We know the drill – it’s the same every year. December rolls around and suddenly midday gin and tonics become the norm. All the things you wouldn’t normally eat become regular menu items and festive-season eating quells the (pandemic) stress and anxiety weighing you down.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this. You train hard and eat right during the year so a little over-indulgence is okay. What isn’t okay is straying way off the healthy-eating reservation once the festive season is over. It’s almost the end of January and the time has come to clear the choc-chip biscuits and fruit cake from the pantry and get your nutrition on track for the year ahead.
We have seven easy-to-implement tips to help you on your way.
Get clear on YOUR goals
It’s worth spending time to determine what you really want from your training and nutrition. The usual “hot body” or “six-pack” goals are vague and lose their shine when the reality of long work-weeks or your kids crazy school and activity schedule start to take their toll. Consider performance or health and wellness goals instead. When you take the focus off of aesthetics and instead work on improving eating habits and making better food choices the “body goals” often come along for the ride anyway.
Make changes you can implement for LIFE not just six weeks
Do you love chocolate? Is a glass of wine your best friend at the end of the week? Then why would you swear NEVER to indulge in the things that make you happy? This is unsustainable, will make you feel deprived and generally not inclined to stick to your healthy resolutions. Consider the “non-negotiable” treats that you really really love (be realistic and truthful here) and decide when you will schedule these. Then say no to everything else. If a pizza and glass of wine on Friday night is your thing, then this becomes your weekly treat. If you are offered birthday cake at work and cake is not on your list of really-loved treats, then say no to the cake.
Think of adding – not subtracting
We often think we are removing foods from our life. Instead think about adding wholesome and nutritious foods to your plate which ultimately leave less room for the junk. Add an extra portion of vegetables or salad to your meal, ensure your carbohydrate choices are leaning towards low-GI and complex sources and by the time you’ve eaten your meal, there is less space for a mid-afternoon chocolate binge.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Adulting is hard. There is always something that needs your attention. Having a plan for what you are going to eat and when will make achieving your goals much easier. You can geek out here as much or as little as you like but have a plan, decide how you are going to implement it and then just do it. This can be an hour of food prep on a Sunday, buying your vegetables already prepped, getting your kids involved in the kitchen to help you or even using a meal prep service.
Streamline your environment
Your environment plays a critical role in your success. Do you have enough Tupperware containers for your meal prep? Is your pantry free from distractions? Do you have a lunch box or cooler bag to take to work? Set your gym gear out the night before and schedule your training sessions in your diary. Consider how your home and work environment helps or hinders you in achieving your goals. Get your family and friends onboard so they can support you. If you need help or guidance, ask any of the coaches at the gym – they can point in the right direction.
Think of food as information and fuel to enhance your performance
Food is information. Everything you put into your body will either enhance or hinder your long-term health and wellbeing. Your body is an interconnected system of communication networks and processes and without the enzymes, micronutrients, macronutrients, vitamins and mineral that good-quality nutrition provides, it starts to breakdown and delivers fatigue, injury, brain fog and chronic disease. So give it the best data and inputs that you can for optimum performance and health!
Be consistent not perfect
Being consistent in applying your plan is the most effective strategy in achieving your goals. Nothing else matters as much as consistency does. Being consistently good beats occasionally perfect every time!
By Coach Lisa