Finding the balance between goals and cheat meals!
Table Of Content
Time to Read: 6 Minutes
A lot of times my clients tell me I am too strict with them and don’t give them a lot of freedom with fitness or nutrition plans. This is sort of true because I obviously want them to get the best out of my programs and see the best version of themselves in the short time we have together.
But the same is not true when they see me uploading 4-5 cheat meals on my Instagram stories ;). The trick to enjoy the change in your lifestyle is to know when to leave yourself in a choice less state and when to be strict with yourself.
Lets break this post down in two parts: Fitness and nutrition. I will walk you through each part and explain when I do not give my body a choice and when I let myself a little freedom to do what I want. Following some simple steps, you too can maintain a lean physique and enjoy the freedom to cheat more than other people around you who strive really hard to maintain their body weight. You could call it the 80/20 rule or maintaining a balance between hard work and smart work. Either ways, these tips will keep you on track and stay committed towards always sculpting a better YOU.
Choiceless state: I WILL squeeze in 4 workout sessions per week and that is a choice- less state. I could be travelling to any part of the world but in the past year and a half I don’t remember ever having a week where I did not squeeze in 4 workout sessions.
Note though, I did not say I will workout 4 days/ week, but rather complete 4 sessions per week. There are days where I wake up to morning cardio and then do an evening strength training session. I might take a few day's completely off that week where I am travelling. But 4 sessions is non negotiable. I have gone and exercised with menstrual cramps (its completely safe to do so, watch my YouTube video to know more) or with an headache. But 4 is the number and in that case my body doesn’t have a choice. Its mind over body every single week.
Freedom: Some times these workout sessions last only 20 minutes. Yup, I give myself the freedom to choose how long the sessions will last. Most are about 45- 90 minutes long, but some days when I am too exhausted or travelling a lot, they might last only 20 minutes. Maybe 20 minutes of stair climbing or a quick swim in the pool. I make a weekly workout calendar in the beginning of the week that looks like this.
The above was during my bikini prep time and had 12 sessions in one week, but minimum I need to finish is 4. This way I get at least 4 hours of physically being active per week. I also shuffle around the sessions sometimes and might not go by my written plan 100%, that’s another freedom I have. But 4 sessions is a choice- less state. Given I have the freedom to move around my sessions and choose what activity to do excites me.
Having the golden- 4 hour rule still keeps me on track and accountable. Sure there have been weeks where getting 4 sessions is a challenge, but knowing that I do not really have an option will push me to finish my weekly fitness routine. I have come home from long trips at 11pm and gone for a 20 min quick workout. I also have woken up at 3.30am on some days to finish my training when the rest of the day is packed with work. But most week’s are fine and more than 4 sessions easy.
So if I complete 8 sessions in one week does that give me the freedom to do less than 4 sessions the next week? NO- 4 is choice- less. No matter what.
The freedom to choose date/ time/ activity but choice- less state when it comes to showing up. There is no way you cannot maintain a lean physique by just being consistent.
Choiceless state: Well there are a few things when it comes to my nutritional intake. One for example, when I am in Bangalore breakfast 5/7 days will be cooked by myself instead of what cooked by my Gujrati family (not the healthiest). This could be oats, quinoa, pancakes, smoothies etc. But 100% oil free food till lunch. I could choose whatever I feel like eating, but I need to make sure I know what is going in my food so I will cook it and it will remain oil free. The max I would do is use a 2 calorie per spray, spray oil for my first pancake but that too rarely because I do not have the patience to cook pancakes more than 1 time per month. This way I at least have the first half of my day done right.
Two is a plant- based diet. No, even if I am stranded in an imaginary island with no trees or fruits, I will NOT eat meat or milk a cow to drink milk. So no matter how tempting it is, no birthday cakes that are non- vegan, no desserts with dairy and no paneer or ghee! Not even one tbps not even one drop. That’s a choice- less state. I personally don’t think its as much about ethics as it is about determination and will power. It’s a no brainer for me now once someone says “that has milk”.
Freedom: Bring on all the vegan desserts! I never stop myself from vegan anything (probably why I don’t already have a six pack). I also wont stop myself from weekend outings. I will go and enjoy all the plant- based food depending on what my body craves for. Mostly I don’t have much cravings and will just go out once maybe, but I don’t restrict myself too much. I do not have a cheat meal but its mostly cheat weekends.
I will eat whatever is cooked for the family even for my weekends. The food might have a little bit oil or is fried but thats the freedom I give myself. Unless I am consciously trying to lose weight, I am not very concerned about calories or macros. Overtime however, I have realised that I tend to make healthier food choices just out of lack of cravings and satisfaction of how my body feels and looks. But you really cannot go much wrong with home cooked food. It cannot be all that bad even if you indulge a little bit.
The freedom to eat what my body feels like provided its plant- based and free from animal products s what keeps my nutrition on track.
Notice how having the freedom still comes with responsibility. This also keeps me on track and looking forward to the cheat meals I will have later. Because of my work schedule I normally do not have the time to go out over the weekdays and thus stay mostly on track with my food. I do not measure what I eat (unless consciously losing weight), nor worry too much about getting enough proteins. Just eat enough fruits/ veggies/ lentils and pulses per day.
List below what are the aspects of your life you want to leave choiceless and where do you want to give yourself freedom with responsibility.
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