Create smarter food habits to stay the course.
Food consistency is SO important. Feeling strong in your own skin and feeling well fueled so that you’re energized, full and satisfied is all about consistently choosing a variety of whole healthful (for you) foods.
Your specific food goals may change depending on exercise, stress, sleep, etc. Your taste buds may crave different foods. So, the details of consistently choosing healthy food for you may shift, and the need for emphasis may shift (breakfast may need attention, breakfast may be skipped). But, the prioritization of your food life, will not change.
If you can keep the focus on your food choices, you’ll be eating toward your goals. You’ll be creating food habits and food consistency.
Here are five strategies that help clients stay the course:
- Put meal prep first. Knowing what you’ll eat for the next day or two and having the food on hand is important. Prepping food and having it ready to go is hugely helpful and a time saver going into a busy week. This might mean having breakfast already made. Having lunch planned and in a container ready to grab. Having already bought and planned dinner, so you don’t veer off track and stop for something. Investing in a fridge filled with delicious foods prepped, or at least half prepped, helps you eat what you’ve already bought. If you’ve grocery shopped, you’re at least partly invested in your purchased food, making it the path of least resistance and an easier decision to just eat what you’ve purchased instead of calling Door Dash.
- Keep it interesting. Buy seasonally. If you eat the same thing for lunch every day, eventually you’ll get tired and want to pick up something else (which normally is not as nutritious). Mixing up what you’re buying at the store and what you’re making for your meals and snacks, and shifting as the seasons come and go, is a way to ensure you’ll stay interested in the textures, flavors, colors, etc. of your food. Buy what’s placed at the front of the produce section—it’s normally in season and many times on sale—a money, time and boredom saver.
- Drink your water. MANY times we mix up hunger with thirst signals. Drink water first and then decide if you’re hungry. If you are, having a combo meal of carbs/fats/proteins ready to go is best.
- Keep your blood sugar balanced. That means eat by the clock and eat BEFORE you get hangry. Our bodies are supposed to be fueled throughout the day and waiting too many hours in between is very stressful for you internally, causing carb binging when your body really needs a healthful combination of fats and proteins.
- Identify emotional eating. If you’ve just eaten an hour ago, and you’re eating nutrient dense foods, you don’t need to eat again for a few hours. Sometimes timing doesn’t matter…and you just want something sweet or salty. Emotions can cause cravings. ID’ing them may help you to NOT give into the cravings. When this happens, you might turn your attention to doing another activity altogether. I like walking the dog. It gets me out of the house and enjoying the outdoors, which is very grounding. Try getting your mind out of the fridge and enjoying some outdoor stimulus.
For more info on mastering food consistency inside your personalized nutrition plan, schedule a free 20-minute consult with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist. It’s a personal puzzle and we’re here to help.