Starting a Nutrition Plan, giving up caffeine or sugar, or even just quitting chocolate for Lent requires changing your habits around food.
You have to think about meals in advance and be prepared to say no to foods you previously relied upon.
As school teachers like to remind us, “failure to prepare is preparing to fail!” Plan your meals for the week ahead and only buy in what you need to make them.
Keep healthy snack options like nuts, seeds and dried fruit in your car and desk drawer, carry a re-usable water bottle and keep a couple of herbal teabags with you ready for any unplanned brews.
Only change 1 thing at a time.
It’s tempting to try and completely overhaul your meals because you want to feel better – now! But this can lead to confusion and overwhelm. Choose 1 thing (what you have for breakfast or what you drink each day) and stick with it for 7 days. Then add something else to the mix. This gives you chance to get used to each small change and helps them develop into regular habits.
Deal with Food Pushers
There is always someone saying “go on, just have a couple of biscuits, it won’t kill you!” and they’re right, it probably won’t.
But it will derail all your good work and keep you trapped in the unhelpful old habits.
So how to respond to these people?
Simply say: “no thank you, if I eat that I won’t feel well”. Food pushers are often envious of your willpower and motivation and secretly wish they had the drive to make powerful positive changes to their wellbeing too.
Go off menu
Don’t be afraid to order off menu when eating out. If you want to have grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and a baked potato but that exact combination is not on the menu, but chicken, side orders of veg and jacket potatoes are, ask if they can put it together for you. If a dish comes with a creamy sauce and you’re dairy free, ask for no sauce. Most restaurants are more than happy to help with reasonable requests like this.
Keep a supply of frozen homemade soups, frozen vegetables and storecupboard staples like eggs, pesto, pasta, lentils, and tinned fish for when you’re too tired to cook anything complicated.
You can soon put together a mackerel & pasta salad, soup and oatcakes or vegetable omelette to keep your energy levels up.
With a bit of forward planning and preparation you can help your new good food habits settle in and become part of your daily routine. And don’t worry if you have a bad day – this happens to us all, and it doesn’t mean your habits are broken completely. Just start again the next day. Positive change comes from repeated practise, so keep on keeping on and your habits will flourish.
Need more help?
Click the link below to find out more about my 1-1 support plans tailored to your specific nutrition needs.