How many of us have started a new diet or exercise regiment, only to give it up after a few weeks. Why is that? Well, life happens. When life happens, and our motivation wanes, we tend to go back to what is easy and convenient. Candy bars, fast food, and processed food are all expedient and easily available. It becomes about ease.
Part of the Whole Life Challenge is to begin to implement skills that will stick with you for a lifetime. Eating healthy (and even exercising) starts with some planning. If you haven’t planned for the day that you work late, and you have to get the kids to soccer practice before your 7:00 PM PTA meeting, well, the “Golden Arches” becomes your saving grace. Once you let one bad choice in, others are knocking at the door.
Well, then, how do you avoid that? Plan. An hour or two of planning and prep for the week ahead, can keep you making good choices throughout the week. Here’s a plan you can stick to:
• Take one hour at the beginning of the week with your recipes, a notepad, and meal planning sheet (see attached). Plan all your meals, including snacks and write down your shopping list for the store.
• Shop your list, and the list only. Did you know that 9 out of 10 shoppers buy on impulse? Retailers know that. And typically, it is stuff you don’t really need or that isn’t the best choice. Buy nothing processed, as close to nature as you can get. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store – this is where the fresh fruits and vegetables, and best proteins are available. Read your labels. If the food you are about to buy looks the same way in nature, it is good to eat.
• Do a cooking WOD. Planning a prep time into your week will be a lifesaver when time is running out. Take and hour or two in your week to prep the food for your recipes. What do you do? Pre-cook any meat you can, chop any veggies and fruit that you can, make or freeze an entree or two, or pack lunches for the week. Get as much as you can done. Beware, some recipes are not that great made ahead.
• Are you on the go each day? Pack what you need (and then a few extra) to get you through the day eating healthy. Get a nice cooler bag and plan for the unexpected. If you have healthy choices available to you, you will resist the vending machines or fast food temptations that are ever present all around us. Also, don’t forget to stash good food at your desk. Nuts, water bottles, etc. When hunger strikes, you don’t have to choose nutritionally void food.
• At each meal make sure you are eating protein and fat before any carbohydrates. Good sources of protein are found in meats and nuts. Good sources of fats are found in olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil.
• A good nutritional plan, also should include a plan to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and keeping stress at low levels. If we slow down a bit, and get the rest we need, we will make better choices AND feel better.
Feel you don’t have time? Take a few moments to inventory your time. How much time do you spend watching TV? Playing on the computer? Talking on the phone? Texting? Doing hobbies? This is where remembering WHY you started the Whole Life Challenge comes into play. Will any of the above activities help you achieve your weight loss or health goals? Determine where you might be able to free up some time – your health is worth it, isn’t it?
Click here for some helpful planning tools that have worked for me:
Don’t know where to start with good recipes: