I am a very hard worker….But I’m also extremely lazy.
Yup. The two can go hand in hand.
I know myself.
I know what I will work hard for and what I’ll be lazy about. Because let’s face it, there are things in our life that we are just too lazy to put forth effort for even if we have a desire to achieve.
And cooking for me is one of those things that I’m super lazy about.
When I get on a roll working at home, I don’t want to stop what I’m doing and cook. Or when I get home at 8 or 9 at night, the last thing I want to have to do is make dinner.
Is it that I don’t have time or even the energy? No.
It’s just that I’m lazy.
And I know I’m going to be lazy.
Anytime I don’t have food just lying around on a busier or longer day, I will be lazy and eat out or munch on snacks that won’t really give me the nutritional balance I need.
So I PLAN for my laziness. I plan so that I can be lazy instead of trying to force myself to not be lazy.
Sort of sounds like the opposite of what you are usually told, right? Aren’t we supposed to change bad habits?
Well yes. But you also have to KNOW YOURSELF.
And I know that I get lazy about cooking on busy days or even simply days when I get in a groove doing work.
Even when I try to change that fact, I find it doesn’t take much for me to fall back into bad habits.
So instead of even risking being lazy, I PLAN AHEAD.
I cook for a number of days when I’m not busy – When I know I’ll have the energy to cook. And that way, I always have food on had even when I’m too lazy to cook.
I even go so far as to chop up vegetables (or at Trader Joe’s even buy their pre-cut organic broccoli) when I cook for the week knowing that I may not eat them if they aren’t already cut.
But as I said…I KNOW MYSELF.
For me, meal prep is essential. Having food prepared and ready to go that I can throw together makes things so easy that I don’t struggle to stick to my routine.
For me, spending a couple of hours cooking up everything for the week is way more efficient, and allows me to be way lazier, than having to cook a new meal every time I eat.
So if you are lazy like me, instead of trying to force yourself not to be lazy, why not plan for it? Why not cook so that you don’t have to stress about eating well when you are busy or tired?
Making new healthy lifestyle changes EASY to stick to really help you be consistent and achieve results!
I think all too often we think that to eat well means to CUT OUT foods.
And this attitude is what causes many people to never want to make dietary changes.
And I don’t blame them!
Who wants to think that eating well means cutting out tons of calories or the foods they love?
But eating well isn’t about cutting out…It can actually be about adding in, making swaps and FINDING BALANCE.
The focus on CUTTING OUT is what gets us into trouble. It is what makes us feel deprived. It is what makes us not want to stick to our program. It even can hinder us from getting the results we want.
This focus on cutting out is what makes people think that eating well means suffering.
It leads people to never want to commit to a lifestyle change because eating well is too difficult and doesn’t even get them the results they want.
Sometimes this belief that eating well is just about cutting out leads to people cutting out too much.
For instance, while cutting calories is necessary if your goal is weight loss, there is such a thing as cutting out too many calories. Cutting out too many calories can slow your metabolism and stall your weight loss.
Sometimes by actually ADDING IN higher calorie days, especially on days when you are more active, you can keep your metabolism running strong.
Also, sometimes by ADDING IN those foods you love on a cheat day or in moderation a couple of times a week can keep you on track. They can keep you moving forward toward your goals.
Sometimes if you don’t add in any indulgences, you feel deprived and those feelings of deprivation may lead to an all out binge that will completely derail your progress.
Basically what all this means is that if you restrict yourself too much, if you cut out too much, you are going to stall, and maybe even derail, your progress.
Also people think that with eating well they have to cut out all of the food they love and that just isn’t true!
Ever heard the quote “Strive for progress NOT perfection?”
Well that is exactly what you need to do. It’s all about the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time you eat what your body needs, 20% you indulge in what your mind wants!
Start making small changes, don’t just cut out everything at once.
Those foods that you love, that you feel you can’t live without, SHOULD NOT be the first foods you remove from your diet.
And on top of that, you aren’t simply cutting out foods, you are swapping them for healthier variations.
If you enjoy french fries, you don’t have to cut them out completely! Either you can choose to indulge in them as part of your 20% OR you can find a HEALTHIER VARIATION.
