It doesn’t matter if you are training for a bodybuilding competition, an obstacle course race, a planned cruise to Jamaica or promoting an overall healthy lifestyle for yourself, nutrition and supportive nutritional choices will be a definitive point of your accomplishment.
As a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, I have the opportunity to work with many folks aspiring to physically and mentally improve themselves on a daily basis. Whether they are new to training or have spent many years living an active lifestyle, one common theme among many clients is the action taken when they get to this moment: “By then, I am just so hungry I just grab whatever and eat it.” You know what I mean by this, right? These days, we are “so busy” and “have no time.” Our schedules are jam packed with tasks, appointments and drop-offs & pick-ups for the kids. We race against our daily planners, multi task as if we had as many arms as an octopus and try to keep up with all the social means of interactions. Many folks are lucky to have any other meal besides dinner or even worse fall victim to the pre-dinner, post workday binge.
Early on while engaging in nutritional guidance consultations with clients, there are 3 strategies that we adopt into our daily lives that help conquer this ineffective and unsupportive and in some cases destructive way of eating. These strategies also enable us to take our control and power back when it comes to eating.
1. Meal, Snack, Feeding, Fueling Preparation: Whatever you want to call it, if it is prepared ahead of time so it becomes incredibly convenient for you to eat it, chances are you will choose it over the drive thru or skipping altogether. Folks may think that meal preparation should be left only to competitive bodybuilders, however the benefits from this convenience could aid in everyone’s lives. If life sounds anything like the chaos I stated in the above paragraph, then having our meals prepared and taken with us would indeed give us a fighting chance of reaching our desired fitness and nutrition accomplishments with ease. Even if we are working from home & plugging away on our computer, if we head into our kitchen with a rumble in our tummy and see a colorful, nutrient dense prepared meal waiting for us in your favorite Tupperware, mason jar or creative glass container, chances are we will reach for it and throw it in the nuker before we stick our hand in a bag of chips or a fork into our kids leftover mac and cheese. This idea of preparation does not mean that we have to spend our entire Sunday cooking 10 pounds of chicken and steaming endless amounts of vegetables. Instead, try prepping one day ahead of time, maybe during dinner prep. The extra few minutes the night before spent on preparing the following days meals will aid in an entire day of supportive eating and help us steer clear of beating ourselves up for not eating all day or eating completely unsupportive choices all day.
2. No Matter How Busy Your Day Is, Block Out Time to Eat: This goes back to the folks who “never have time to eat.” I will tell you what…none of us have time, we MAKE time. In this case, grab a highlighter and the daily planner and block out 15 minutes throughout the day so we may eat. I don’t mean hold the prepared meal in one hand while violently typing an e-mail with the other hand. I mean stop for a few minutes and acknowledge eating. Savor the meal. If you just read that and said to yourself, “yeah okay, she probably has no idea how busy I am, I couldn’t possibly do this,” All I ask is that you try. Do not discredit this strategy before you give it a shot.
3. Mindful Nutritional Choices vs Mindless Eating: We have all been here. Standing in front of the pantry trying to find something to eat while snacking on the box of crackers/bag of chips we already grabbed out. Here’s an even better example, it is night time and we are on the couch with our favorite movie on and decide to head into the kitchen for a snack. 15 minutes later, the Ben and Jerry’s pint is now a part of history. This simple and intentional strategy I am about to share has benefitted many of my clients thus far. When you are about to make a nutritional choice, pause, look at it and ask yourself, “does this choice support my defined/desired fitness & nutritional accomplishment.” When we do this, we put ourselves IN the moment and IN control of our choice. This moment enables us to make a mindful, attentive choice as opposed to falling into the trap of mindless, senseless eating. This small moment of awareness can save us all many wasted and excessive calories.
Try these, even just one at a time and let me know how it goes for you!
Empower. Embrace. Evolve. Emerge.
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