Healthy eating is difficult for most of us. A lot of us can relate right now, especially, just after the holidays. Looking back we always regret our choices. So I'm going to outline some of my best tips to stay in the healthy eating groove.
1. You have to decide this is what you want to do. If you're reading this, you're doing this because you want to be a stronger athlete, lose the extra weight holding you back, and maybe even look good at the beach! 😀 So, it helps to remember that. Get up every morning, look in the bathroom mirror, and tell yourself! Tell yourself that today you are going make good food choices, and then tell yourself why.
2. Hold yourself accountable. If your trying to lose weight, get on the scale once a week, log your meals, and set some goals for yourself. When you're faced with temptation, you can think of having to face that scale later. It also helps to realize the results that your choices are having whether you are trying to lose weight, or maintain.
3. Keep busy! For some of us, boredom is our worst enemy. Stay on top of those workouts, keep up on your projects and hobbies, and/or add a walk or yoga class into your schedule. The point is, keep your time filled so your not sitting in front if the tv eating things you shouldn't. If you don't want to come to head with temptation, stay away from it by doing something else more constructive and keep your mind off of it!
4. Drink your fluids! Stay away from the sugary and chemical drinks, but stay hydrated. There's been lots of studies around about how staying hydrated and drinking fluids with meals will keep you feeling full. Some studies suggest that warm fluids help you from feeling hungry even more. So go get yourself some tea!
5. Go to sleep! Sleep helps you in many ways. It's in the sleep cycle that the body kicks off processes to burn fat. It also kicks off processes to recover from the days workouts so you can get back at it again tomorrow. If you don't sleep enough these processes don't kick off. I also find that if you stay up late your more likely to get those cravings for bad foods and take in extra calories. So go to bed before you reach for the cookies while sitting up watching tv!
6. The last tip for you is PREPARATION! This, IMO, is the most important thing you can do. A lot of us don't have time to prepare healthy meals like we should. So plan these things out! Have lots of healthy options around so you don't grab the bad things. If you look in my pantry right now you'll see several bags of beef jerky, natural peanut butter, and protein powder. These things, for me, are good for a snack when I'm feeling like I got the munchies. Peanut Butter can especially satisfy my sweet tooth, and it's full of healthy fats and oils your body needs. All comply with the winter diet. Having lots of veggies and meats to cook for dinners instead of that microwave meal also helps. Every Sunday night I also like to cook chicken breasts, and put them in the fridge so I have them for lunches all week. A little work now saves me a lot of trouble during the week. Have some hard boiled eggs around for meals and snacks as well. Personally, I eat about 6 eggs a day! They help keep me feeling full, and are packed with nutritional value. If you know your going out to eat get online and check the menu. Find something you can eat before you go. If your going to friends for a party call and ask what they are having. If they aren't having anything you can eat, bring something! It's all about being prepared.
These are my 6 best tips for successful healthy eating. These are especially helpful during the winter phase of the periodization plan. Here's an example of a meal plan outline that I use to keep me on track. Most if these things I cook a head if time, or have in hand ready to stay prepared for the week ahead.
Breakfast: 3 eggs, a piece if fruit and tea with a touch of honey.
Snack: handful of nuts or almonds, maybe some tea with vanilla casin protein powder if I'm still feeling hungry.
Lunch: pre-prepared chicken breast, veges, an egg and a spoonful of natural peanut butter.
Snack: tea with vanilla casin protein and a handful if nuts or almonds
Pre-workout Snack(at least 2 hours before): 2 eggs and a piece of fruit
Dinner: whey protein in fruit smoothie, and some beef jerky. (if I'm working out late)
(If I have time to cook dinner I'll steam some veges and grill some meat.)
Lots of these things can be changed up for variety. Sometimes, I still run out of time, and have to go somewhere to get food. Plan that out too. Know what's around you so you can find something healthy. Again, it all comes down to being prepared.