Wednesday, September 30, 2015
The Diet Battle: Tips to Make Small Improvements
I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. I've heard from multiple trainers and nutritionists that losing weight and being healthy is 80% diet. And now matter how many times I hear it or read it, my heart sinks every time. I'm not a fast-food-eating kind of girl, but I do love my queso.
The very first time I even thought about losing weight, I immediate thought I would simply increase my physical activity (ie: start working out) and the pounds would just come right off! I quickly realized I no longer have the metabolism of a 16 year old, and that wasn't going to work.I also realized that I don't just want to lose weight. Yes, I'd like to lose ten pounds or so, but more importantly, I want to be healthy overall. We only get one body and one life, so I want to take care of myself as much as possible. We recently had a wellness seminar in the office that focused on the consequences of what we eat. Our speaker pointed out that you should care about what foods you are eating not just because they may make you fat, but because they may harm you in other ways as well.With all of that knowledge, the 80% still gets me. I'm no gym rat, but I still find it much easier to go out for a run than to say 'no' to Happy Hour. Social activities involving food are my love language. They say that making small changes is easier to do than to overhaul your entire life at once. So that's what I've been trying to do. I've talked about how I struggle with motivation, how setbacks have no bearing on future performance, and other fitness topics, but today I want to share what I've learned about focusing on that 80%. Some of these things I've been successful at integrating into my life. Others I'm still working on.1. Make Breakfast EasyI eat a KIND bar every morning when I get to work. My favorite is Nut Delight so I make sure I have a full stock in my desk drawer at all times. I eat only one and that's it. No more last minute stops at gas stations on the way to work to get some powdered donuts. No more quick drive-thrus for a breakfast sandwich. Those things are so bad for you and I've found that starting each day off right has helped my energy level and reduced my stomach pains during the day.
2. Replace All Drinks with WaterReally, there are few beverages that are good for you. Coffee, tea, sports drinks, soft drinks - they all have their setbacks. I refill my tumbler with water all day at work and just sip away. I also try to order water if I go out for lunch or dinner. (Bonus - it saves money!) I often splash some lemon juice in my water if I just need something extra. It tastes better and has a lot of health benefits.It's not easy, I know. I probably still let myself have two Diet Cokes a week. But I'm working on it!3. Let Yourself Feel FullWhen you're eating something you really like, it's hard to not overeat. Try to slow down during the meal, then it'll be easier to pay attention to when your stomach is actually full. Then stop! Portion control is important. 4. Know the Difference Between Taste Cravings and HungerOften times after lunch or dinner I'll want something sweet, or salty (usually the opposite of what I've just had). I need to remember that I am no longer hungry, my taste buds are just craving something else. It's difficult to not give in to these temptations!5. Meals Should Energize YouYou know that feeling after going out to lunch? You come back to your desk and you get so tired? You hit a wall and your energy tanks? Our wellness coach told us that meals should energize us, not make us lethargic. If you are eating the right things, and the right amounts, you should feel rejuvenated after lunch and ready to tackle the afternoon. I must say I can tell the difference when I eat well.7. Keep Working Out for the 20%Even though I know the biggest battle is diet, I will continue to make physical activity a part of my life. There are so many benefits of working out that go beyond calorie burning, that it is definitely worth it to me.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to those of you who, like me, really appreciate tasty food. And hopefully I can come back to this list when the next queso-filled happy hour is staring me in the face. One day at a time!