“Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned.”

As a personal trainer and coach, I help people build muscle and lose fat. My job is to help show others how to lead healthy and vibrant lives.

And I ate a blueberry muffin.

How could I? What’s wrong with me? Am I going to personal trainer hell? What sort of double life am I living?

And that’s the topic for today’s blog post:

Eating a fucking blueberry muffin

This muffin, to be exact:

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How could a coach/personal trainer/shower-of-all-the-ways-to-be-healthy  be eating a fucking muffin?

Because I wanted to. Because it looked delicious. And because I’ve been eyeballing those muffins for years and had no earthly clue as to how good they tasted.

As it turns out, really, really good.

It’s not uncommon for family members or friends to cast judgment over what I’m choosing to eat:

“Aren’t you supposed to eat healthy? Are you even allowed to eat that? Haha, don’t look at my plate, I’ve got too many treats on here…”

As if I give a damn.

I’m a personal trainer. Not a badge-wielding “Health Cop.” My job is to advise you on how to train and eat to improve your health and fitness. I’m not going to police what you to eat.

Just because I work out and choose to eat healthier options most of the time doesn’t mean I don’t also love “bad” foods just as much as the next sane person.

(I use quotations around “bad” because there’s really no such thing as a bad food. It’s not like my muffin stayed out past its curfew or bit it’s little muffin sister. Food is just food.)

Context Matters

So I ate the muffin. And you know what happened? Not. A. Damn. Thing.

It was delicious! And since I almost never eat muffins, I’m pretty sure my world didn’t crumble like my muffin. As long as I don’t go on a muffin eating bender, my body and health aren’t going to change.

If, however, I ate a muffin for breakfast every single day and did not account for how calorically dense and nutrient poor the muffin was, I might run into trouble.

Even then, a professor from Kansas State University ate Twinkies and Doritos for every single meal and lost 27 pounds. (While his health markers also improved, he does not advocate a Doritos and Twinkie diet.)

Or this guy, who ate 222 pizzas, and was able to increase strength while decreasing his waistline.

Will your world come crashing down if you eat that muffin? I sincerely doubt it.

But, I’m trying to lose weight…

I know how it feels to avoid gooey goodness. I went through my own fat loss transformation over the summer, and although I enjoyed the results, it was a really difficult process. I had to make smarter choices and say “no” to delicious treats many times. But not every time.

On a fat loss diet, do you have to avoid all things delicious and moist?

Not at all.

When it comes to losing fat, there’s one thing that trumps all else: A caloric deficit.

Eating fewer calories than your body needs leads to fat loss. No tricks. No gimmicks. No pills. No powders. No juices. Just a simple deficit.

And here’s why that fucking muffin is so important in this fat loss context:

It’s calorically dense.

According to the Google machine, one medium, 113 g blueberry muffin has 426 calories.

That’s a lot, especially considering it has 18 g of fat, 37 g of sugar, and 5 g of protein, there’s not much “healthy” in it.

Should you avoid eating this blueberry muffin? That depends.

Let’s say you eat 1800 calories each day in order to lose fat. This amazing confectionary treat accounts for roughly 24% of your daily total.

That’s a pretty big chunk, considering how small a medium blueberry muffin is and how it probably won’t make you feel full.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have one. You will just need to account for the calories and adjust your meals later in the day. In other words, the muffin “crowded out” some calories that could have been ingested through more nutrient dense foods like chicken and vegetables.

So go ahead. Eat the fucking muffin. But account for your calorie intake and adjust your lunch and dinner to accommodate it. Bam. You’re fine.

Remember that K-State professor from earlier? The one who ate twinkies? By limiting himself to a deficit around 1800 calories per day, he lost 27 lbs eating “junk food.”

Pretty astounding, right?

But, Andy! What about all the processing?!

Almost everything you ingest has gone through some sort of processing:

Do you wash your vegetables? Grill your steak? Drink beer? Eat oatmeal? Make salads? Drink coffee? Fry an egg?

Those are all examples of some sort of “processing.”

And while I agree mostly with the sentiment that you should eat as much of your food as close to nature as possible, Earth to Matilda, we live in the real world. And in the real world, there’s processing involved in food. Throwing the blanket term of “processing” around as if it’s an intrinsically bad thing is reckless. Hell, even honey is processed via bees and pollen.

Be careful with that word. Just because something went through processing doesn’t automatically make it bad. Do your best: stick to whole foods, most of the time, and you’ll be fine.

But, eat the fucking muffin (or doughnut, or pizza slice, or cookie) every now and then.

But sugar

Whoa. There are textbooks and research studies being written on the subject. So I’m not going to dive into this too deep with my blog. But I do have this to say:

Sugar is not inherently bad. Sure. You can overdo it. And when you overdo it things go sideways.

