Much has been written regarding the profound benefits of living a fit and healthy lifestyle. This is not something that happened accidentally. It’s well documented both scientifically and experientially that working out improves your life in every single way possible. As modern people, we need this form of stimulus to keep us feeling primal and able in a world of luxury and convenience.
Nevertheless, does indulgence have any place in a fit and healthy lifestyle? When we embark upon a new project of health, it’s very easy to feel completely unmotivated if we indulge in food, or we miss a workout day. This can stifle progress, because we feel as though the entire process wasn’t working, or that we ‘failed.’ Really, objectively, all that happened was that you indulged a little bit. This following article is also here to try to convince you that this isn’t even that worrying a circumstance:
If you’re on a solid diet, one that has had you shedding the pounds, it’s likely you feel completely proud of your progress. The desire to eat if left unfettered can grow and grow and grow in the periphery however. Scheduling a cheat day once a week or preferably fortnight, where you eat a few more meals or snacks than you otherwise would, can be a great way to maintain your mental health during this time. This will also change your mentality from an ‘always treat yourself’ one to a perspective which treats an indulgence as a prize. You’ll develop a much healthier relationship to food or whatever indulgence is your weakness with this mindset.
When we fail in our goals, we often binge out on everything we tried to avoid beforehand. This can treat us terribly. Undoing all of the progress is tempting, because we feel we’ve already lost what little progress we have made, and starting from zero might be easier again. It never is. We like to use this example:
Imagine you’ve broken your arm through some unfortunate circumstance. As you heal, you accidentally knock it on a wall as you walk past. The pain is bad, and you can tell you’ve damaged your arm a little and have undone a little bit of the progress. Do you immediately seek to break your whole arm again and set it to zero, maybe even making the problem worse? Sure eating is different in that it feels good in the moment, but the overall negative health consequence is similar.
Try to get out of your ‘binge’ mindset completely, and then an odd indulgence here or there will be managed, appreciated, and better yet, guilt-free.
Fitness & Hard Work
There are many forms of exercising and fitness improvement. Sites such as aretheyonsteroids try to chronicle this, and find out what makes those athletes tick. They say at least 80% of an athletic body is made in the kitchen while 20% is formed in the gym, but that 20% isn’t insignificant at all. In fact, without it, the kitchen percentage would barely be important or prominent.
For this reason, entering a fitness program can give you the feeling of paying your dues. When you indulge at the weekend in a takeout pizza, or drinking a few cocktails with your friends on a Friday night, you will know that you’ve already paid for these calories in the gym, sweating it out during the cold morning.
We’d recommend that for the best calorie loss, your workouts should be focused around cardio, heavy strength lifting (using a program such as Starting Strength that is suitable for any beginner,) or calisthenics will really get your body fired up. If you’re looking for something less taxing on your body but incredibly effective at building musculature (in the right way) and endurance, try swimming. All of these are fairly easy to learn in the right circumstances, you just have to ensure you’re able to put forth the effort to make your dream a reality.
Fitness workouts aren’t only limited to the benefits of calorie loss. They’re also essential in ensuring that the whole composition of your body changes. If you are able to metabolize more efficiently because of your exercise program, you will be less likely to put on fat, meaning the small indulgences here and there will contribute little to your usual worry.
Therefore, to summarize, yes, indulgence can have a place in a fit and healthy lifestyle but only if you view it from the correct mindset, and put the effort in the gym beforehand.