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Is THIS Bad For Me???


Throughout the years of owning a gym since 2013, we have worked with countless clients to not only improve their fitness, but also their diet.  In the beginning, our “diet program” consisted of informal conversations with client about what they should and shouldn’t eat.  Eventually, we added a more formal diet program to our one-on-one consultation program called Coach’s Corner.  After continuing to receive requests from clients for more and more diet information and assistance, we finally created the Practical Diet Revolution as our formal standalone diet program.

Regardless of the formality of our program, we constantly receive the following question:

“Is THIS bad for me?”

You can substitute “THIS” for anything you eat:  meat, beans, rice cakes, ice cream, bread, pasta, peppers, potatoes, etc.  Our answer has always been the same.  First, anything in excess can be bad.  Second, it is really hard to answer that question without seeing the rest of your diet.  Third, if it is all natural food, probably not.  Fourth, if it is something processed, the answer is simple, yes it is.

Eating in Excess

When a member asks us if what they are eating in bad, we first need to know how much they are eating.  If you are having one spoon full of peanut butter per week, and you don’t have a peanut allergy, then it probably isn’t impacting your diet.  However, if you are eating three spoon fulls of peanut butter per day, then yes, that is likely bad for your diet.

Anything you eat can become harmful, or bad for you, if you eat it in excess.  That even goes for vegetable.  Vegetables are often considered safe to eat in large quantities.  However, if you are eating an excessive amount of carrots, to the point that you aren’t eating much else, then even carrots can become harmful.

Thus, almost anything in moderation isn’t going to be bad for you.  The hard part is determining what moderation is.  For that, you need to work with a professional and be prepared to partake in some trial and error with you diet.

What Else Are You Eating

We can’t really answer the question until we know what else you are eating.  Everyone has a caloric threshold when it comes to gaining weight, losing weight, or maintaining weight.  If your goal is to lose weight, and you are already eating enough calories to maintain your current weight, then the sweet potato may be bad for your goal.  However, if you are asking us just about whether sweet potatoes are good or bad for you, we don’t have enough information.

Often times, to help us answer this question, we need to see your entire diet.  That requires you to record your diet for a week or so.  That will give us a full picture.  Then we can better provide an opinion about what is good, bad, or better for you to reach your goals.

Is It All Natural Food

Taking the above two issues into consideration, if the questionable food is all natural, then chances are the answer is “No.”  If you are not eating in excess, then natural food is good for you.  If you are eating the questionable food as part of a balanced diet that is overall manageable for your goals, then it is probably good for you.

We make this next statement loosely:  If you are eating all natural food, at least three times a day, and not to excess, whatever you are asking about is probably good for you.  This statement also assumes you don’t have a food allergy.

Is It Processed

On the opposite side of things, is the questionable food is processed, then the answers is almost automatically, “Yes, it is bad for you.”  Our bodies are designed to function on natural food.  Processing means some of its natural properties have been altered or removed.  Even worse, some food is completely factory made and has no natural quality at all.

We never push our diet clients to remove all processed food from their diet.  That’s really hard to do and to maintain.  However, we try to limit processed food intake as much as possible.  We do this explaining to the client that processed food is technically bad for you.  You are doing harm to your body by eating processed food.  If that is a decision you are comfortable with, then the best thing you can do is limit it as much as possible.

In these cases, we work on a sliding scale.  Understand that we can all do better with our diet.  Even those with the strictest diets still have room to do better.  For example, if you are asking us if the ice cream in your diet is bad, our answer is yes.  However, we understand there is a level of reasonableness at work here.  Thus, daily ice cream is bad, limited ice cream is better, no ice cream is ideal.  You have to decide where you want to be on this sliding scale with everything you eat.

When you are starting a fitness program, like CrossFit in Pittsburgh, or you want to maximize your results, diet has to be a consideration.  If you want to know if something you are eating is “bad” for you, it is harder than a simple yes/no question and answer.  We need more information like what we outlined above.