Do you find yourself struggling to stay on track with your nutrition? Do you feel you have good intentions, but poor results? Staying on track with your nutrition can be challenging. I don’t like to say “diet” as diet has a negative connotation. We’d rather you be on a nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle and your health and fitness goals. The following are some of the more common food obstacles and strategies to overcome them.
- Emotional-You’re feeling stressed, so you turn to something soft, warm and/or sweet. Or maybe it’s a drink or two? You’re angry, so you decide you want something salty and/or crunchy or you drink. You’re feeling excited, happy, you want to celebrate so drinks and “fun” food it is. No matter what emotion you are feeling, oftentimes we associate food and/or drink with it. After which you may feel guilty, bloated, that you ate too much, drank too much or that you are weak. I suggest you pay attention to the following: What were you thinking at the time? What were you feeling at that time? What were you doing at the time? Who were you with?
- Lack of planning-You don’t necessarily need to cook all your meals at once. I know I personally don’t like this style. I prefer to write out a menu for the week (including Breaks, Lunch, Dinner and snacks) then go to the store and stick to purchasing what’s on the list. Look at what days may be busier than others that way you can have leftovers or cook something that is easier. Also, if you plan on having a “treat” meal or two you can plan your day accordingly so you don’t over eat your protein, carbs, fats and/or calories.
- Overeating-Use a smaller plate and/or smaller utensils. Cut your food up more. Take your time chewing. Another strategy is to put what you plan on eating on one plate and put the rest away. If you’re out to eat, ask for a container to take the leftovers when you order and separate your meal right then or share it. If you don’t like to take food home and you don’t have someone sharing with you, then place a napkin over what you don’t plan on eating.
- Sweet tooth-Add some fruit or a small piece of chocolate after your meal. If that won’t do the trick, try brushing your teeth right after you eat or have a piece of sugar free gum or a mint. If these strategies won’t work at home, either don’t buy the food or you put the treats in the back of the pantry, fridge, freezer and place healthier options and/or notes with affirmations on them in front. This will help you to be more mindful of the decisions you are making.
- “I have to have junk food in the house for my spouse, kids, loved ones, etc…” If you feel there’s no way around having “junk” food in the house, try to purchase food you don’t like and they may, place it in a separate drawer/cupboard or use the same tactics listed with the sweet tooth.