- Fitness trainers are disciplined with what they eat, which involves taking breaks.
- We interviewed a few trainers regarding what they eat for a treat and why.
- This post is the second installment of our What do personal trainers eat? series.
All of us need to treat ourselves sometimes â€” even personal trainers. Actually, we’d sayÂ especially personal trainers. When it comes to nutrition, they are some of the most regimented professionals out there, and they could use a break!
Many trainers agree. They find that continually abstaining from all unhealthy foods isn’t the best for the body or the mind.Â It can lead to overeating andÂ food guilt instead of enjoyment. The act of clean eating does not equal perfect eating.
Speaking of eating . . .
This post is part of a new series on what personal trainers eat. We interview trainers from all over the country (and beyond) about their eating habits, nutritional philosophy, and how these relate to their roles in the fitness world.
As you’ve probably guessed, this post focuses on what trainers eat for a treat or a “cheat meal.”Â You may be surprised by a few responses. One trainer even emphasizes her indulgences apart from food. You’ll see!
Take a look at the rest of this meal series on what trainers eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Also, remember that exercise is important and If you are looking for an exercise routine, look no further. Go PRO todayÂ for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.
Dr. Raye says . . .
I believe it’s important to indulge a little here and there because youâ€™ll simply be happier. Eat the doughnut or the slice of pizza, and learn to enjoy food GF (and I meanÂ guilt-free, not gluten-free). But letâ€™s be clear, to indulge doesnâ€™t mean that you overdo it. Iâ€™ll never endorse binge-eating. However, I will promote keeping that palate awake and satisfied.
Eating well doesnâ€™t mean depriving yourself of what tastes amazing. It means making smarter choices.
We have an entire center in the brain dedicated to feeling good. Think of an indulgent moment as a means to a sense of balance.
What my moments look like:
- Gourmet doughnuts â€“ My weakness, which only happens a few times a year
- Pizza â€“ (Who doesn’t love Pizza?!) Truly a guilty pleasure I allow myself to enjoy with my daughters from time to time
- Ice cream â€“ Halo Top, which is a protein-packed ice cream that competes with the best creameries around (only 240 to 360 calories per pint)
Dr. Raye Mutcherson is a certified fitness and wellness educator, consultant, trainer, and founder of FlexmechanicsÂ inÂ West Hartford, CT.Â Flexmechanics designs personalized programs and fosters a sense of community among clients.
Shantea says . . .
As a nutritionist and trainer, I believe in practicing what I preach! I can’t demand a client to eat a certain way if I am not willing to myself. So for most of the week, I eat well.
But on Saturdays, I allow myself a cheat meal.
- Baskin Robbins â€“ One scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream
- Starbucks â€“ One slice of pumpkin bread
- Jersey Mike’s â€“ A mini turkey and provolone sub on wheat without mayo
Shantea Johnson is a nutritionist, a certified trainer, and the owner of DHW Nutrition and Fitness in Georgia. She educates women on how to eat healthier, balanced meals and helps them meet fitness and weight loss goals.
Ginny says . . .
At the end of the day, I need to choose my food wisely and consciously. I am not a perfect eater by any means, and it can be a struggle to eat well sometimes. But I need to feed my body the best I can.
If I splurge, it will be for a small handful of dark chocolate raisins, or I’ll split a dessert with a friend one time per week.Â If I eat out on weekends, I typically go to restaurants that offer “healthier” food items.
If I truly indulge myself, it will be with something I enjoy other than food, such as a massage, pedicure, good movie, sharing a trip to the city with a friend, or hiking. I also love what I do, so I will take an advanced training class every month or attend a seminar in my chosen field of healthcare.
Ginny Erwin is a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian in Sausalito, CA. She also teachesÂ a weight management class and works in a local hospitalÂ as an exercise counselor and facilitator of a diabetes prevention program.Â
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Caitlin says . . .
I tell clients to stop saying they’ll never eat something again. Can you give up pizza on a regular basis? Yes. Are you planning to give up pizza for the rest of time? No.
When you take things away completely, it actually makes you want them more. So I stress moderation, not elimination.
I stick to the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the time, I eat clean, and I indulge for the other 20.
My 20 percent sometimes looks like this:
- Friday nights in â€“ Mediterranean chicken kabob with veggies, rice, andÂ pita with hummus
- Sweet snacks â€“ Stan’s Pistachio Donut or Halo Top’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
- Once a month â€“ Pizza and a Dr. Pepper
I try to spread out my indulgences over the week or month. Because I eat well and cook most of my food, I allow myself the ability to “cheat” â€” mostly outside of my home. I don’t keep any of my favorite treats in the houseÂ because then instead of having one doughnut, I would eat every doughnut until they’re gone.
Caitlin Akey is aÂ NASM certified and insured personal trainer and the owner ofÂ Personal Training with CaitlinÂ in Chicago, IL, where sheÂ strives to empower women by educating them on strength training, nutrition, and body positivity.
Jeff says . . .
My cheat meal is either a Quest protein bar or a sandwich. (I used to be more strict.)
For a kind of “dessert,” a staple around the house tends to be popcorn. My son loves popcorn; everybody in our house does. When you smell it, you just feel like you’ve gotta have it, you know? I don’t need to eat it that late, but sometimes I do.
Jeff Thompson is a certified personal trainer, TRX specialist, Tabata Bootcamp instructor,Â and founder of T48 Fitness, which provides high-quality training to empower communities in Baltimore, MD to live an active lifestyle. He also runsÂ 10:12 Sports, a nonprofit that uses athletics to createÂ mentoring opportunities and job training for Baltimore’s youth.Â
NOTE: These responses have been edited for clarity.
Keep in mind that exercise will always be an important component of one’s overall health. Get started on your fitness journey today by going PRO and gaining access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!