“But isn’t sugar addictive?”

I’m not one to say one way or another that sugar is, by itself, addictive. I’m not sure if it’s sugar that’s the problem or the other things combined with it. In other words, I don’t see people knocking over grocery stores for bags of sugar.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you, dear sugar-addicted reader, are currently eating spoonfuls of granulated sugar or melting it down in a spoon and mainlining it as you read this blog…

Yeah. I didn’t think so.

The “sugar is/is not addictive” debate is above my pay grade.

In short, though, sugar is responsible for how our bodies function and move. Sugar in our body is stored as glucose, and its glucose that fuels our bodies and brains to work. Without it, we’d be dead, let alone able to read, write, talk, walk, run, lift weights, digest food, talk shit on social media, or basically do anything at all.

Don’t demonize sugar. Sugar helps you kick ass in life and the gym.

Plus, what do you think honey is? Rainbows and unicorns? It’s sugar, man.

Stop Feeling Guilty

Clients and friends will tell me, “I’m so ashamed at how bad I ate this weekend.”

Why are you ashamed? Why do you feel so bad about it?

When did we start measuring our self-worth based on our dietary choices we made this past Saturday night?

Maybe if your health is shit we’re not doing ourselves any good by compounding our already bad situation by eating crap food all the time. We ought to do better.

But we have to stop feeling guilty whenever we fall off the wagon. That’s life. It’s going to happen. Pick yourself back up, get back on the good path, and keep your chin up.

Muffin Crumbs

Should you eat muffins? If you love them, then yes, go right ahead.

Do you hate muffins? Do you hate rainbows and kittens as well, you monster? Then I guess don’t eat the muffin.

If you’re trying to lose fat, it depends: if you decide to eat it, just account for it and make sure the muffin doesn’t “crowd out” calories that could be eaten through more nutrient dense foods. In the context of losing fat, it’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of it. If you decide against it, then that’s just fine, too.

But don’t “reward” yourself with the muffin, nor feel guilty for enjoying life’s little pleasures every now and then. It’s just food.

And remember, context matters:

To someone who has health issues like high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, and dyslipidemia, the muffin is probably not the best choice, but isn’t necessarily off limits, either.

But live your fucking life. Eat that fucking muffin. I for one certainly will.

P.S. Get your Free eCourse, THE STRONG BODY SOLUTION and learn how to get strong, lose fat, and focus your energy and time into the things that matter most. Get started HERE.

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

11 Responses to “Eat the Fucking Muffin”

  1. Shane MCLEAN

    Love it Andy. Sometimes as a trainer it feels like I’m taking confession. What do we look like a priest? Congrats on making the articles of the week . Well deserved.

    Reply
  2. Lou Adams

    God, I LOVE you for this article, Andy! A couple years ago I was losing a lot of weight and feeling terrific while enjoying a muffin every day with my morning coffee and then a second meal of salad and protein. I wasn’t eating horses**t diet muffin made with almond flour or stevia. It was a huge store bought bran or cinnamon muffin which I enjoyed so much. Sometimes I’d have a banana with it. The along came all the evangelical ketogenic loonies telling me I was eating crap and would never get to my goals until I gave up all carbs including fruit. So I gave up the muffin and started eating bacon and eggs for breakfast cooked in coconut oil which would almost make me vomit even when I was hungry. I was sick to my stomach all the time , had bad breath, was always tired and started getting shortness of breath and pains in my chest. When I told my doctor I was eating nothing but fatty meats and cheeses and coffee loaded with heavy cream and coconut oil, he freaked out. He sent me to a nutritionist, and thankfully I got my sanity and my carbs back. I can eat fruit again! I can enjoy my muffin again with a small piece of grass fed cheese for extra protein. I feel healthy, alive, sane, and I’m losing weight again and never hungry or moody.

    Thank you for validating everything my doctor, my nutritionist, my endocrinologist, my gym trainer and my therapist suggested along with my own epiphany of common sense. judgement .

    Reply
    • Andy Van Grinsven

      That’s great to hear, Lou! Sometimes we gotta go through some crazy shit to realize what’s important to us both physically and psychologically. I’m glad you found your way back over to the “common sense” side. The water is warm and welcoming, ha!

      Reply
  3. Kathy

    Great article!! Coming from a girl who lifts weights but loves her occasional sweets..I just had a medium size blueberry muffin this morning and was feeling very guilty..Thank You for this article! It made me feel so much better😊

    Reply
    • Andy Van Grinsven

      Hey, Kathy! I’m pumped to hear you enjoyed the article. I still stand by it – life is too short to forgo sweets every now and then, and we never have to feel guilty about it. If you ever need anything or want to talk shop, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks again, Kathy!

      Reply

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