Getting out of Exercise Debt: The 'Fudge' Budget
This post is the start of a larger concept I call Exercise Debt. I am addressing this as an attempt to start changing the way people think about their approach to diet and exercise. Do you realize that most people simply spend their time in the gym or pounding the pavement to try and UNDO something they did with food yesterday? I bet most of you reading this really never gave it much thought--but it's still true!
It's time to squash that way of thinking. It's time to get traction. It's time to start launching forward and not just trying to dig ourselves out of a hole. It's time to get out of debt. Exercise Debt.
1. Make a 'Fudge' Budget
You want to know the secret for saving money?
The above question and answer might be good enough to get me a Pulitzer for outstanding journalism...
Meh, maybe not.
But the same concept you use to hold on to more of your money can be applied to your nutrition:
You want to know the secret for losing weight?
In order to be successful in weight loss, you must be intentional. That means making a plan and sticking to it.
So, guess what? It's budget time, baby!
I'm not suggesting that you write out the total number of calories you can eat in a week and start working the math. I'm recommending that you look at your upcoming week and take a certain number of meals to do what you like. Make a FUDGE Budget. For those times you know you're going to be "less than perfect" and you say "Well, FUDGE it...":
- Maybe you have friends coming in from out of town.
- Maybe it's your birthday week. (Eat Cake, it's good for you!)
- Maybe there is even a chance you have a hot date that you're excited about.
Whatever the situation, your good nutrition choices will be on the chopping block. So rather than wondering what happened to you NEXT week when you step on the scale, make your plan of attack. Understand what's coming your way, BUDGET it, and ENJOY the time.
I normally eat 5 meals a day, 7 days a week. That's 35 total. I try to stay good 90% of the time--so my weekly budget is 3 meals.
You don't even have to make the best choices--get what you want. And when it's done. It's done. Move on, and keep your weight-loss train moving forward.
2. It's Time for Payback
How many times have these words escaped your lips:
"That's it! Monday morning, it's time to get serious..."
The trouble with that line of thinking is that you're talking about that on FRIDAY night. What exactly do you plan to do for the next 48 hours? Good Lord! It's like you don't want to think about it, so you block it from your mind saying "...if I don't pay attention to it, then maybe it isn't real."
Oh, it's real baby!
The good news is that if you're reading this, then you might now be PAYING ATTENTION--that means you've made a Fudge Budget; you've got a plan. The most important step other than pre-planning your indulgences, is to get right back on track with your next meal. That's the magic--if it's not on your plan to mess up, then it's business as usual. Choose to pay attention and not put it off until next week.
3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
All exercise is built on consistency. Continued repetition over an extended period of time breeds success on a very high level. Your diet works in the EXACT same way--even your cheat meals. What I mean by that is your body will respond best if you pre-plan your 'not so good for you' meals on the same days / time every week.
Example: Every Friday afternoon I like to have a Pizza :D
It's something I look forward to at the end of my training and work week. It's that moment of "ahhhhhhhhh..." when I don't feel guilty or stressed about not eating perfect. I just rest, relax, and indulge. Same pizza, same toppings, at roughly the same time. Every week. And because I build this into my nutrition plan, the overall impact on my results isn't that much.
That begs the question from the crowd, though: "Sure, you only eat ONE bad meal, of course it's not that bad for you. How do you expect us to be that disciplined?"
LOLOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOL, one bad meal... Ha! I have something coming that will make you look at me a little different when it comes to nutrition. I promise you, it ain't just ONE bad meal. But I digress...
The bottom line is it won't matter when or how many "bad" meals you eat, or when you choose to eat them; the only thing that will matter is that they were on purpose, and consistent week to week. Having a plan of attack lets you take control of your weight-loss, rather than always cringing when you approach the scale.