For instance, you could BAKE fries in your oven!
If you don’t find ways that you can ENJOY eating well, you aren’t going to stick with the lifestyle change.
AKA YOU CAN’T SIMPLY CUT THINGS OUT!
You need to find BALANCE with eating well and indulging. You need to find HEALTHY SWAPS for those foods you love the most.
And you need to make slow steady changes so that each change becomes habit before you start working on something else.
Eating well doesn’t have to feel like punishment and it most definitely isn’t only about cutting things out!
I had a client tell me the other day that they went to a healthy eating presentation that said food is either a medicine or a toxin.
I care to disagree.
Food is not medicine in the way we think of medicine.
Eating well doesn’t “cure” anything, at least not in the traditional way we think of medicine curing something.
It will help our body heal and prevent disease but it doesn’t just simply counter-act the crap we put into our bodies.
It’s Friday and many of us have been dedicated to our healthy lifestyle all week – we’ve eaten well, worked out, and taken care of ourselves.
Yet for some reason the second Friday evening hits, it’s like our healthy habits never existed.
For many of us, weekends seem to completely sabotage all the progress we make during the week.
What is it about the weekends that makes us lose all control?
Is it because we are home and have easy access to food? Is it because we want to go out and party? Is it because we spend time with friends? Is it the way we unwind and de-stress? Is it because we are sometimes bored and there is food right there? Is it because we mindlessly eat when we watch TV?
Maybe even all of the above?
Whatever the reason, if we want results, we can’t go completely crazy every single weekend.
So how do we help ourselves stay on track during the weekend?
Here’s what I’ve found helps people stay committed to their healthy lifestyle even on the weekends:
- Be active! When we sit around the house, we look for things to fill the time….Like eating anything we have in our cabinets. Yup…We tend to eat out of boredom, especially if it is easily accessible. If we stay active and entertained, for one, food won’t just be right there and two, we won’t be as tempted to eat. Activity keeps us motivated and from eating out of boredom!
- All social engagements don’t have to revolve around food and if they do, PLAN. Over the weekend, we tend to get together with friends and family. And too many get-togethers revolve around food. Try doing something active instead. Go bowling or on a hike. HOWEVER, there will be parties that you can’t avoid that are centered around food. PLAN for those and decide to either use them as a cheat or stay on track. If you plan ahead, you won’t let one party derail all your hard work and send you on a downward spiral the rest of the weekend!
- Clean out your cabinets. If you find you eat badly when you have bad food around, it may be best to clean out your cabinets and not keep the foods that tempt you in the house. When you get bored, you won’t have anything to reach to and you may find you look for something to DO instead. It will also keep you from mindlessly eating as you watch TV. Sometime the best way to stop yourself from doing something, is to not even give yourself the option to do it.
- Make some healthy snacks. Kale chips, carrot chips, apple and almond butter….Make a healthy snack to munch on as you hang around the house. It will satisfy you without derailing your progress. Plus, it may just cure your boredom to experiment with some healthy snack recipes…And…gasp…cooking may actually be fun! (It could also be a fun FAMILY activity!)
- Be moderate in your alcohol consumption unless you plan to cheat. We tend to make bad eating decisions when we’ve consumed too much alcohol. And some alcoholic beverages also contain a ton of calories themselves. So a great way to stay on track is to be moderate in your alcohol consumption unless you are consciously indulging. While the weekends should be a time to relax and enjoy, it doesn’t mean we have to binge!
- Be prepared and keep yourself motivated! All week long, we do things to motivate ourselves and prepare ourselves. We prep meals. We write out workouts. We cruise the web for motivation. Why not spend an hour or two on the weekends doing the same thing? Many people take the weekends off from working out. Instead maybe take a weekday off and save a workout for the weekends to keep you motivated. Doing a workout on the weekend may make you less likely to cheat because you are reminded of what you are working for and just even spent time working toward it! Just remember to remind yourself of your goals even on the weekends.
I would just like to note that a planned cheat day isn’t sabotaging your weekend EVEN if it means you lose a little ground on your goal. For many, cheat days are a chance to recharge and can actually help keep you on track.
