of food to cope with these issues. This relationship is a constant battle for me, which is why I often times feel like my relationship with fitness is one of dependence. I need to keep working out or I will go back to where I used to be. My documented struggle with running has been one reason for my lack of weight control, but of course, the real reason is just simply stress and lack of control. This is why it is so important to do some of the simple steps of eating and maintaining your intake when it comes to your diet. Of course, you will hear plenty of people that relay stories about being able to eat whatever the heck they want and still stay shredded. Okay, whatever, thanks for rubbing it in. Now for the rest of us, finding a good balance with your food regimen is essential in your fitness process.
Let’s start with some terminology, which you hear eating gurus all over the internet speak about. First you have macronutrients, or simply known as “macros” in the industry. Macronutrients are molecules that our bodies use to create energy for themselves, primarily fat, protein and carbs. They are found in all foods in varying amounts and measured in grams. They are usually the first line of offense when figuring out how much caloric intake you should utilize for your fitness game. Now all macros are created the same, but the quality of macros is essential. Eating 100 grams of quinoa is no where near the nutrient quality of say eating some Pik Nik sticks (my kryptonite). Here is a pretty good little website to utilize when you have reached this level of eating. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm Now you also have another side of the coin called “micros,” or micronutrients. Micros are pretty much what they sound like, for they are single sets of nutrients that your body utilizes to stay healthy. Much of the time, when people really get into the macro counting vibe, they often times forget to fill their body with other nutrients because they have counted on a certain type of macro. Think of the meat eating bodybuilder that has to take fiber or the vegan (such as myself) that needs to take some extra vitamin B-12. Here is a pretty good article to help define the difference and the need for both of these ideas. http://blog.blenderbottle.com/micro-vs.-macronutrients-what-they-are-and-why-they-matter
Over the years I have talked about the importance of maintaining a solid eating regimen, even if I have not been the poster boy for this particular method. I have seen both ends of the spectrum. There have been weeks where I have tried to eat way less than what I should be eating, and then I find myself faltering in the gym, running out of gas after 45 minutes and bullying myself to another 15 or 20 minutes. And then there has been days where I have had far too much food to eat, but met some of my best goals and saw some good moments of strength and confidence because I had plenty of energy in the body. I carb loaded for a race and did extremely well, and then I ate light of a race and did okay…but was miserable the entire time due to my body revolting. Finding the right balance is always important for you, and while labels base all of their nutritional calculations on a 2,000 calorie diet, clearly someone like me cannot really survive very well on that type of diet. I found this good calculator and discovered for someone like me to lose a pound a week, I would need to maintain a 2,800 daily intake. Oy vey! Now granted, this may be accurate for me because of my sedentary work life, this clearly does not benefit everyone. Back when I loading large semis with boxes of useless merchandise, I often times worked hard enough over the span of a few days to drop a few pounds. One hot weekend in particular a lost five pounds and felt like garbage when I showed up to Parsons on that Tuesday. I had horrible eating habits at that time but I was also in pretty okay shape. It’s really important to assess your life and your activity level properly, because let’s face it, this process is gonna be tough for you. I have seen people make good gains with their fitness and then screw it up with starvation diets and other restrictive diets that don’t fit them. I even tried a fad diet once called The 30 Bananas a Day diet, and crashed and burned after three. I did survive on a 10-Day Potato Challenge, but on the other hand potatoes are certainly more calorie and nutrient rich than say bananas.
You owe it to yourself to take this part of the journey rather seriously. You could do all of the Crossfit and TRX and cycling in the world but you make any real headway if you are eating a ton of food and having an intake that far exceeds your calorie burn. Now of course, you could be the rare person that workouts incessantly just so you can justify huge meals, but I certainly know you type of people are rare. Most of us want to conquer the poor eating habits, and if that means having a cheat meal once a week to survive, then so be it (which of course is something I written about…seriously, take a look at the back log of the blog!). Trial and error is the best way to figure out what kind of diet you can really subsist on, and ultimately finding that delicate balance will be crucial in your fitness journey.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.