It’s not a new concept: all the working out you do means nothing if you have a bad diet. Eating clean is a tough thing to do, however, when you are doing it on your own or filled with lots of temptations. You end up being your own worst enemy.
My way of thinking about dieting and eating is more of an 80/20 concept: I eat healthy 80% of the time, leaving 20% free for the sodas I’m obsessed with (I know, bad Jamie) or the gelato that Dreamboat brings me or the couple of cookies that I hide in my desk drawer.
Eating healthy takes time and effort, and making big changes all at once is a sure fire way to set yourself up for disaster. Which is exactly what I did. And I know better. So if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. Here’s some of my small changes to help me get back on track, even though my fitness is pretty slow right now.
Soda is my weakness: Everyone has a stress food. Some people love fried, some people love sweet, I love soda. On a normal basis, I have the strength to resist having soda in my house. It’s usually my treat for when I go out to eat. But lately, I’ve been so strung out lately, I’ve been drinking it more than I have Nuun or water. And that’s bad. I know that’s bad. So I counter it by eating a healthier meal. While I don’t believe in restricting my diet, I do realize that if I’m going to splurge in one spot, I should plan a bit better in others. So when I reach for the soda for lunch, I also grab a salad or a piece of fruit. Small steps.
Meal prep is key: One of the things that I suck at is meal prep, and it’s really more because I’ve been too lazy to take the time to cook. Which is stupid; how hard is it to season up some chicken and throw it in the toaster oven for 45 minutes? It’s not. So taking an hour every Sunday to throw chicken into the oven, make some hard boiled eggs, prep some veggies and have meals ready to make and put together each morning is completely doable. That being said, I’m back to doing that. Sometimes I still take the time to cook something for the day (like my chicken and zucchini pasta with mushrooms and feta) but it’s quicker and easier when I have the pasta and the chicken already made.
I snack brainlessly: When I’m bored, I snack. I’m usually not hungry, I’m just wanting something to do. So in order to snack smart, I’m making popcorn again. Fresh popcorn with just a touch of some kosher salt is a fantastic snack: low calorie and high fiber. And I love popcorn! It made me think of some other things I can snack on that are at least quasi-healthy: Almonds by Emerald (they have the most amazing cinnamon roast almonds) and Oikos were top picks. I go through yogurt so fast. It’s crazy.
Find outlets that are not food: I’ve got a lot of change happening in my life right now and it’s not all fun and games. I’m a creature of habit, so breaking a habit is tough and can stir some craziness in my head. So long as I find other outlets for my frustrations or stressors that have nothing to do with food, I’ll be good. Yoga is a great help, so is coloring in my adult coloring book. Watching Dreamboat play “Last Of Us” on the PS4 is a good one too. I just tend to drift to food as a comfort when things get rough. Being careful to not indulge too much is key.
What are some of the small steps to victory are you taking?