Everyone in the fitness space focuses on what you shouldn’t be doing, and all the clean eating you should be doing. It’s like you’re back at your parents table being told to finish all your peas before you get dessert. Do you remember that side eye glare you gave, when you thought “someday I will be an adult, and I can do whatever I want”? Well this time, you are an adult, but you’re still being told to eat your peas by your trainer, the government, and Stacy who just lost 15lbs on the Zone diet. Instead, today you’re a big kid. You get to do whatever the fuck you want in your gluttonous freedom. It’s freshman 15 all over again.

In the shift shop webinar we just hosted, I asked by a show of hands how many times have you tracked your carrots and broccoli on MyFitnessPal, but as soon as Friday at 5pm hits, you had no desire to know how many calories are in those happy hour drinks, you created a story in your head that you deserved this, and you’ll start back on Monday. All the hands went up in the air. The truth is – you don’t want to know.

The mainstream advice – “Eat more whole foods, and don’t eat junk food”. How is that working out for you? How effective is it just telling someone to “eat clean”, real, nutrient dense foods and stop eating like crap? As about effective as telling your child self to eat your peas. Instead, you feed them to the dog or move them around your plate to look like you ate them.

Not many are addressing the modern world, and being realistic. If you only eat 100% clean, I don’t know why you’ve read this far, but for MOST people you’re exposed to modern day processed foods ALL the time. From snacks in the break room at the workplace (or your drawer in your desk), being surrounded by drive thru and eating out options, to your own pantry, to the many holidays, and social gatherings. Not many are addressing how to incorporate your favorite foods and how to be flexible. There might be a few that preach the 80/20 rules, but don’t teach you how to apply it.

Just like your weekend binge, no one wants to address the elephant in the room, and let’s just start on “Motivation Monday”.

You should value food in two ways. Usually, a person has one or the other, and you need both for a healthy relationship with food. You need to value food as information, with calories, and macronutrients for you to look, feel, and perform the best. Food also has a huge social and culture component, and you also need to value food for enjoyment, and its social and relationship values.

Think about your non-negotiables. When you “want to lose 15-30lbs but, don’t want to give up __________”, what is that blank? In that moment you are ambivalent. You are conflicted with the person you want to become with the fear of losing the status quo of how things have been, or the things you love about you, or afraid to lose.

To be honest, the behaviors you have been doing have gotten you to the place you’re at now. If you’re not happy with that place, you need to shift your behaviors. That doesn’t mean you have to never have fun, or that you can’t incorporate foods you enjoy.

When was the last time someone told you to stop eating this or you can’t have it, and that bode well for you? How long did that last? Instead, figure out how you can add to your plan, the non-negotiable you don’t want to give up. What can you enjoy in the maximum while still getting the results that you want?

Check out the Shift Shop we hosted in April, we discuss how to create 10-40% flexibility with your diet.  We also discuss calories, protein, and what you should be focusing on during Covid-19, in quarantine. 

Instead of saying never again, say not today, or have a plan when.

You will feel empowered when you planned to eat that donut, and it wasn’t an emotional decision.



Adam Bennett is a personal trainer for Shift 110 and a host on Shift Talk, The Podcast. Adam became a personal trainer at 18 years old. After he helped his first client experience a shift in their health and fitness, and he witnessed how it completely impacted their entire life, Adam became consumed on how to help more clients shift in the most effective way. He has taken over ten years of experience in the fitness industry and created Shift. He is here to shift the fitness industry, defend the world from evil fat cells, and f*ck shift up in the process.