Can Donuts Be Part Of Your Nutrition Plan?

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Today I saw an interesting post in a Facebook group for Online Coaches.

There was a personal trainer on there who’s trying to get into Online Coaching.

Let’s call him Ben.

Here’s what Ben posted:

“Just had the very awkward moment of running into my personal training client at the donut shop (about 10 minutes away)…right after our session together. We’re both busted. All the more reason to go online!”

A couple of things stuck me as interesting about this post.

First, hiding your visits to donut shops from clients seems like a pretty silly reason to change from personal training to Online Coaching.

I know he was joking, but still!

There are two main erroneous assumptions that the post contains:

1) That all personal trainers/health coaches only eat “clean”.

2) That all coaches expect their clients to eat “clean” all the time.

I always intentionally use quotation marks around the word “clean” because it’s not a scientific or clearly defined term.


The only way we can make food really clean

People don’t agree on what makes a food “clean”.

Although we have an idea that eating mainly whole, minimally-processed foods (like vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, some dairy, nuts, seeds, fruit, maybe some grains) is better than eating primarily highly processed food (like hot dogs, chips, cookies, sausages, french fries), but there is no clear dividing line between a “good” food and a “bad” food.

There I go with the quotation marks again!

Labelling food as either good or bad isn’t useful.

Getting judgy about certain foods and feeling guilty about eating them is counterproductive.

Guilt may actually cause you to eat more!

Anyway, back to Ben’s FB post.

Why are they “busted”?


Is Ben the type of trainer who advocates eating only certain foods to get physique results?


His main focus with a nutrition plan is probably “cut out the junk food and all will be well”.

No one needs to be told that limiting their donut intake will probably get them healthier and leaner.

HOW to reduce your donut intake if you really love them is the bigger issue.

So what do you do instead?

How do you control your donut cravings?

Is there a way to plan your nutrition so that donuts could be included?


Donuts can fit into your nutrition plan if your calories and macros are on track and you’re got enough protein and fibre.

Although they would probably be an occasional treat, rather than a post-workout snack, they could be in there.

A donut is too high in fat to be considered an ideal post-workout snack (a high protein, low fat, low fibre meal is best after a workout), having the right food to eat after workouts isn’t something to be overly concerned with, for most people.

Rather than worrying about the timing of food, it’s more important to have things add up for the day.

Ben felt guilty about being caught having donuts, because he thinks he needs to present an image of a role model who eschews certain foods.

He may have felt that his client made a poor choice.

Neither of them learned the real message about sustainable nutrition.

You can eat donuts without guilt if you plan your nutrition around it.

Or maybe it’s not donuts for you (I’m personally not a fan), but whatever your favourite treat is…you CAN eat it.

What a relief, right?

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 8-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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