It is inherently difficult to stick to healthy and nutritious eating when you don’t have full control over what you eat each day. Some of you might be unused to cooking and preparing meals for yourselves while others just might not be able to find or prioritize the time. Some of you even eat according to the whims and diets of others. Let me tell you right now, we all have different relationships with food and we all in some way put our preferences first. How can you get the nutrition you need in order to achieve your goals when you’re eating according to the guidelines of someone who isn’t mindful of what you’re trying to do? This may not be intentional and most of the time it isn’t. If you don’t have some kind of goal, most people don’t really think too hard about what they’re going to eat each week, let alone each day.
If your goal is to build healthier habits when it comes to eating and to manage your weight, it’s time to analyze all your obstacles and figure out ways to either eliminate them or come to a compromise that puts you in control of what is going into your body.
We all face some kind of temptation on a daily or weekly basis that compels us to stray from our scheduled plans. Some strays are welcomed and understandable, but if you find yourself constantly out of control of your diet, how can you expect to truly adopt healthier habits and achieve your goals? Obviously we can’t all be perfect every single day, but I am a firm believer that 80% of the time we should strive to stay within OUR personal definitions of healthy and timely eating.
Through working with my clients, I do have some insight on how YOU might begin to take steps in order to take full control over you diet and reach whatever health, nutrition, or fitness goals you may have.
Plan out your meals every week
In order to take ownership of what you put into your body you have to KNOW what you plan on putting into your body. Taking time to think about what you would like to eat for the entire week takes the guesswork out of figuring out what you’d like to eat each day and helps prevent you from resorting to less healthier/easier to access junk foods. When you have a plan each week and have put thought into what you would like to eat each day, you’ll greatly reduce cravings because you’re actually eating according to what YOU would like to eat.
Create a grocery list based on those plans
It’s significantly easier to create your grocery list for the week when you already know what you plan on eating and making. Use the meal plan you created above to formulate your grocery list for the week so you know exactly what you need in order to stay accountable.
Shop for yourself
Make an effort to head to the store and do your own shopping. That way you’ll be able to select exactly which versions or brands of what you need. For instance, having “chicken sausage” on your list might not be interpreted by other’s shopping for you as “no preservatives”, “all-natural”, or “organic”. If you’re a stickler for those varieties of food, it’s best to select your own food to avoid any misunderstandings.
Enlist the support of your family and friends
In order to take proper ownership of your diet, sometimes it is necessary to ask for help from others. This is particularly important when it comes to keeping trigger foods in the house. Most people will understand once you explain your goals to them and why this is necessary. Some will even jump on board with you and try to make healthier selections themselves.
Meal-prepping is the art of making meals in bulk at some point in the week so you always have something available to eat later in the week. It saves both time and money if you’re mindful of what you’re making. A good structure for a meal prep is a veggie or fruit, a starchy carb like rice or potatoes, and some form of protein (meat or beans). These items are cheap to buy individually and easy to prepare.
This blog is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.