We’ve talked a lot lately on the blog about fitness, and how to find ways to stick to those goals, but there’s more to wellness than just the workouts.
Healthy eating is a benefit no matter what kind of lifestyle you lead – if you’re an elite athlete, or a busy stay-at-home parent, your body benefits from a variety of foods that will give you a full range of vitamins and minerals to ensure you have the energy to face your day.
For those that are looking to lose weight, healthy eating is critical. The results you gain through exercise won’t be visible without eating well.
I admit that I don’t always follow my own advice in the healthy eating department, but I do always believe in balance. I eat quite well about 80 percent of the time. But, the other 20 percent? I love sharing meals in restaurants with friends and on dates, and gaining more wine knowledge is a passion project of mine. So, that does mean there are days my nutrition is less than optimal.
That said, here are a few tricks I use to stay mostly on track:
- I meal plan. I spend some time on Saturdays looking at the weekly calendar and taking stock of what we have that needs to be used up in the house, and start planning how many meals we’ll need, and how to use things that need using before deciding what I need to shop for. The meal plan allows me to make a grocery list quickly.
- I shop mindfully. Honestly? I dislike the grocery store so I tend to want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. When I make my list, I group or by department, spending far more time in the perimeter of the store because that’s usually where you’ll find the most minimally processed foods. It also ensures that I don’t spend too much time in those aisles with the cookies, candies, and chips.
- I prep as much as I can in advance. After I get home from the store, I jump in and peel and slice carrots for carrot sticks. I bake or scramble tofu. I prep some veggies for snacks because if it’s sliced and ready to eat, you’ll eat more of it. I cook any meat I bought for the kids’ meals, and portion out fruit for the first couple of days of lunches. I don’t tend to prep too much fruit, or slice things like cucumbers too far in advance because they tend to get squishy. Not delicious.
- If I know I’ll be eating out a few times during the week, I’ll check out the restaurant menus online to see what the healthier choices are before I arrive. That way, I can’t be quite as tempted by the rest of the menu.
- I think about snacks. If I know I’ll be running around, or doing errands on the weekend, I make sure I have some trail mix, or nuts, or a few low sugar meal replacement bars kicking around so throw in my purse along with my water bottle. It stops the hunger pangs if I’m busy, and stops me from heading to the mall food court, or reaching for a chocolate bar at the register.
While this does seem like a lot, I don’t think about food all the time. Taking these five steps means I don’t have to – it’s all just rather mindless after I do the initial work each week. And isn’t that the best way to stay on track – when you don’t even have to think about it?