Diet. Ugh! Doesn’t the word alone just make you cringe? Diet comes with associations of restrictions, starvation and hopelessness. So how are you supposed to get excited about that!? First, lets change our definition. Diet, as a noun, is defined by the foods that we eat. Our diet is how we fuel our bodies for performance and reaching our goals. Better already right? If you’ve been trying to stick to healthy eating, or are just working your way into considering a new kind of eating there are a few things that can get in our way. Here are some common road blocks and how to overcome them.
1. Starting out too strict.
If it’s your first time approaching healthy eating it can be daunting. You hear people talking about macros and counting calories which all sounds great until you realize how much math and work goes into it! Unless you have amazing patience and willpower, this may not be the place to start. One of the simplest ways to get into good eating habits is to start simple and set a timeline. At our gym we do a 30 day nutrition challenge that consists of 3 things: No added sugar, no alcohol and no dairy. In 30 days the gym lost over 200lbs and 25% body fat. It creates incredible awareness to how much added sugar is in products that you may consume daily, let alone how many extra carbs you may be having because of alcohol. These are all small factors that easily go unnoticed but can make a huge difference! Starting out with a short term timeline can help motivation stay high while you develop healthy habits that will be much easier to maintain after your end date. Start smart and simple- but they key is to START!
We are doing it. We have committed to eating healthy. And then lunchtime rolls around, coworkers are headed out for pizza and we are STARVING. So, how do we say no to that? I mean come on, its PIZZA! This is where it comes down to being prepared. I get it, trust me. Meal prepping takes time and energy we convince ourselves we don’t have. I am a new mom, business owner and wife that has been telling herself for the last 6 months “I don’t have the time to meal prep”. Somehow yesterday, with the baby, I got to the grocery store, came home and meal prepped for the next week. It is doable. I find it easiest if you can shop and prep in the same day. Leave the bags on the counter and don’t put anything away until it is ready to grab and go. Invest in a good set of Tupperware, Ziploc bags and a sharpie. Find things that are easy to prepare, like premade turkey burgers or even the precut veggie trays if you’re really short on time. I even saw single serve quinoa cups at the store that you can just throw in the microwave. Companies are doing everything to make this as easy as possible for us! Having healthy choices on hand and available is the easiest way to avoid making bad food decisions.
3. Negative self talk.
This one is a biggie for me guys. This morning was my first morning of egg whites and peppers and as I was heating it up I wanted to gag. Seriously. My mind started going about how gross it was going to be, how on earth I was going to choke it down and how much better a bacon egg and cheese would taste. Its moments like these that will make or break your meals! As soon as I realized where my thoughts were leading me I changed the conversation. I started thinking things like, “This meal is going to fuel me for my morning” and “I feel great about putting these vegetables in my body”, “This gets me to my goals”. Your thoughts will lead you. Make sure they are leading you in the right direction!
4. Food boredom.
I think the number one problem with sticking to healthy eating is getting stuck in the cycle of buying the same foods and making the same meals over and over again. After your second week of chicken rice and broccoli, it gets hard to swallow. Its always great to have a few easy go-to’s, but fighting food boredom starts at the beginning. Even a three week rotation of recipes can keep you from falling into the rut. There are so many great recipes out there- look for some that you can make in the crockpot for easy prep, or have ingredients that aren’t in your ‘norm’. Even changing the carb from rice to quinoa or the veggie to asparagus from broccoli can make a huge difference for your taste buds! Also think about rotating your spices and flavoring! This is a low cal (or no cal) way to completely change a meal! If you have had a hard time finding good recipes here are a few sites to check out.
Even if you are hitting all of these nails on the head, sometimes sticking to it just becomes a grind. If you aren’t clear on your goals or your “why” falling out of sync with your purpose can be easy. What we focus on becomes our reality and I like to make it really easy for myself to focus on the results I want! You can write your goals out, whether it is performance driven or esthetic, to take the first step into making them a reality. It can also be powerful to make a vision board with pictures of what you want from your eating. Maybe it’s an active parent playing with their child, or a woman looking fit in a fabulous dress. Hang it somewhere that you will see often (Maybe the fridge!) that will keep you going and reminded of why you’re working so hard! It may be a challenge, but it is doable. And after all, nothing worth having is easy!