By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder
In case you missed part 1, you can check it out by clicking here.
For this next installment, I’d like to go down a slightly different rabbit hole. Since this is coming out right around the New Year’s holiday, I thought I’d share something for those who may be taking on some new eating/exercise habits this year.
Important note: We’ve made the decision many years ago to not participate in the marketing to the ‘New Year’s resolution’ crowd. Yes, I know that’s weird for a gym. But we are a small facility that caters to the dedicated. I will not dishonor them by flooding the gym every January. If you’re looking for an awesome promotion, sorry. We don’t have one. If you are, however, looking to make sustainable, long-term changes to your lifestyle, please feel free to reach out.
Americans are a little strange when it comes to eating. We’re one of the few cultures that talks about nutrients as much as we talk about food…
“Oh, I can’t eat that. It has way too much fat.”
“I’m on a diet. I’m not eating carbs for the next 30 days.”
Some of us certainly have a strange relationship with food, don’t we? Since we’re talking about it, our relationship with exercise isn’t much better. Over the years I’ve had countless clients that come in for their training sessions and say things like…
“So, what kind of torture do you have planned for me today?”
This is clearly someone who has a terrible relationship with what we do around here. You won’t believe this, but there are some people who see training as the highlight of their day; a celebration of what their body is capable of doing. They get to come in and hang out with their pals, crack some jokes, move some iron, break a sweat, and feel awesome.
All while others just see it as some sort of punishment for all the other bad lifestyle decisions they make. What do you suppose the odds are of someone being successful in their fitness regimen if this is how they feel about it?
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Eat Like An Italian
If an American were to study the eating habits of various people groups around the world, and take a guess as to which one has the leanest people, Italians (the ones actually living in Italy), would probably not make the list. Their diet staples are pastas and cured meats… basically fat and carbs! Two heavily demonized foods here in the US. But Italians are some of the leanest people on earth.
How can that be? There are two important things to consider…
First, American portions of Italian food are much larger than the ones served in Italy according to Eldo E. Fezza, MD, is the chief of general surgery and director of the Bariatric Weight Loss Center at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and author of Slim The Italian Way.
He also says, “The sauces here are much heavier, too, nearly drowning the pasta instead of simply enhancing its flavor. Italians do eat American favorites like meat sauce and Alfredo sauce, but during a normal week, most pasta dishes are served in a light sauce with basil or a small amount of meat.”
Italians are passionate about their food! They cook everything for maximum quality and maximum enjoyment. They are the foodies of all foodies! Americans, on the other hand, eat for maximum convenience. This convenience comes at high price… mostly in the form of nutrient-poor foods which can easily lead to over-consumption.
Marie and I are total foodies and we prepare our meals for maximum enjoyment. I only eat one solid-food meal per day and my first priority is eating things I enjoy. Are there certain macros I’m trying to hit? Sure. But I don’t occupy a lot of brain power to that sort of thing. Marie is a little more strict, but the two of us certainly do not starve ourselves or succumb to bland foods just because we have body composition goals. It’s simply unnecessary, unless you’re trying to get on a bodybuilding stage.
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How about you?
It is my hope that, regardless of what your goals are for 2022, you find enjoyment in taking on those things. Torturing yourself with something you don’t enjoy is simply not sustainable long-term, and motivation is highly overrated. Almost no one has the self-discipline to white-knuckle their way to the finish line of long-term goals.
If your New Years Resolution involves some sort of martyrdom, I encourage to rethink the goal. If you can’t remember the last time you actually enjoyed your diet, maybe it’s time for a change.
Until next time,
Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached “Team Protocol” to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Marie, and dog, Asher.