Over the years we have had variations on the following conversations with dozens of 1:1 and Group Personal Training clients:


  • I want to exercise so that I can eat what I want
  • I don’t see why I can’t eat cake / chocolate / bread / pasta if I exercise regularly
  • My friend eats this and she’s slim
  • I’ve always eaten this way and used to be slim
  • If I cut down tomorrow / next week I can eat this
  • A little bit of this won’t make me fat

And so on. In each of these cases the clients is giving themselves a justification for eating something particular. As we point out to them, that approach might work for some people, but the very fact that they are even considering seeking our assistance suggests it has not worked for them. For whatever the reason, that approach has not worked for them. Trying to repeat the same approach again even though it has not worked (long term) before, will not lead to success.


Part of the problem is the ‘calories in vs’ calories out’ model put forth by many. With this mindset people think that the extra calories consumed can be ‘made up’ for somewhere down the line with more exercises or some intake restriction. As we have said countless times, the body diverts energy into fat stores based on hormonal information it is receiving. It will store a certain amount of calories as body fat and you will have to consume more or be less active to make up for this.


Even if the calorie model was correct, why think it will work for you if it hasn’t in the past. If the model did work you obviously haven’t been ‘making up’ these calories, so why think it’s going to start now?


It’s not correct though. What you have been eating (along with other lifestyle choices and environmental variations), not the quantity or your exercise levels is the key to why you have accumulated body fat. Therefore YOU NEED TO CHANGE WHAT YOU EATING.


We always find with clients, that when they truly make this mental shift, it becomes much easier to achieve their health, fitness and weight loss targets. When people truly accept that the choice they have to make is “Cake or Slim”, it becomes a very easy choice. You can, of course, substitute “cake” with any other food which you know (or we have told you) is fattening.


Which do you want? Which is more important? Cake? Or Slim?


The last conversation we have with a client before full acceptance is achieved nearly always goes something like this:



Us:       “So which one is to be – cake or slim?”

Client: “I want both”

Us:       “You’ve tried to have both for 10 years now and it’s not worked. Which one – cake or slim?”

Client:  “Why can’t I have both?”

Us:       “We’ve gone through this. You know the effect cake has on your insulin levels and, therefore, your fat accumulation. So – cake or slim?”

Client:  “My friend can have both”

Us:       “You’re not your friend. Cake or slim?”

Client:  “This isn’t fair”

Us:       “Life’s not. Cake or slim?”

Client:  “I can’t have both then?”

Us:       “No. Cake or slim?”

Client:  “…….. Slim please”


And that’s often it. They’ve fully accepted that it’s one or the other. It’s a no-brainer then. Next time cake is on offer they remember the justifications that might pop into their head WILL NOT work. It’s cake or slim. They leave the cake. They get slim.


So, if you’re still wanting to have your cake and eat it (so to speak), then ask yourself – has this approach got you where you want to be (long term)? If the answers no, it might be time to make a choice.

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.