A lot of times when I work with moms, athletes, women in general, the common underlying issue is FOOD. Food which is our nourishment, is meant to be enjoyed, is a part of tradition, is commonly known to be a trigger for most women, and ultimately leads them to fail on their nutrition plans.
For some reason, when we set out to diet, lose weight, change our lifestyle, food gets knocked to the side. We start to restrict, we start to create fears around food, and ultimately we take the joy out of something that should be enjoyed. I get that food is fuel, but as soon as you place limitations around food, I guarantee you, that other problems, beyond just trying to fit into a pair of jeans are going to arise.
One thing I stress when helping others in their health and wellness journey is to work on themselves, before they start to restrict and limit the foods in order to lose weight.
Im going to leave this point right here. The secret to losing weight is “calories IN versus calories OUT”.. that is it.
Okay now lets talk about how to love FOOD again.
Food should be tasty & healthy
When you make meals that are healthy and tasty at the same time you are more likely to stick to some sort of a program. Just because you are not eating McDonalds (not that I find that particularly tasty anyways) you can enjoy your foods. There is no where in the books that say you need to eat plain asparagus and chicken in order to lose weight. If you are using that as your main ingredients, roast your veggies with spices. Use a rub on your chicken. Look up a recipe that makes your healthy dinner enjoyable
Food should be a source of energy and should be enjoyed
I say this to all my mama friends especially, but this goes out to all of you. You are NOT a garbage can, do not treat yourself like that. Eat foods that fuel you for your training, a energy filled day and bottom line, is enjoyable.
There is no difference between these two meals:
Plain chicken breast, handful of almonds, boiled broccoli
Chipotle seasoned chicken over romain lettuce, topped with salsa, avocado and cilantro
Actually, I take that back. Both have similar macro nutrient counts, but I promise you, that you will enjoy eating the second option much more!
If you are going to have a protein shake, consider some Vanilla New Zealand Whey, (my entire family loves the ATP NZW whey) with a half a banana, some unsweetened almond milk and PB2 fat free peanut butter. This will give you and your taste buds way more satisfaction!
Your meals should take at least 20 minutes to eat
“What?! Dude, I eat in my car, running out the door or at the gym, in the change room!”
Well, stop that and stop that now! Your tummy does not recognize that it is full until about 20 minutes after you start eating. So if you are scarfing down your meals from a tupperware, you are doing yourself no good. Take some time, enjoy your meal. You will feel fullness set it, and you are honouring yourself some time in the day to just relax!
Focus on what is on your plate, not what you think you should eat
When is the last time that you were thankful for your meal? This one might seem a little weird, but I think when we diet we start to feel pressure around our meals. That they should be perfect, contain only ‘clean items’, and that dieting should not be fun. Why not try taking a second look at your meal and just enjoy eating it, be thankful (that might be easier if you follow points 1 through 3 above).
I hope that if you are on a journey to better health, or know someone who is, you can share or take these points to heart. I have done this myself as I transitioned out of fitness competitions, into a healthy athletic lifestyle. I use these methods with my own clients and they all say the same thing, “Im seeing results and I don’t feel like its hard at all”.
Food is a major part of our lives, and if you do not take care when you are dieting you can find yourself thinking of FOOD as the enemy. So make sure to take some time to sit down, enjoy a meal and make it tasty!
(Want to learn more about working with Melissa, click here)