I’ve heard it so many times; people pushing their nutrition goals or focus off the table when life happens. There is never going to be a perfect time where we can focus solely on our nutrition or anything else for that matter.
It’s important to know how to handle those crazy days, weeks, and months because there’s always going to be more of them. Rather than waiting until everything is perfect, implementing healthy habits in the midst of the craziness can help create long-term changes and real-world solutions and responses to the craziness.
1. Focus on the immediate benefits of healthy eating.
It’s hard to choose the healthier option sometimes just because it’s healthier and because you “should” do it. It can be helpful to think about what immediate benefits you will receive by eating that healthier meal or snack. More energy, increased focus, and greater sense of wellbeing are things we naturally want. Tap into those desires and fulfill them with healthy food. Check out this post for more immediate benefits!
2. Change the semantics.
Instead of saying “I should eat this because is healthy for me” or “I’m eating this because I’m not allowed to eat that”, try to say something like, “I choose to eat this because I want to fuel my body for optimal mental/physical performance”, or “ I want to eat this because I know how great it will make me feel after, both physically and mentally.” This will change your mindset from feeling a lack of control to it being your decision, without outside pressure.
3. Take a look at your priorities.
Do you really not have any time in your week to prepare some healthy meals and snacks? Could you move some things around? Maybe that means cutting some social media time or Netflix?
“But Kat, I need that screen time for my down time.”
Ok! I get it! Maybe we can choose some foods that are quick to prepare? Which leads to…
4. Choose quick-item foods to create meals.
Choose individual foods that you can combines later to create balanced meals.
- Place chicken in cookware, season, and place in oven, done.
- Grab a slow cooker, put a lean cut of beef or pork in, pour some broth, add some seasonings, done.
- Season and brown 2lbs of lean ground turkey or beef, done.
- Grab a rice cooker and make a large batch of brown rice or quinoa, done. Or grab some of those handy microwavable packets!
- Pick up some small red potatoes you can microwave in a couple minutes.
- Buy some ready-washed salad greens, maybe some canned green beans, or baby bell peppers, done!
- Grab some nuts to throw on top of your salad or as a healthy fat snack.
5. Stock up when able.
Keep some things in the freezer if you know you struggle with this. You can make some meatloaf in muffin pans and freeze for later for individual servings. Freeze tortillas, bread, rice, etc. Don’t let yourself run out of food! Even if you need to slowly add to your stock, that’s ok!
Scope out where you’ll be staying before getting there. Check to see if there are any groceries stores nearby where you could maybe pick up some produce or other snacks or meals from. Bonus points for this because most people tend to get constipated when traveling because of a big change in their diet. It’s a real problem! If you can go to the store any pick up some essentials, or even pack some of your normal foods, your body will thank you! Be sure to check if your hotel has a refrigerator. Even better if you’re staying at an Airbnb, where you usually have a kitchen available for use!
7. Fill up on intrinsic motivation.
A coach can’t tell you to do something long-term, especially when things get crazy, if you inherently don’t want to do it. If you see the value of carving out some time or focus for your nutrition, try some of these tips and see how you can still incorporate small and sustainable changes to your diet. Intrinsic motivation is so much more powerful than extrinsic motivation.
Examples of extrinsic motivation: “I need an accountability partner so stay on track”, “I need my coach to motivate me”, “I need to find better inspiration pictures on Instagram”, etc. These don’t last and aren’t sustainable. The reliance on external factors is not favorable in creating long-term changes. The motivation needs to come from within in order to create any long-term changes. Think about your motivation…is it extrinsic or intrinsic?
Have a way you stay focused on your health when things get really busy? Comment below!