Here at Out Run Your Fork we are wrapping up another successful Nutrition Challenge in just over a week! As we prepare our challengers to go off and continue their journey outside of this challenge, we wanted to touch on a few tips to help them SUSTAIN their progress! Our Personal Trainers and Nutritionist have created these proven tips to help you Create a Sustainable Diet: Seven Steps to a Sustainable diet
Here are the Seven Steps To a Sustainable Diet
1. Plan Your Week
A sustainable diet takes some planning so take 15 – 30 minutes to plan your meals for the week.We talked a lot about how having a plan allows you to stay in control of your decisions. Dedicate some time each week to jot down some healthy meals, you are less likely to make impulsive decisions as the week goes on. Also, take a look at the meals you wrote down. See if these meals include a vegetable, a protein and a healthy fat. If not, look to ADD in a side dish of veggies or a piece of lean protein. Creating a proper exercise program can also help create stability by reminding you to fuel up properly as well.
2. Plan To Shop
In addition to helping you make better choices, meal planning can help relieve anxiety. Deciding what to make for dinner can be stressful. Planning can reduce your overall food budget, as you will neither order take out as much, nor will you be making impulse buys at the grocery store.
3. Eat Real Food
In our busy lives, we often sacrifice our health to convenience. There can be an underlying belief that taking time to cook and eat real food, and thus caring for our health, comes at the great expense of: being a good parent, getting more work done, or having social activities.
A Sustainable Diet starts by taking care of yourself FIRST before you can succeed in other areas. Make a decision to eat real food, instead of low-quality fast food items or processed foods. Remember, you deserve to feel good. And feeling good comes from eating real food. If you’ve failed at sticking to a healthy diet before, decide that you deserve something better, and that you’re worth it. Make it a real priority in your life and you’ll have a more sustainable diet.
Many times food can be masquerading as “healthy foods” when they are anything but healthy. Check out this list of 17 “Healthy Foods” That You’ll Want To Avoid
4. Eat A Nutritious Breakfast
The choices you make in the morning strongly set the tone for your day. Choosing a high protein breakfast with limited added sugars will help keep your blood sugar steady and your metabolism burning. Oatmeal, eggs, real yogurt with berries or a protein smoothie are all great, simple ideas that take less than 10 mins to prepare and will often prevent a blood sugar crash a few hours later.
5. Keep Snacking in Check
We’ve talked A LOT about snacking over the past few weeks. As you move forward and tap into some of the strategies we discussed, also tell yourself that every time matters. It’s not necessarily the calories it’s the HABIT. Every time you eat something you weren’t supposed to, you strengthen the habit, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll give in and the time after that and the time after that. If you find that it’s not only become a habit, but you are turning to food for comfort, then you may be emotional eating. Remember, every time you stick to your plan when you’re tempted to eat something else, you strengthen your resistance muscle, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll resist, and the time after that and the time after that.
6. Determine Your Why
We are all on this journey for different reasons but they are all bigger than just wanting to lose a few pounds. Create a list of reasons WHY losing the weight is important to you, what this will change for you in the future and how you envision yourself feeling when it happens. Motivate yourself every day by reading this. Pull out this list at vulnerable times of the day, as well.
7. Set Clear Expectations and Ask For Help
While I hope none of us have to ever live through another pandemic, the reality is that life is alway going to have its ups and downs. As I mentioned earlier in the challenge, progress is not always going to be linear. The important thing to remember is that you possess the tools to get yourself back on track. Don’t get bogged down with what didn’t work in the past or a slip up that happened and stay focused on how you can do better in the future. When all else fails though, you always have Tony, Melissa, Ray and myself to turn to!
Yours in Health,
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