How To Fit Healthy Eating Into Your Life
We all know that eating healthy is a key to feeling good, performing well, and keeping our energy up. But, how do you do it when you are trying to juggle it all? Here are some tips that I have found helpful in my journey of losing 70 pounds.
First of all, it takes time to put it on. I gained that weight during the course of a stressful job, two pregnancies, and a lack of energy and working out. I don’t blame anyone for this. I take responsibility for my weight gain. I had a lot of excuses during that time about why nothing worked for me. The past is the past but, it was absolutely my weight gain and my weight loss journey.
Here are four tips to help you stay on track with eating. You can stay on track and make good choices.
Step one is to recognize what is causing stress in your life and try to reduce it.
I had to step back and look at all of this before I could start to change. I know everyone can’t quit their job but we can all find ways to manage stress.
I now have a different job with its own set of stressors but I can set my schedule and I choose to exercise and work on mindfulness to help prevent my stress from building up.
I choose to walk at lunch to take a break my my computer and get some fresh air on days I know I won’t have time to go to the gym. My husband travels for work so I have to ask for help during these weeks to help keep my stress level down. I ask neighbors and family to help with school drop off since I work full time and get a babysitter for events that I want to attend.
Being social helps my stress so if something comes up during that week, I try to find childcare so I can still go instead of sitting at home moping about missing something.
I am still on the journey to work on time to be mindful but this really helps stress which will help with finding time to cook and eat healthy and exercise. Decreasing your stress will help you stay on track with healthy eating and keep you out of the drive thru line.
Step two is to plan and prep.
Healthy food doesn’t just show up on your dinner table and in your lunch box. You have to shop for it, prep it, and cook it and then bring it to work or put it on your table.
Once a week, grocery shop with a list and try to hit the perimeter of the store. All of the packaged food is in the middle of the store. If you crave chips, don’t go down the chip aisle. Avoid the bakery if you tend to buy something when you go by. Try to stick to your list and avoid impulse shopping because it will typically be something you don’t need or won’t help you with your healthy eating plan.
Use one time a week to prep food. Wash and cut the veggies, plan your meals out and throw something in the crock pot or instant pot that will work for a few meals. Example- cook chicken with a jar of mild salsa. Kids can eat this on burritos or rice bowls. You can have it salads, as a main dish, in a bowl, or in a burrito.
If I know a week is going to be crazy busy, I buy packaged salads and add protein to bring for lunch. I try to bring my lunch most of the time because I know I will make better choices than if I try to grab something quick.
Step three is to plan for eating out.
When you know you are going to an event or out to dinner, plan ahead. Eat some protein before you leave the house to go out. A protein shake works great for this, add some fiber to this and you will feel more full.
Or have some nuts or beef jerky. This will help prevent you from arriving in starvation mode and help you stick to your plan. Drink water or soda water or tea when you arrive. Look at the menu before you go. Make a plan of what you want to order and stick with it. People tend to change their mind when other people order.
You are on a mission to stay healthy. Making this healthier choice is not depriving yourself. It is helping you stay on track.
Step four is to plan some treats and cheats.
Plan a few cheats into your week. If you know that this restaurant has to best dessert, eat a Cobb salad and order dessert.
You don’t need appetizers, and fried main course, and dessert. I used to be a server at the Cheesecake Factory and you would be amazed at what people would order. Appetizers, fruity drinks, fried food with a side of fries, and of course, huge desserts.
Any food is fine in moderation. If fries are your jam, order fries but skip dessert. You will not be left out or crying in the corner for making planned out choices.
You can enjoy your meal just as much, if not more, because you are going to feel good about what you are eating and not regret it the next day.