We all have times when we diverge from our nutritional goals. Stress, tempting foods and other distractions can cause us to veer away from eating right. Well, no matter how deep you dove into that hole you can always get back out and get back on track. Here are some simple, easy steps:
1. Make a list of your favorite snacking vegetables, nuts, fruits and meats. Some really good and tasty ones are cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, celery, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, almonds, almond butter, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, chicken and turkey deli meat, salmon, shrimp and eggs.
2. Prepare these snacking items to be small and bite sized. When they are small and ready to eat all you have to do is open the fridge grab a handful and pop them in your mouth. This is what makes candy, chocolate and chips so easy to eat. They are small, bite sized and ready to eat. You’re going to take that strategy and turn that to your advantage. If you think cutting up and prepping your fruits and veggies is too much work then get pre cut fruits and vegetables from the produce section. Almost every grocery store has them.
3. Hide, or make bad foods not easily accessible. The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” applies here. Put the chips, candies and chocolates in a bag and hide them deep in the back of the pantry, top shelf, cupboard, closet or even in the garage! Notice I did not say throw them away, no, you’re gonna save them for later. More to come on this.
4. Next time you grocery shop, stick to the outter edges of the grocery store. That’s where the real food is, the meats, vegetables and fruits. If you have to go into the aisles, don’t buy any processed foods and foods with added sugar.
5. Dig out your old favorite healthy recipes and start making food! Start with at least three different meals and make enough to last you for the week. Be sure to include some veggies in every meal, even during breakfast. The amount of veggies does not have to be a lot, a little at each meal will go a long way.
6. When you eat, eliminate distractions like electronic devices, TV and work materials. Eat with family or friends. Be conscious of what you are eating, how it tastes, and how it makes you feel. Eat until you are full, don’t go for seconds, and don’t go for desert.
7. What should you drink? Stick to water, tea and coffee. What about alcohol? Eliminate it if possible. But one per night won’t do too much harm. If you’re in a social situation, don’t be that guy and say you’re not drinking. Have one drink with everyone and then have the next, but only half of it and leave the other half as the one you are “working on” for the rest of the night.
These steps are a great starting point to get you back on track. Notice that this is not Paleo, Keto, Zone or Whole30. That would be the next step if you want to dial in your nutrition even more. No, these are simple and easy things you can do now to get yourself back on track and feel better right away. But once in a while you’re gonna want to indulge in those chips and candies. Go for it. If you really want it you are going to make the extra effort to dig deep into the back of the pantry, or take out that step stool to reach for it on the top shelf where you hid it. And if you do, only grab a handful of what you want and stick to that. Indulging once or twice a week is fine. Now get back on track!