She wanted my thoughts on getting through the tough spots when life gets in the way.
I mulled her question over and jotted down some random thoughts, which I thought I would also share here:
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: I never leave my food intake to chance. I plan a weekly menu for six meals per day, I shop one time per week and that’s it. The only time I play it free and loose is on a Free Day, because it just doesn’t matter. But even then, I generally know what (if not when) I’m going to eat.
Put Your Menu on Auto-Pilot 5/6 of the Day: You may not like this one, but it works great for me. I am extremely busy and if I had to cook six from scratch meals every day I would lose my mind! Each week I plan a breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a lunch, an afternoon snack and an evening snack – and I eat the same thing every day. The only meal that varies is dinner – and even then I cook every other day in quantities that will feed us all dinner for 2 evenings. My breakfast and evening snack are always the same – I have a meal replacement shake for breakfast and a protein shake before bed. Mid-morning snacks are usually scrambled eggs and oatmeal or 2 hard-boiled eggs and some fruit – it’s fast and it tastes good! Lunch is usually a salad with chicken or egg or tuna on top. Mid-afternoon snack is normally an ounce of nuts and some more fruit. It works for me and I like the food so I rarely get bored. When I do, I change it up.
Track Your Food Intake and Exercise: When I first started all this I found that I vastly underestimated my calories in and greatly overestimated my calories burned through exercise. That, my friend, is a recipe for a bigger pair of jeans! There are so many great free apps or online programs that will track both. I use MapMyFitness.com. I have also used Livestrong.com’s My Plate feature and SparkPeople.com as well – all are great!! Track your food and exercise, you may be surprised.
No Excuses: Either you are going to do it or you’re not. You have to own your results. If you decide to sleep in instead of going for a run or hitting the gym – you have to take full responsibility for that decision. And that doesn’t mean that sometimes sleeping in isn’t the BEST decision. When you stop making excuses for your failings (and face it, we all fall down from time to time), it is suddenly not so easy to justify slack behavior.
Set Goals: If you want to see improvement, there is nothing better than registering for an event that will stretch you outside your comfort zone. I’ve done that over and over again and each time I get better. Run a 5K or a half marathon, register for a triathlon or a cycling event, find a Meetup group that does what you like to do – the accountability that is built into following a training program is amazing!!
Hire a Coach: If you’re doing all the above, seek out a coach – a nutritionist or a personal trainer that you really click with – and get their help designing your program. I have a great wellness coach and she is amazing! She sees beyond my logic and can spot holes in my plan that I never even thought of!
I hope this helps even if just a little bit!