That being said….If cheat days lead to a downward spiral, you may want to avoid them on the weekends until healthy habits are created.
Don’t let this weekend sabotage your progress! Stay on track using these tips.
What else helps you stay on track over the weekend?
In my opinion, vacation is a time to forget that the word “diet” even exists and to eat anything and everything that looks good. (NOTE: I’m talking about VACATION not simply travel…aka traveling for work every week)
I will eat extra clean before and after vacation just because I want to completely relax and indulge in whatever I want the entire time I’m on vacation.
HOWEVER, there will be times when you want to FEEL and LOOK a certain way so eating whatever won’t really be something you want to do….Like the days right before you are going to get married. Or if you go on a vacation before a competition…
So then the questions arise, “How do you eat well when you can’t cook, can’t necessarily pick where and when you eat and when you still want to completely relax on your vacation and not have to stress?…And how do you continue your diet while still enjoying and not being harassed by friends and family about sticking with your diet?”
You know…The answer really is simple yet most people completely bypass it…PLAN AHEAD!
When I go on vacation, I plan ahead even if it is simply looking for fun things to do and horribly delicious bad for me food.
We plan ahead so we know what our options are and we can make sure we make the most out of our vacation.
So if you plan ahead to make sure the vacation is fun, why wouldn’t you plan ahead to make sure you make your vacation relaxing while sticking with your healthy eating plan?
Before my wedding, I didn’t want to eat a whole bunch of bad food. I wasn’t necessarily worried about how I looked. I was actually more worried about feeling crappy after eating food my body wasn’t used to.
And the last thing I wanted to feel was sick and crappy on my wedding day!
Therefore before we even left, I considered what I was going to do.
I looked at restaurant options. I thought about eating schedule. Heck, I even chose to simply explain why I was going to eat a certain way.
And guess what?
I EASILY ate well the entire time and felt GREAT at the wedding!
Here is my guide to help you plan ahead so you can eat the way you want on vacation if you choose not to indulge (which also is more than OK when on vacation). These guidelines below are great if you travel a lot for work and want to eat well! And the best part is…THEY AREN’T REALLY VERY CHALLENGING TO FOLLOW!
- Know your schedule. When will you be able to eat? If it isn’t going to be your normal schedule, how are you going to handle it? If you don’t normally eat breakfast, but have to go out with people, are you going to be ok with just a cup of coffee so you can stick with your normal fast? Or will you maybe eat something small and healthy? Prepare yourself and decide how you will handle situations ahead of time. It always makes you feel less awkward when your mind is already made up!
- Check out meal options. What restaurant options are there? Find some options and check out the menus. Go in prepared with the healthy options you can eat. The more prepared you are the less tempted you will be to cheat.
- Don’t be afraid to bring your own snacks or cook. Vacations don’t mean you always have to eat out! I’ve brought my own snacks or even chosen to stay with friends or at places where I can cook. Heck if you are staying with friends, I doubt they will turn down a home-cooked meal (especially if you also do the dishes afterwards!).
- Use portion control. I don’t necessarily say “use portion control.” I believe in eating when you are hungry and eating till you are full. I believe that if you eat CLEAN, you don’t really have to count calories. HOWEVER, there are times when you are on vacation that you want to indulge while not destroying your diet or feeling like crap. Using some self-control and really watching your portion (aka one cookie) can allow you to indulge while not upsetting the tummy too much.
- Stay hydrated and watch the alcohol! Often when we are dehydrated we feel hungry even when we aren’t! And when we are on vacation we tend to also be drinking a lot of non-hydrating drinks (I think I made that word up!). To make sure we feel good and avoid overeating, make sure to drink plenty of water! Also, make wise alcohol choices. If you are trying to be healthy, I suggest avoiding fancy mixed drinks in favor of simple beverages. Or just make sure to have ONE fancy drink. Alcoholic beverages tend to have a lot of calories especially if they are fancier, fun drinks. Alcohol also tends to lower our inhibitions and make us crave bad food. Drinking in moderation (or maybe even not at all if you don’t really miss it) can help you stay on track!
How do you stay on track during vacation? Or are you generally like me and use vacation as a time to completely indulge?