You hear or see people talk about nutrition being key. You may see a comment on a post "It's all in the nutrition". You hear cut out dairy, animal products, processed foods, organic only, no sodas, no salt, low carb, low fat, moderate protein and sugar free everything. The list goes on and on until you aren't even sure if the celery sticks you bought that day are good for you because they have pesticides on them. Next, you hear eat carbs at certain times of the day, don't eat after 7pm, oh and my new favorite eat a donut but pair it with almonds to make it better. I mean no wonder it's so confusing that people throw their hands in the air and give up. So, what the heck is it and how do you make it work for you too?
There is definitely a lot of truth in so many of these things you hear but this can be very overwhelming when trying to determine how to make a change for you. Waking up one day and completely changing your lifestyle is incredibly difficult, it weighs on you physically and most of mentally in the beginning. The mental struggle is the most challenging part, after all it is a habit that has been formed and needs to be broken. Habits are habits because they are difficult to stop not because we want them to rule our lives. To me nutrition is making wise choices every chance I can but allowing forgiveness when I don't. It's choosing to grill or bake my protein instead of fry it, it's buying extra lean beef or lean bison instead of the higher fat beef, it's eating more vegetables as often as I can, it's eating slower enjoying my moment to myself even if it's in a school carpool line. It's skipping the afternoon mocha so I can have a donut with my kids. It's eating more often and stopping when I'm truly content to avoid my body from having cravings. Most of all it's not allowing myself to come up excuses to not eat better because "I'm so busy all the time".
If you ask me, my opinion is to start small, make changes you can handle in the beginning. Know that you are trying to break a habit not restrict yourself so much that you relapse back to the habit you're trying to break. Shoot for long-term success and be patient with yourself and results. Don't allow a bad day to turn into a bad week followed by a bad month and year. Make time to have a few meals ready if you know your week is going to be busy. If for some reason the day leaves you in a bind and you're forced to go through a drive thru, then grab a chicken sandwich without fries but instead a fruit bowl and eat half the bun. There are a ton of ways to improvise when needed. I have found that I can still eat the entire sandwich, but I stop at that and I listen to my body. Does it say it is full or is it trying to overindulge? Remember whole foods have a lot of less calories per the volume size than something pre-made by a restaurant or prepackaged. Therefore, you get a lot more bang for your buck.
So, nutrition to me is being honest with myself when I chose my foods, making the best choice I can as often as I can, knowing my limits and allowing myself to enjoy what I want but in moderation. Sure, most of the factors above will come into play but those things will fall into place as you learn to make changes that work for you. As your results start to come whether it's weight loss, overall feeling better, getting into fitness and so on you can fine tune those things as needed. In the meantime, don't allow the million "not to do's" hold you back from taking the first step into your new journey. No more hiding the truth, no more feeling ashamed, now is the time for you to make nutrition work for you. Below is an example of what your everyday could be.
On the go super busy.....
Kodiak High Protein Waffle Mix (3 minutes to prep & make)
Ready Made Protein Drink
or Greek Yogurt Cup
Cool Whip to top it all off
Grilled Chicken Sandwich - no mayo (from any fast food restaurant)
Veggies pre bagged at from home
Roasted Chicken & Veggies all baked in a pan together
Chick Pea Pasta - high in protein
drizzle of olive oil on your pasta and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese
1 Klondike Ice Cream Sandwich (yep you heard right)
Waffles again! Who doesn't love a good waffle
Egg White Omelette (prepared while making morning waffle)
Happy Belly Time!