Are You A Fitness Binger?
We associate the word ‘binger’ with someone who binge drinks, chain smokes or rams junk food down their throat as if the world is about to end. Generally the word ‘binger’ conjures up thoughts and images in our minds of an all-round unhealthy person.
But that certainly isn’t the only kind of binger I know…
What about the fitness bingers?
The fitness bingers I hear you ask? Surely being a fitness binger has to be a good thing, right? WRONG!
The traits of a fitness binger…
1. Starting every Monday you go on a super strict diet. Salad, salad and more salad with a few meal replacement shakes thrown in for good measure.
2. By Wednesday you are so hungry you could eat your family, friends and colleagues!
3. Starting every Monday you hit the gym big style, doing 3 back to back classes and running a half marathon on the treadmill to sweat out the sins of the previous weekend.
4. By Thursday you are so sore it hurts to turn over in bed so you decide that you will have a rest day (which turns into 3).
5. You jump on all of the latest quick-fix slimming methods that pop up in your Facebook newsfeed. You’ve tried them all, from diet pills and laxatives to the cabbage soup diet and shakes.
6. By the weekend you feel you’ve trained so hard in the week and been so good on your strict diet that you have earned a treat. This treat starts with a glass of wine or 2 on Friday night and ends with a Sunday special from the Indian take aways (and goodness knows what else in between).
…and so the cycle begins again every Monday.
YES, you should be cutting out the processed foods, sugar and junk from your diet and YES you should be exercising BUT when it’s done to such an extreme it is very difficult to maintain, and as a result you never get the results you crave and you stay in this cycle of feeling good Tuesday to Friday and experiencing that awful, heavy bloated feeling alongside a serving of guilt the rest of the time.
Now, I’m not a fan of the term ‘everything in moderation’…it’s way too general BUT I am a fan of being kind to your body and your mind and finding the middle ground that allows you to enjoy the things you like while still being fit and healthy.
So how do you do it…
1. If you’re going to eat healthy, remind yourself you are not a rabbit and salad is not the only option. Why not try taking some meals that are traditionally seen as unhealthy and making a healthy version. For example, fish and chips becomes oven baked cod/salmon with peas, lemon and parsnips or sweet potato chips.
2. Exercise regularly at an intensity that makes you feel challenged every session but doesn’t wear you down so much that you can’t sustain it. Find a mode of exercise you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like you have to force yourself into every workout.
3. Find a mode of exercise you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like you have to force yourself into every workout.
4. Plan a weekly treat meal/snack where you can eat whatever you like…chocolate, ice cream, pizza…. whatever floats your boat. But make sure it is a MEAL and not a DAY! Planning is key with the treat meal- avoid having it on an adhoc basis as this can be a slippery slope.
5. ENJOY your treat meal and DITCH the GUILT!
6. Do the things that work consistently, to avoid the highs and lows, the bloat and the guilt each week and don’t feel the need to punish yourself in the gym because you had 1 glass of wine after a great week of workouts and nutrition. BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
It’s time to stop saying ‘I’m getting back on it on Monday’ every week and instead just make ‘being on it’ more realistic and consistent.
Be healthy and happy,