BREAKING DOWN/BUILDING UP STRONGER
A little over 6 months ago I was standing in line at Wawa. The person in front of me was buying cigarettes about $6 worth. I thought what a waste of money to be harming your body like that. Then I made my purchase of candy that also came to $6. It was at that moment that I realized I was addicted to candy like that person was addicted to cigarettes. I ate candy like someone would smoke a pack a day.
As a personal trainer and marathon runner, I knew the sugar intake was keeping me from performing at my best. You can never out train a bad diet! I then came up with my food/fuel plan. Not a diet, but how would I fuel my body to perform at its best. The following is the steps I took to get rid of my candy addiction.
Some people call it a lifestyle change. I call it a food or fuel plan. No matter what you call it, the purpose is to improve your nutrition! To fuel your body for what you have to get done every single day. Many clients come to me already broken down from every diet they put themselves on. Having a food plan is about fueling yourself to accomplish your goals big or small.
The following is a little taste of my nutrition plan that has helped many clients. As always, nutrition is very individual. please consult with your doctor before starting any new food plans. These steps will help you get started in the right direction.
1. Baby steps:
Write down what you eat for three days straight. Take a look at it and see how you can make healthier choices.
Sandwiches: use a healthier choice of bread, lean meats, add some greens, make your own spread.
Pizza: make your own pizza at home. You get to add only the stuff you like and it will be less greasy.
Another great option is to download myfitnesspal app. This will allow you to put in the food you eat and gives you information on the calories and nutritional content. It also has other helpful features that I will detail in my up coming blog.
2. Prep food:
We all have busy lives, that is not an excuse! Some of us like to cook, others don't like to cook. I fall into the I like to cook in small amounts like 1 -2 times a week. With that being my choice I take Sundays to prep my food for the next few days. By doing step one, you will have an idea of what you and your family like to eat.
Breakfast : For example both my husband and I eat breakfast on the go. So on Sundays I make muffin tin egg bites. It is a power packed breakfast. It has potatoes, eggs, spinach and cheese in it. Easy to eat either hot or cold.
Lunch: I will cook hard boiled eggs for the week. Chicken is easy to cook and that will be ready for lunches or dinner. If you don't even want to cook chicken then buy a rotisserie chicken and chop it up and put it in a container.
Dinner: Cook a whole tray of roasted vegetables. Pick everyone's favorite vegetables and put a little olive oil and spices and cook in the oven. It's summer time, even grill your vegetables. And if you have the grill on, grill chicken or other meats too.
Snacks: Cut up raw vegetables and fruit. Put in to-go- containers so you can grab a container each morning before you leave. Have a fruit bowl front and center for your children to eat when they get home from school. Make healthy options fun!
I am on the go everyday between pet sitting, training clients and training myself for my up coming marathons and ultra. I have to be prepared and know what my fuel plan is!
3. Allow yourself treat!
The idea of treats is almost a thing of the past. Years ago, it was a treat for my family ,to go get ice cream on a sunny weekend afternoon. Now people eat ice cream, chips, candy every night of the week as they sit on the sofa. Think back to your childhood and the treat that you enjoyed because they were just that, treats that you only got occasionally.
4. 3 treats a day
If you accomplished step one, you will have noticed what treats you eat daily. Start with picking 3 treats that you enjoy. Maybe it's not even 3, which is great. The long term goal is to eat them only as a treat. But for now, put the serving size of the treat in a bag. Notice how small the serving size is compared to what you probably put in a bowl. Don't let that mindless eating get out of control! Your goal is to eat only the serving size. That is why I picked 3 treats a day. It may be that your normal treat size is all three bags. For me it was candy. I would put the serving size in a bag. To start I would pack three bags with candy. If I ate all 3 bags by noon, I was done for the day. This teaches you portion control. Like I said this was several months ago and now I have decreased my candy to almost nothing, like an occasional treat.
Everyone loves their carbohydrates! The issue at hand is again, portion size is out of control! These days carbohydrates are the main meal, pasta, rice-a-roni. The goal should be to get your carbohydrates as a side dish. Your plate should be mostly vegetables and or greens, a protein and the carbohydrate as a side dish. Again start with baby steps. Just switching from processed foods/carbohydrates to healthier carbohydrates may take a few weeks. Then making the healthier carbohydrates,( sweet potatoes, Quinoa, beans, whole grains) a side dish will take a little time.
Remember this is your individual food or fuel plan. It will take commitment what you put into it is what you will get out of it! This is the new you and your new way for eating for the rest of your life! Some clients try one to two steps and as they see results add in additional steps. Other clients jump right in and start to put all the steps into action. Decide your individual goals, and start getting healthy!