“This week is too busy?” ” I am going on vacation.” “It the holidays so there are too many parties, appetizers, and bad foods, I just can’t stick with eating healthy.” Do any of these sound familiar. It is okay if they do. The fad diet industry has trained you to think that you either on or off the wagon. It is thought that your eating habits are never supposed to be maintained. But that is wrong!!!
You can maintain them and you will. It all starts with mindset and education. First off, chuck the diet mindset. I know easier said than done. Here is the first step.
Non- Diet Mindset
Your diet is your daily intake of food. What we have come to know as a diet, are fad trends with little to no science that back it up. You are meant to believe that it is a one size fits all approach. And that is not how our bodies work. Yes, we all need basically the same nutrients, but our lives, our energy levels, lifestyles and goals are all different. So that idea that the latest trend of a diet will work for everyone and is sustainable is wrong. A big reason why this mindset exists is for you to lose quickly, overinduldge come holiday, come vacation, or busy stressful week. That is called the yo-yo affect.
Sustainable practices such as no restrictions, understanding correct portions for your body and at each meal, and implementing these small habits into your life not matter the circumstance will allow you to maintain.
Practices to Implement
-For those busy weeks have a plan. Whether is it packing snacks, making a grocery list so you know what to buy and what to make, creating a meal plan for the busy days, knowing that you won’t stop through the drive-thru and instead you have prepped and packed to go meals.
-For those times of stress, instead of reaching for the comfort foods go outside and get some fresh air. If you are craving sweet, serve yourself from fresh fruit. If you are craving creamy, swap that for a hot cup of tea and add milk. If you are craving the crunch go for a rice cake without anything on it. If you are craving chocolate, serve yourself 1 piece and close your eyes and slowly enjoy it. Always serve yourself in times of high stress eating or anxious eating.
-For those times on vacation, eat like you would at home. Find the vegetables, the protein, the real foods. And enjoy the foods while on vacation you can’t find back home. Vacation is about change of pace and schedule so it is okay to enjoy, but your lifestyle principals still apply.
For the holidays always serve yourself your appetizers. Eat slowly and be mindful. The holidays are about so much more than the food. Of course that is a key part, but practicing mindfulness while enjoying your meal is critical. If you are at a cocktail party, 1 drink followed by 1 glass of water. You can also skip the cocktail and still feel like you are having one with a sparkling water and lime or lemon.
There are always reasons to undo what you work hard on. But maintaining your principals and learning the balance of how to enjoy is the key. You can do that with a balanced lifestyle but you can’t do that with a fad diet.