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4 Complaints I Hate to Hear & How to FIX them!

Fitness Complaints
Written by Derek Howes

No one likes hearing complaints, especially in the fitness world! I’m sure any fitness professional, gym rat, or anyone that is involved with healthy living has heard their friends or someone asking for advice say the following:

1. I don’t have time for the gym!

Really? You don’t have time for the gym but you most likely have time for:

  • TV/Reality shows
  • Movies
  • Facebooking/Tweeting/Instagramming (or any form of social media)
  • Texting
  • Finding new things to buy online
  • Fighting over who left the seat up with your spouse
  • Etc

There are some cases where people truly don’t have time (sleep is important) but for the majority of people not working two jobs, going to school full time, etc, there IS time somewhere in your schedule. For a reference point, there are a few Doctors who work 80+ hours that still make it to my gym 5+ days every week. Whether you need to cook all your meals on one day to save time throughout the week, commute a different way, stop “social media” or watching your favorite show until you get a day off, you can find time for the gym a few times a week. It’s all about where your priorities are and if they are focused on being healthier rather than seeing what happens on the next episode of the Real World or Kim Kardashian’s next tweet, you WILL find time for it. At the very least you’ll be able to find time to work out at home (calisthenics is amazing!).

2. It’s so hard to stay on a diet! (Or one of its variations such as “dieting is hard”, “I can’t lose any weight”, etc)

First off, who said dieting was easy? You’re most likely trying to lose a bunch of weight that you put on over a LONG period of time. If you were trying to gain a bunch of weight in a short period of time, you’d say it was hard as well. Now moving past the fact that yes, dieting can be hard in the beginning, you should realize that you do plenty of things that are hard that don’t benefit you nearly as much as living a healthy lifestyle. If your boss said to you “you can have the day off if you eat healthy today or you can come to work an eat unhealthy”, what would you choose? I’m assuming healthy eating with a day off (if you chose unhealthy then there is much more to your problem). We’ve now established that eating healthy is easier than your job, which you do 5-6 days a week. Why not do both? You work to make money which allows you to enjoy things in life, right? So why not enjoy those things while remaining healthy which allows you to:

  • Live longer
  • Not get sick as much
  • Have more energy
  • Less risk with a ton of diseases/injuries
  • Significantly improved quality of life (happy, confident, social, etc)
  • and SO MUCH MORE

Secondly, calling it “dieting” is setting yourself up for fail. You don’t magically diet for a certain amount of time and then go back to old habits. You should understand that it’s not about dieting for a specific amount of time, it’s about changing your whole life, breaking old habits, and living a healthy lifestyle…for the rest of your life.

3. I can’t afford to eat healthy!

This one blows my mind. I don’t want to go too much into detail on this one but lets just say that my diet is full of vegetables, healthy fats, healthy carbs, and between 190-230g of protein a day which is around 22-2400 calories at the moment With that said, I’m able to eat clean for around $4-6 a day depending on what I eat. If I were to need to eat even cheaper, I’d bet I could get down to $3/day. Instead of ranting, here are some tips I’ve learned throughout the years:

  • Buy in bulk if you can
  • Buy your protein online or look for deals with protein expiring soon (should be fine for 1-2+ years after the expiration)
  • Make your own protein bars
  • Look at the weekly flyers as each store has different things for sale and plan out your meals from things that are on sale
  • Farmers markets for vegetables are cheap!
  • No shame in the coupon game (I personally rarely use coupons but if you are a couponer then more power to you!)
  • Meat that is expiring soon/that day is fine. Freeze it if you aren’t going to use it or cook it that night. (I get lean meat/chicken for half the price this way)
  • Buy the store brand alternatives (look at the ingredients, they are almost always identical and probably made in the same factory!)

It’s mostly common sense but people are lazy when it comes to grocery shopping and would rather complain than research. The $1.29 Little Debbie rack at every store is just so much easier to pick from.

4. Eating healthy sucks!

I hear this one a lot. It’s one of those things where it goes hand-in-hand with hating “diets”. Everybody loves food, at least most sane people I know (and probably the insane ones too). There is this stigma behind eating healthy that it must mean it’s going to taste bad. I’m not sure if this stems from the media or most of the bodybuilding diets you see out there with all plain food. I’ve done the plain food thing and it’s not fun! Food is one of the great luxuries in life, why sell yourself short? You can eat healthy and it CAN taste great! Here are a few of the things I’ve done throughout the years to not just make my food taste better but to allow me to remain sane while cutting weight or fighting cravings:

  • Use spices/seasonings! Why would you not? Most of them are 0 calories!
  • Use fat free/low or no sodium/low or no sugar alternatives. There is just about and alternative for everything out there, all you have to do is look for it! Really, there is even no calorie peanut butter  and pasta out there!
  • Marinade your meats and/or throw some sauce on them. Yes, this is fine – a bit of BBQ sauce, ketchup, whatever you prefer is not going to make or break your diet.
  • Sriracha chili sauce is mouth-heaven.
  • Use a slow cooker, they make everything taste better!
  • Be creative and throw a few of your healthy things together to make one delicious meal. (Sriracha Deviled Eggs w/ fat free mayo, mustard, salt, and ground pepper!)
  • Watch my recipes for high protein ideas!

As long as you’re reaching your macro (fats/carbs/protein)/calorie requirements for the day you’re going to be fine and will reach your goals while staying sane. You don’t need to eat 5oz chicken w/ broccoli and 15 almonds 6 times a day to lose weight!

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About the author

Derek Howes

Derek Howes is a personal trainer and chef with over a decade of experience in the gym and kitchen. Derek, who is also known as The Protein Chef on his blog and YouTube channel shows his viewers every week that food doesn’t need to be boring or repetitive, it’s all about balance, moderation, and having the knowledge to change things up. His recipes which have been featured in the news, magazines, and on TV are cheap, quick, AND delicious! His motto in life is “everything in moderation” and is without question the most important habit he follows.

15 Comments

  • The only excuse I have is my diet. I have to be on a low residue diet(low fiber), which makes eating healthy difficult. I am always on the look out for ways to make my diet less boring. Thanks for your recipes!

  • Derek,
    I just found your site and am definitely digging it! I love the “no shame in the coupon game” comment…I have been trying to find ways to save using coupons via Sprouts, Trader Joes and Clarks Nutrition (my local health food store) and it’s slow going but possible. I am feeding a 12 yr old athlete and will surely be incorporating your recipes…I’ll report back and let you know how it goes! :-)
    Catina

    • Hi Catina! That’s awesome! Definitely no shame in the coupon game…especially when feeding a growing body! Let me know how everything turns out. Thanks for the kind words.

  • every week i make at least one recipe and i have yet to hate any of them!!! my brother and i share pics of your stuff via IG, FB and text. I just wish you had more recipes for chicken and beef. I do not like fish that much.. :/

    but none the less everythings is always great! keep them coming

  • Great info Derek. I would actually like your help with my new life style change. I have just began being vegeterian. I’m hoping it will help me feel better over all. So far so good. I’m just concerned about my protein intake. But thanks a lot for the protein oatmeal,it’s a life saver so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Saw a clip of your YouTube channel on Dr. Oz and am loving it. I’m currently seeing a trainer and making a serious effort at changing habits and living healthy. Your site and channel have been SO helpful in helping me meet some of my goals and still eat food that doesn’t taste like cardboard AND feel full. Just wanted to say thank you and keep up the great work.

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