Even Fitness Pros Have Some Bad Habits
It’s easy to find fitness inspiration on the internet these days. There isn’t a social media platform that isn’t inundated with ripped, awe-inspiring physiques and larger than life personalities that make you want to work out. But with all that amazing feel-good mojo on offer from the very vocal and uber fit, it’s also quite easy to think that they’re perfect.
Spoiler alert: they’re not.
Do the super fit, the always jacked, the perpetually-hydrated, and the always meal-prepped ever make mistakes with their fitness, health, and nutrition? Absolutely. We sat down with some of the most trusted fit-fluencers to get the skinny on their biggest hurdles and how they rebound when they stumble.
What did we learn? It’s a lot more realistic to make a comeback after making a mistake than to ever approach any part of life expecting perfection — no matter how many abs you’ve got showing.
Confession: I Don’t Drink Enough Water
Jillian Michaels, fitness expert, and creator of The Jillian Michaels Fitness App,
Honestly, I’m pretty good about my food and fitness. Where I REALLY slack is hydration. Maybe this is TMI, but I’m a tiny human with a tiny bladder and when I drink water it runs right through me – which REALLY sucks in LA traffic – so I don’t drink nearly as much as I should.
I have now started to take advantage of convenient times to focus on water consumption. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I do a glass when I first wake up, a glass right before dinner, and a glass right after I workout. Plus, I add in a ton of green veggies with high water content. While this isn’t ideal, it really does help to have these scheduled times, otherwise, I will blow it off and forget completely. Hydration is really important for energy, metabolism, skin care, supporting the liver, and the kidneys in “detoxing the body” etc.
Confession: Post-Workout Forgetfulness
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Olympian, Team GB Sprinter, and WithU Coach
Forgetting to prepare meals post-training
I make a point of prepping all my meals at the start of the week, with chicken thighs, long grain rice, and a coconut sauce being one of my favorites. The protein helps with muscle repair and the rice with replenishing glycogen stores – the coconut sauce is just an added bonus and tastes delicious! Just in case I am caught off guard, I always carry spare protein bars in my training bag.
Confession: I Love a Decadent Breakfast
Harley Pasternak, Celebrity trainer, fitness and nutrition specialist, author, dad
I absolutely love decadent French toast. Thick fresh brioche bread soaked in egg and deep-fried, covered in maple syrup and butter. I can eat an entire loaf of bread in one sitting.
I’ve learned to make a heart-healthy version of this by placing a piece of high-fiber whole-grain bread in a nonstick pan, covering it in egg whites, cooking it until done, and sprinkling with tons of cinnamon. I then cover these with mashed warm blackberries and raspberries. This is a fantastic substitution for my guilty pleasure and a great way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. If you are looking for other ingredients that you can substitute to promote a healthy heart, check out: Takecholesteroltoheart.com.
Confession: I Love Whiskey
Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine®
Whiskey. I love whiskey, but we all know how bad alcohol is on so many levels. I honestly believe it’s the fast track to accelerated aging and I feel it in my body too. BUT it’s so tasty and I love a relaxing drink at the end of a crazy day. The first few months of COVID made it clear just how big of an effect it has, as my husband and I were drinking more frequently alongside some pretty ramped-up stress levels.
Our solution was to create our own delicious mocktails. It sounds boring but they are so tasty and simple. It’s created a nice ritual that my husband and I have grown to love! It’s easy. We just grab a small handful of herbs from the garden (I love thyme, mint, sage, lavender, rosemary, or some combination), squeeze a lemon or lime, add 5-7 drops of liquid stevia and some sparkling water. Muddle then strain and enjoy in a fancy cup of choice.
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Confession: I Never Unplug
Obi Obadike, Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, Award Winning TV Host, Best-Selling Author
I have a hard time shutting off my brain as I am always thinking creatively about something or thinking about current business or future potential business opportunities. So, I struggle with being able to turn off my creative brain at times. I have to really concentrate in an assertive way to shut off the creative thinking part of my brain.
I make an effort to watch an interesting movie that takes my mind off business or takes my mind off thinking creatively. Another thing that helps me turn off my creative thinking brain is reading a book that is really engaging, unique, and interesting. Especially, if it is something different from what I do in my career or what I do day-to-day. Reading, watching a movie, and turning my phone and laptop off helps to really shut off the creative thinking part of my brain so I can detox and get away mentally. I really believe that creative people who are really passionate about what they do have a difficult time turning off that part of their brain.
Confession: I Have a Sweet Tooth
Colleen Quigley, Olympian, and Team USA Track & Field star
I have a huge sweet tooth (I got it from my mama). I’m always craving ice cream after dinner.
Instead of going without dessert and feeling snacky before bed, I make a bowl of whole milk Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries and a handful of granola on top. It gives me that cool, sweet satisfaction without the guilt of a ton of extra sugar. My granola recipe only has 3g of sugar per 1/3CC serving! Win-win!
Confession: Epic Cheat Meals Become a Full Day of Indulgence
Parker Cote, ISSA-CFT, NASM GPTS, Fitness Trainer
I always have and always will be a proponent of a weekly cheat meal. I believe they are essential to longevity and balance. However, recently, Sunday’s cheat meal was turning into a bit of a cheat day. This left me feeling physically and mentally lethargic on Monday mornings. I knew a change had to be made.
I was tired of starting my week off sluggish after an overindulgent Sunday and I was also upset that I was giving back most of the hard work I did during the week. I decided to have a cheat snack instead of a cheat meal and allow myself to be relaxed on nutrition for the rest of the day, but not eating like it’s my last meal. In the past few weeks of doing this, not only has my body sharpened up but I feel so much better. The biggest realization was that I was eating a lot of junk because I knew it would be a week until I could have it again. Knowing how badly going overboard on a cheat made me feel was all the motivation I needed to pull back.
Confession: I Love a Midnight Snack
Devan Kline, CEO and Co-founder of Burn Boot Camp
Between 11:30 – 12:30 A.M. Tues, Wed, and Thurs is about the time you can find me in my pantry savagely ripping wrappers off Coconut Lara Bars and … if there happens to be Fudge Brownie Yasso Bars in the freezer, no sweet is safe on a night like this! I’m really not mad about this habit.
Choose calorically light food. The difference between 80 and 250 calories per snack is a big deal when eating four servings three times a week. That’s roughly a 2,000 calorie difference weekly. If you do the math over the year that can add up to roughly 30 lbs – if those calories were in surplus. The great thing is that you don’t have to be perfect with your nutrition, and you can still eat snacks you like, as long as you’re willing to apply yourself and commit to the process of trial and error.
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