A lot of times my clients tell me I am too strict with them and don’t give them a lot of freedom with fitness or nutrition plans. This is sort of true because I obviously want them to get the best out of my programs and see the best version of themselves in the short time we have together.
But the same is not true when they see me uploading 4-5 cheat meals on my Instagram stories ;). The trick to enjoy the change in your lifestyle is to know when to leave yourself in a choice less state and when to be strict with yourself.
Lets break this post down in two parts: Workouts and nutrition. I will walk you through each part and explain when I do not give my body a choice and when I let myself a little freedom to do what I want. Following some simple steps, you too can maintain a lean physique and enjoy the freedom to cheat more than other people around you who strive really hard to maintain their body weight. You could call it the 80/20 rule or maintaining a balance between hard work and smart work. Either ways, these tips will keep you on track and stay committed towards always sculpting a better YOU.
Choice- less state: I WILL squeeze in 6 workout sessions per week and that is a choice- less state. Now the world could come to a stop or I might be diagnosed with cancer and have only 7 days to live that week but I WILL squeeze in 6 workout sessions no matter what. I could be travelling to any part of the world but in the past year and a half I don’t remember ever having a week where I did not squeeze in 6 workout sessions.
NOTE, I did not say I will workout 6 days/ week, but rather complete 6 sessions per week. There are days where I wake up to morning cardio and then do an evening strength training session. I might take two days completely off that week where I am travelling. But 6 sessions is non negotiable. I have gone and exercised with bad menstrual cramps (its completely safe to do so, watch my YouTube video to know more) or with an ankle sprain. But 6 is the number and in that case my body doesn’t have a choice. Its mind over body every single week.
Freedom: Some times these workout sessions last only 20 minutes. Yup, I give myself the freedom to choose how long the sessions will last. Most are about 45- 90 minutes long, but some days when I am too exhausted or travelling a lot, they might last only 20 minutes. Maybe 20 minutes of stair climbing or a quick swim in the pool. I make a weekly workout calendar in the beginning of the week that looks like this.
Ok thats like 12 sessions in one week, but minimum I need to finish is 6. This way I get at least 6hours of physically being active per week. I also shuffle around the sessions sometimes and might not go by my written plan 100%, that’s another freedom I have. But 6 sessions is a choice- less state. Given I have the freedom to move around my sessions and choose what activity to do excites me.
Having the golden- 6 rule still keeps me on track and accountable. Sure there have been weeks where getting 6 in is a challenge, but knowing that I do not really have an option will push me to finish my weekly fitness routine. I have come home from long trips at 11pm and gone for a 20 min quick workout. I also have woken up at 3.30am on some days to finish my training when the rest of the day is packed with work. But most week’s are fine and more than 6 sessions easy. I live in the gym so I can afford that, but with a 9- 5 desk job don’t try to over stretch yourself with extra gym time that is more than necessary ;).
So if I complete 12 sessions in one week does that give me the freedom to do less than 6 sessions the next week? NO- 6 is choice- less. No matter what.
The freedom to choose date/ time/ activity but choice- less state when it comes to showing up. There is no way you cannot maintain a lean physique by just being consistent.
Choice- less state: Well there are a few things when it comes to my nutritional intake. One for example, when I am in bangalore breakfast 5/7 days will be cooked by me. This could be oats, quinoa, pancakes, smoothies etc. But 100% oil free food till lunch. I could choose whatever I feel like eating, but I need to make sure I know what is going in my food so I will cook it and it will remain oil free. The max I would do is use a 2 calorie per spray, spray oil for my first pancake but that too rarely because I do not have the patience to cook pancakes more than 1 time per month. This way I at least have the first half of my day done right.
Two is a plant- based diet. No, even if I am stranded in an imaginary island with no trees or fruits, I will NOT eat meat or milk a cow to drink milk. Cow titty juice is just gross. I will starve to death but not eat anything not plant- based. So no matter how tempting it is, no birthday cakes that are non- vegan, no desserts with dairy and no paneer or ghee! Not even one tbps not even one drop. That’s a choice- less state. I personally don’t think its as much about ethics as it is about determination and will power. It’s a no brainer for me now once someone says “that has milk”.
Freedom: Bring on all the vegan desserts! I never stop myself from vegan anything (probably why I don’t already have a six pack ;)). I also wont stop myself from weekend outings. I will go and enjoy all the plant- based food depending on what my body craves for. Mostly I don’t have much cravings and will just go out once maybe, but I don’t restrict myself too much. I dont have a cheat meal but its mostly cheat weekends.
I will eat whatever is cooked for the family even for my weekends. The food might have a little bit oil or is fried but thats the freedom I give myself. Unless I am consciously trying to lose weight, I am not very concerned about calories or macros. Overtime however, I have realised that I tend to make healthier food choices just out of lack of cravings and satisfaction of how my body feels and looks. But you really cannot go much wrong with home cooked food. It cannot be all that bad even if you indulge a little bit.
The freedom to eat what my body feels like provided its plant- based and free from animal products s what keeps my nutrition on track.
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