I’m all about ‘treating yo-self’ but after a holiday or festive period, I feel like I get into a routine of it and before I know it, it’s become the norm. It is obviously not intentional but I find myself making bad food choices, serving myself larger portion sizes, and overall eating more in a day than I need to. After a very relaxing Christmas and New Years I found myself in this exact position.
I try not to weigh myself so I don’t notice any weight gain until I start to feel uncomfortable in my clothes, and everything gets a little tight! So when my favourite lulu tights felt a little snug, I decided it was time to check in with my day to day diet, and I took the following steps to get me back on track:
1. I didn’t change anything in my diet for 2 days, but I wrote down everything I was eating. It’s really confronting when you can see what you eat day to day on paper! From my notes it was pretty obvious that I was eating too many carbs (I love carbs!) and not nearly enough protein for the active lifestyle I live.
2. From here I wrote out a basic meal plan that included more protein (in every meal and in my snacks) and cut out a few carbs. Note I did not cut out all carbs – these are needed for energy. The carbs I enjoy are fruit, veggies, brown rice, oats, and sweet potato. The basic meal plan I wrote for myself was:
Smoothie which I prep the night before so its ready in the fridge when I wake up. It’s super easy to pack your smoothie with all the good stuff and start your day right. My favourite blend is:
– water, spinach, zucchini, protein power, banana, berries, greens probiotic, oats.
Of course I have coffee in the morning as well…maybe two (hehe).
These are focused on getting more protein in. Some of my favourites are:
– cottage cheese and carrot sticks, protein balls, Chiobani yoghurt and boiled eggs
I buy pre made salad bases from Coles and add tuna, avocado and brown rice.
Chicken or salmon with veggies (steamed broccolini, asparagus, and sweet potato). I’ll swap the salmon or chicken for steak once a week.
Note how all my meals are simple and no fuss. I’m super busy and always on the run so my food needs to be quick and easy or I end up making bad choices. Make sure you play to your strengths with food. If you love cooking and have a bit more time in the evenings than make a plan that allows you to cook. If you like eating out for lunches then scope out some healthy places near your work and plan the rest of your meals around it.
3. I went back to basics with my grocery shopping. It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when there aren’t any bad ones in sight! I’m pretty lucky in that I love healthy food but my downfall is convenience. If something isn’t quick and easy or if I’m not organised, I make bad choices.
Here a list of the basic things I buy in a grocery shop:
premade salad mixes
veggies to steam
4. I give myself one cheat meal every week to eat whatever I want. This gets me excited and stops me wanting to have burgers mid week. I usually save my cheat meal for the weekend as it’s easier for me to food prep and eat at home during the week as I’m working. I’m usually out and about on weekends and want to eat out for breakfast or dinner.
5. I set goals to keep me motivated and on track. I don’t know about you but when I have something to work towards I am so much more motivated! You can’t always have a wedding or holiday to work towards so my goals can be strength based, ensuring I consume lots of fresh products, watching my portion size, drinking less coffee, eating out less etc and I focus on one for 2-3weeks before setting a new goal.
Getting back on track can be easy once you make the decision to break routine, give yourself the best chance by being prepared with your food, and staying motivated with goals. However, it’s also important to remember that living and enjoying life is just as important, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. It’s all about balance.
I’m also setting three month reminders to check in with my food. In three months time I’ll start back at #1 and see if there’s anything I need to change.
Stay happy and healthy.