Dietary Monogamy a.k.a. No Cheating!

   Ryan Hall  MS, CSCS, Wellness Coordinator

As a personal trainer one of the biggest issues I had with my clients was trying to get their nutrition under control. I would help them by steering them away from foods that would be detrimental to their goals and provide them with healthy substitutes and new ideas for meals. It never failed that I would have at least one client that would get the great idea of going on some crash diet that restricted what they could eat, when they could eat, what they could drink and how they should view food in general. When I would inform them about how food/calorie restriction can be have a serious negative effect on them, their answer would come back to, ”but it’s perfectly fine because Saturday is my cheat day.” Your WHAT!?! A day that you can eat whatever you want and not completely mess up everything that you have been working towards? Let’s think about this a little. Whether this diet is the be-all-end-all or complete, well…you know, giving yourself an entire day to blow everything you’ve done doesn’t seem like the best idea, does it? This concept wouldn’t work out very well for someone trying to quit smoking; no cigarettes for an entire week and then you can suck ‘em down like they are the only thing keeping you alive for one day.

No matter what you are trying to do with your dietary changes, the biggest thing you are trying to do is break a habit that you have formed over years of eating a certain way. Just as if you were trying to quit smoking, it is a habit that needs to be broken. Letting yourself eat your body weight in pizza, cookies, chips, ice cream, hamburgers, French fries and don’t forget the Diet Coke (you are trying to watch your weight here) will NOT help you break the habits that you have formed. Cheat days will ruin what you are trying to do, period! Has anyone ever heard of the term moderation? Listen, if you are able to change around your diet for the better, you are eating more lean proteins, loading up on veggies and fruits, focusing on moderate amounts of healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil and eating appropriate amounts of healthy grains, go ahead and have that cookie. Just stop at one, not one box! Hey, you had a scoop of ice cream, good for you! It wasn’t the carton like it used to be. A slightly unhealthy treat every once in a while is fine, actually it can be good for you. Don’t believe me? Just think back to that first cheat day on your new diet plan and tell me that one cookie wouldn’t have been healthier than that gorge-fest that you went through. I’m not telling you to eat a piece of cake everyday to keep the doctor away, I’m just saying to not stress out so much over a little treat. Mentally, you’ll be stronger knowing that you can still bake your cake and eat it too.

Biking to Work – How to Incorporate into Your Program

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 Toni Sperlbaum, CWWPM, CHWC, Vice President of Sales & Marketing

May is National Bike to Work Month.  While not all workplaces are easily accessible by bike or perhaps your employees are too spread out geographically to commit to doing this, there are still plenty of other ideas you can incorporate into your wellness program for the month of May and beyond!

  1. Encourage employees to Bike to Work!  It can’t hurt to put it out there.  Designate one morning where, if employees show up by bicycle, they can get free coffee, fruit, oatmeal, water, prizes, and more!  (notice the healthy food correlation?  No donuts!)
  2. Host a Bike Safety Workshop.  HPA is actively promoting FREE Bike Safety courses right now, coming right to your workplace!  Whether your employees are riding to work or not, you can always encourage them to log bike miles throughout a certain time frame and host a free class on how they can ride safe.
  3. Don’t assume employees won’t ride to work.  Give them a chance! Maybe they won’t because there isn’t a bike rack to lock up their wheels.  Set up the environment so you’re removing the barriers and excuses.
  4. Set up a bike miles challenge.  Have employees log miles on their bike for a couple of weeks.  Do a drawing for one random participant and give a prize to the one who logged the most miles, and one who logged the most trips.  Encourage family participation.
  5. Provide free bike maps of trails in your area.  Or, even providing a handout that teaches employees the safety signals and rules of the road.

Contact us at HPA if you’d like assistance with any of the above programming.  Ride on!