As a trainer, I’m always asked this question. How much is too much sugar? How much is too much carbs? How much is too much working out? Sometimes I get the feeling that people are just fishing for the answers they want to hear. I can see in their eyes, that they’re hoping for me to say that x amount of cookies or an occasional type of drink is ok x amount of times. As if I can spew out a magic formula for when they can reach a threshold with whatever they want to indulge in.
I like to focus on the simple answer of, do what feels good.
Now hold back a second, that can actually be a dangerous no? What if someone takes that literally and literally eats a slice of cake after each workout because it feels good?
Well yah, it can be. But I’m a firm believer that if you put in honest work in your fitness routine, certain life actions fall into place, such as choosing healthier food options and portions.
If you’re really committed in making a change, then you know deep down that you won’t want that extra helping of something sweet because the need for for it is outweighed by a greater need to succeed in your goal.
I’m not saying this is inherent in everyone. And for sure, people need help to get to this point of self actualization. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. And the best advice I can couple this with is do what you love to do. Find that physical activity that you love and enjoy and try to be the best at it. I find when people decide they want or have to be more active, they jump right into the whole physical fitness routine of going to the gym and grinding out hours on the treadmill or weights.
And what happens after that hour grind at the gym? They grind even more by denying themselves of something they want like an extra helping of food or a “treat” of something sweet. And if they do give in, they feel guilty about it and then they go to someone like me and ask how much of something can I take after a workout without sacrificing what I did during my workout?
I’ll break down my answer into a very simple answer:
Do something (physically) you enjoy doing; scenic walks, badminton, table tennis, soccer, a new sport, pokemon go.
Be the best you can be at whatever that new, or old, thing is. In short, practice and keep at it. And once you find that drive to level up, you’ll find that the reason for going to the gym or doing a fitness class is to help you level up in whatever you’re doing.
Don’t worry about eating. Eat. You know what’s good for you and what’s not. You’ll find that the more you train and practice for whatever you’re trying to be good at, the more you’ll gravitate towards choices that help you enhance that. Like eating choices. Why is that? The endorphines you get start coming from the enjoyment of your training as opposed to that extra helping of treats at the end of your workout.