Without a doubt, exercise/training is the easiest way to improve ones health and athleticism. You get up out of bed. You get dressed. Get yourself to the training facility. Show up where your trainer will be waiting for you and execute the workout as planned. With nutrition, it’s not as simple. First, you have to know what you want to eat for (i.e. goals): Lose weight? Gain weight? Fat loss? Get ready for a competition? Knowing that first will give us an idea of foods to add/avoid in order to succeed. But then your goals changed because you wanted to run a 5k that your friend talked you into and…..yeah.
Nutrition is constantly a moving target.
Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and set goals that aren’t in line with our lifestyle. THIS is why changing up your lifestyle for your goals first can have it’s benefits to make the most of a new training program or nutrition plan, but more likely than not most people aren’t willing to go that far. As you can imagine, it’s my job to get people results in the gym and beyond. The key is giving folks the tools they can use right away that will allow them to live their lives and get results. The hard part is tearing down those old habits and replacing them with new ones.
Think about it… all those dozens of new habits you’ve spent weeks or months building can be easily nullified by the one or two bad habits that have been stored in your subconscious for nearly your entire life. This is where professionals get caught up in promising people results without looking at the real issue as to why they’re in the position they’re in-in the first place. But in the meantime, we need to give them tools to keep the “thirst at bay”. Here are some tips that I give clients to focus on when their nutrition seems to be all over the place:
1) Know thy self
I get it. It’s been a long day and you’re probably hungry as fuuuuuh and you don’t really care why you’re eating what you’re eating and you’re gonna because STONE COLD SAID SO!!!!! Then you’ll wake up the next morning with a soaked pillow because you’ve cried yourself to sleep with “Friends” on in the background playing the one where Ross takes a break from Rachel (what an idiot). My thing is this- choose a “go to food” when it gets to be one of those days. That way you know what it’s for. It’s familiar. It’s comforting. Your eating can be controlled and help keep in mind what the overall goal is. Wait…does that mean I can “choose” a whole pizza? The answer to that is it depends (I love that answer), however I wouldn’t say to eat the whole damn pizza. If you don’t trust yourself to eat a slice or two from a whole or frozen pizza, go somewhere where they do sell them in slices. You know you. You’ll be less likely to order 8 individual slices and have the clerk tilt their head and go “awwww, bless yer heart” (and you know what they mean by that…).
2) Eat with a friend….and no I’m not talking about your cat
Specifically, eat with a friend who has your goals in mind and will help you out. You want to test your friendship? Tell them you’re trying to lose some inches for an event next weekend while you’re at a restaurant and see if they’ll let you order a triple chocolate chewy fudge brownie à la mode. You know if they let that happen they’ll have to hear about you being sad that you ate it and how you didn’t reach your goal and blame them for not being supportive. Sitting down and eating is a great opportunity to socialize. Food is what brings people together right? Confiding in someone what your goals are and reaching out to help you stay on track is very significant. Having that social support goes a long way and can really strengthen relationship bonds.
3) Look for the good in a bad situation
You’re out and about with the family or at a work function where you’re subjected to whatever is brought to the table. Take a step back. Breathe and become aware of what’s around you and literally think about what you’re going to do. More likely than not, you’ll run into a scenario where there ain’t a damn thing available that’s on par with what you’re trying to do. But you have to eat. If it comes down to this you want to think about calorie intake since quality has gone out the window. I’m not huge on calorie counting, but that’s just me. However, if you are and you can look up the calories on a myfitnesspal app, it may give you some piece of mind.
4) It’s okay to just say “fuck it” every now and then
Did you know “that the brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body’s total haul. Until now, most scientists believed that it used the bulk of that energy to fuel electrical impulses that neurons employ to communicate with one another.”? Remember all those long drawn out days where you come home and just grab whatever? Well, deciding what to do about dinner is also energy consuming. Of course this only happens when you don’t already have your meal prepped ;). Which brings me to my last tip.
5) Just prep your damn meals already
Seriously. I’ve heard it all, “oh I don’t have time”…”I don’t know how to cook”… “I don’t know what to buy”… “I’m single and so I don’t really cook a whole lot”. Stop it. Just. Stop it.
If you truly don’t have the time to make meals (there’s 168 hours in a week ya know), then you don’t really give a shit about your health. Your goals mean nothing to you and you just want them to want them. I know that might be a little harsh, but your actions to match up with your goals. I mean, even the POTUS and FLOTUS find time to work out…even if it’s at 4am. I’ll tell ya what, it’s not so much that you don’t have the time. It’s that you don’t know how to manage your time. But that’s obvious at this point. So you’re gonna need some tools.
Introducing…the Instant Pot
You guys have no idea how crazy awesome this thing has been for me and my family. It’s a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer. So far we’ve done a whole pack of chicken breasts cooked in 12 minutes…4 uncooked cups of rice done in 12 minutes. Pasta done in 7…people. We literally made a weeks worth of food in less than 3 hours. And if you need to make more?? Shouldn’t take any more than They have the technology there. They’re literally trying to make our lives better and more time efficient. This wasn’t exactly cheap…but we got rid of our other crock-pot. We got ours on Amazon Prime on Prime day. You can pick it up at Wally World, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond…anywhere you’d find your mom shopping. We only have one other crock-pot to cook with for larger parties. And even then, we used the crock-pot all the time. The idea of putting the food in and letting it cook all day and then come to a home smelling amazing!? All you have to do is put the shit it in there and let it go!! Sorry…I’m a bit hangry at the moment.
Point is, nutrition is forever changing and so is your body. Just when you think you want to lose weight, you really want to fit better into your clothes…but we know it’s not all one in the same. And when you’re on vacation, you’re not always going to have your prepped meals on hand. The whole point of vacation/taking breaks is to relax your mind and body and just do whatever you feel. As I pointed out earlier, your mind takes up quite a bit of the body’s energy. Not having to think can really be distressing and recharge those batteries. SO if living the life of counting calories and macros and how many almonds you need at a given time, focus on the what it is you’re eating and ask yourself “why?”. Awareness is extremely empowering. Having a plan is liberating. Stick to the plan that you have and only change what isn’t working for you. With time and consistency, soon you’ll become a master at hitting moving targets.