Sunday, June 4, 2017

All or Nothing: Part Two

All or Nothing...this is a topic I have been discussing with my friends lately and I thought I'd bring up the subject with my readers here, since it seems to be a popular theme.  I wrote Part One earlier this week, where I talk about mindset.  The idea that we have to do it all, or why bother trying seems to resonate with many.  Recognizing and addressing this mindset is instrumental in long term success.  It can be All or Nothing, but it doesn't have to be.

In this post, I want to talk a little bit about nutrition.

Many of my friends struggle with weight loss and talk to me about their struggles.  A few have gone as far as to tell me, "I can't do things your way, I have to do it this way."  And I do understand.  But if you want to lose weight, you have to address your nutrition.  Quick fix remedies that we often try, don't lend themselves to long term or sustainable success.
I have written a lot about nutrition on my blog.  In fact, I wrote an entire series on nutrition last year.  You can check it out here:  Flexible Dieting Basics.  In a nutshell, I keep track of everything I eat and drink.  If it has calories, I track it all: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. 

For people just getting started, you have to realize this is a learning process.  You don't have to do it all or know it all right at the beginning.  You learn how to read food labels, how to truly track your food, or how to assess your macros, you might think to yourself, "I can't do this.  It's too much.  It's too hard."

It's the "all" or "nothing" mindset that defeats them before they are even out of the gate.

If you have not read the first part of this post, I would encourage you to do so.  All or Nothing: Part One.  Starting with and keeping the right mindset about losing weight or getting in shape is critical.  It is a learning process.

So, nutrition.

If you are trying to lose weight and want to do it right, but are susceptible to this "All or Nothing" way of thinking, focus on ONE area to get started.  Where do you struggle?  See if you can work on that one thing.  Here are a couple suggestions.

  • Try JUST keeping track of your food and beverage for a week.  Whatever you eat or drink, add it into MyFitnessPal.  Don't worry about what you eat during the first week, just track it all.  After the first week, start to make some adjustments.


  • Try to increase your protein every day to at least 100 grams of protein.  You'll have to keep track of the protein you eat to reach 100 grams.  Try this: two eggs and / or egg whites for breakfast, at least two protein rich snacks (e.g. Greek yogurt or protein bar), 5-6 oz. lean protein for lunch (6-8 oz. for dinner), and maybe a protein shake post workout.  This should get you there, or pretty close.


  • Think about how to address night time snacking.  Eat a little more during the day so you're not hungry.  Skip snacks that are high in carbs or refined sugars.  Try an apple with peanut butter, or one of those new low sugar / protein ice creams.

I bought a few of these ($4.59 / pint at Big Y).  So far I've only tried the Peanut Butter Cup.  As a person with an ice cream problem, I will be honest... it doesn't really taste like true ice cream.  But it does meet my need for sweet, cold and creamy.  Halo Top Flavors here.  I can eat about 1/2 pint and not feel guilty

  • If you don't eat breakfast, start eating a protein rich breakfast for a week.  Every day, one week, try: two eggs with one slice of whole grain toast  (add some peanut butter if you want), a Greek yogurt with granola, a protein shake.  Avoid cereals high in refined sugar, muffins and bagels.

If you are afraid to move forward because you feel like it has to be All or Nothing, try to change just one thing in your diet.  See how you do /feel after one week.  Make only ONE change in your routine.  In one week, see how it worked for you.  Consider it an experiment on yourself.  Positive results are empowering and give a lot of motivation to improve in other areas.  Let me know how you do, I'll be interested in your results..

Throughout this series, I will talk about other nutritional areas you can begin to address.  Keep it simple and see if you notice any difference.  This is a learning process.  You are learning about nutrition, as well as how what you eat affects you.  

Questions for you (answer in the comment section below):
What is your one biggest nutritional challenge?  (Mine is night time snacking.)
Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Musical notes 
This song has kind of a long intro, but once it kicks in, there is a super melodic beat that is great for running or working out to a steady beat.
Hymn for the Weekend by Coldplay
Oh, angel sent from up above.  You know you make my world light up.  When I was down, went I was hurt, you came to lift me up.  ....  Then we'll shoot across the sky.

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