Hi all! I hope you enjoyed part one of the nutrition blog and the first blog of the fitness 101 series!
Now that we have talked a little bit about nutrition, I also want to talk about where we are going! I love this analogy: without a goal, we cannot score! Without a goal, what are we aiming at? So when we are learning about nutrition and starting our journey into a healthy lifestyle, we want to consider WHY, and also WHERE we are going. We want to plot our destination, determine our path(s). As with any destination, we need to know where we are at right now, and then decide where we are going, in order to chart our course. The same applies to fitness, nutrition, what have you with any goal you might consider.
I think I could safely say that many of us likely have a goal of cleaning up our eating habits so that they represent something more like feeding our bodies with higher quality fuel, rather than treating it as a wastebasket filling it with garbage. When we fill our bodies we garbage, we feel like garbage, When we will out bodies with nutrient dense high-quality fuel, we run better!
Most people are likely concerned that they are eating in a way that isn’t helping them or helping them achieve their goal, so with that being said, our goal is going to be to eat better!
What I love about tracking your food, whether with my fitness pal, or a food journal, is that most of the time, it brings AWARENESS to you, about your eating habits, your eating amounts, etc, as we discussed in part one. Our food journal is plotting where we are ar currently. When we know where we are at, we can take a look at what direction we need to head in, what needs to change, in order to get where we want to go. Most of the time, we are wanting to head to “eating better” city and also, we are going to aim for eating better consistently!
You may have noticed that you eat a lot of carbs and a lot of refined sugary carbs at that. You may have found that you eat a lot of fat. Whatever it may be, you now have an idea of what you currently do, and also maybe some ideas of what you want to start doing.
So with eating better consistently, here are some habits we want to work on that can help you eat better consistently.
- Awareness and mindfulness in ADVANCE: as I already mentioned awareness is so key, but also using awareness to plan, prepare and prep ahead of time so you aren't caught off guard and forced to make a choice that might be a poor food choice, use your awareness of your current eating habits to set you up for success encouraging you to plan some meals that are healthy, buying groceries for them and prepping them ahead of time
- Mindful eating WHILE eating: sit down, eat undistracted, chew slowly, take small bites, one bite at a time, and put your form and food down between bites and also finish each bite before taking a new one and chew each small bite 20-30 times, this will help you feel more satisfied and full and eating slower you are less likely to eat more because your body has time to register it
- Mindful Portions: Use small plates, use small forks, serve only one serving of protein, carbs, fat at a time on your plate
- Mindful appetite awareness: Eat when you are hungry, plan your meals and food ahead, but get used to your hunger cues and eat when you are hungry
- Mindful satiety: Eat slowly, and eat until you are SATISFIED, not stuffed to the brim that you are uncomfortable, this might time some getting used to but we don't NEED to stuff ourselves full every feeding opportunity, we are fueling for a purpose!
- Mindful food choices: choosing food that is nutrient dense, and for a purpose, to fuel our bodies for optimal performance in our lives; in our workouts, for our careers, for our faith, for our family, friends. Asking ourselves what is it for? Does this food help me perform optimally?
Learn how to eat better for yourself! I am a believer in teaching people how to track their food, and teaching them about eating better because it does you a disservice if someone simply tells you what to eat because it doesn't help you. If someone just tells you what to eat, you will be lost at how to eat when you are going to restaurants, going to family dinners. Therefore, it's so helpful for you and the rest of your life to learn how to eat better, how to choose good food, how much to eat.
There is also a sense of PRIDE and accomplishment in learning how to eat better and being able to put in the work and the effort to get to where you want to go, and then the achievement in getting there!
So to that, I say do something you will thank yourself for later, and something your body and your family will thank you for later, take the time and effort to learn about your eating habits, and then put in the effort to make changes to your eating lifestyle and eat better consistently!
When I say eating better consistently, it's exactly that, it's not about perfection, it's about a lifestyle that you can follow for the rest of your life that is sustainable and enjoyable and also helps you perform optimally!
Remember: Identify what you want to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Make a grocery list, buy those groceries and then prep your food. Make sure you have protein for each feeding opportunity, and then veggies, a smart carb and maybe a little fat. I plan my meals around protein and veggies mostly and insert some carbs here and there.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, blueberry protein Kodiak cake muffins
Lunch: Tuna with yogurt dressing, grape tomatoes, bell pepper, string cheese
Snack: Protein Shake and apple
Dinner: Cauliflower pizza with grilled chicken and dark chocolate bar for dessert
THIS IS A JOURNEY, A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT! Developing a healthy eating pattern takes time, it takes time and patience to change our habits that have been a part of our lives for so long.
What foods do you eat?
What times of day do you eat?
Where do you usually eat?
Do you eat because you are hungry?
Because you are bored?
Because you are emotional?
Because you are going to work out or just worked out?
Because you are out with friends but aren't even hungry?
Are you sitting and eating with a fork?
Are you eating with your hands?
Are you eating on the go in your car?
How do we get our food?
Grocery shop and prep
Who is doing the shopping and cooking
Work cafe or restaurant
Other cafe or restaurant
Who are you eating with?
Who are you prepping food for?
How do these relationships contribute to your eating habits?
When asking yourself all these questions, consider with honesty where you are at currently and then with honesty, contemplate things that need to change in order to get you closer to health and performance.
Some of the answers you might have to these questions will reveal that your current habits are not serving you, your health, your performance, your goals, your family.
Your food environment and habits may be hindering you and you will need to create new habits in your food environment that help you, meet your food needs in healthy resourceful ways that help you perform optimally.
Charissa Sutliff is an Online Fitness & Nutrition Development Coach, a Competition Prep Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She is enthusiastic about faith, working out, healthy nutrition, meditating, learning, growing and coffee!