What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear someone talk about going on a “diet”? If you are like most people, you probably instantly thought about all the things you “cannot eat”. Maybe the word “strict” crossed your mind. Many times, when people talk diets, it tends to revolve around whatever the “fad” diet is. At some point, we have all been to the place of wanting results so bad we are willing to do whatever “fad” diet gives high hopes of FAST results. We hear someone had great results with “Keto” or “Paleo”so maybe we try that. Or what about those “all shake” diets? Before jumping into a diet, which tries to promise instant results, check out some of these insightful points to consider! This is by no means a negative approach, instead consider throwing out the diet and, instead, focus on making a nutrition change you can incorporate as a lifestyle!
You Expect Instant Results. We all get a little impatient with things in life. Many times while dieting we do not even give it enough time to actually see any results. We may get impatient or frustrated and fall off or just give up. When it comes to dialing in your nutrition, it is a process which takes time. There is no one size fits all plan, despite what some companies may try to get you to believe. Bottom line is, no one single diet will work for everyone. You have to trust a process of finding what works best for YOU!
You Avoid Certain Foods Completely. If you’re following a diet plan that completely restricts foods and food groups (unless it’s for medical reasons, allergies, intolerance, etc.) this can set you up for disaster! It could potentially cause you to burn out and binge eat, or when you do decide to have a “treat”, completely lose all self control. Yes, some restriction is going to have to be set if you want to see results. You cannot expect to eat the same foods in the same amounts and get results. Instead, become aware of what and how much you are eating. Be mindful of your food choices. Always ask if they will help you reach your goals. If the answer is no, maybe you should steer clear! By choosing to fill the majority of your diet with lean meat/protein, veggies, healthy fats, complex carbs, and some fruits you will find yourself staying fuller longer and will notice less cravings!
You’re Not Eating Enough. This is something I see all the time. People who want to lose weight start cutting calories, skipping meals, or think the less they eat the more weight they will lose. This couldn’t be more wrong!! Yes, in order to lose weight/body fat you will need to be in a calorie deficit. However, if you set your body into too much of a deficit, it will have the opposite effect. Instead, your metabolism will slow down, you will hold on to the last meal you ate, and survival mode kicks in. If this sounds like you, instead of skipping meals or counting calories, just focus on consuming 3-4 meals per day. Choose real foods and make sure you are getting protein, veggies, complex carbs, and some healthy fats with each meal. Once you create this habit, you can explore other options and ways to incorporate a sound nutrition plan.
You’re Stressed Out. Stress could be what’s preventing you from seeing results. There are a number of things causing stress in our lives on a daily basis whether it is work, family, even working out causes added stress. When you add on a new diet, this can add even more stress into the mixture, especially if it’s difficult to follow. When stress is high, it can create all sorts of havoc such as, weight gain, fat gain, muscle loss, sleep disturbances to name a few.
You Make Excuses A Lot. Excuses can come in all different forms. It could be as little as “I don’t have time to meal prep” so you decided to drink meal replacements shakes all day or find yourself in the fast food line. You begin to start justifying things, saying things like, “I worked out extra hard and ‘ate clean’ all day so I can totally have an oversized ice cream sundae loaded with all the toppings”. Everyone is busy and has things going on. If reaching your goals is important, you will take the time to make time. Look over all the activities which consume your time and ask if there something you could cut out or move around?
You Refuse To Change. Change is something which can be challenging for anyone. In order for us to reach our goals concerning nutrition, something has to change. We cannot expect to keep doing things the same way and expect different results. I like the quote, “if nothing changes, then nothing changes”. Not sure if it’s trademarked! Change doesn’t have to be drastic. It can happen in small steps. If you want to be successful in reaching your goals, start to pay attention to certain habits and behaviors. At some point you will have to accept the fact you may need to change certain things and understand, at the end of the day, you, and only you, are in control of your behaviors and the nutrition choices you make.
You Approach It With A Negative Mindset. Your mindset will make or break you. If you jump into a diet plan already thinking it won’t work, it probably won’t work! The mind is a powerful tool. Second guessing things, telling yourself you’ll never reach your goals, only to come to the “false” conclusion of you believing you weren’t strict enough, you were lazy, or you don’t have any willpower. STOP, right there. Starting with a negative mindset will stack things up against you before you even begin! Instead of thinking you failed, have some faith and trust the process. Start off with a positive mindset. Be mindful of your behaviors and choices. Believe in yourself and know you can do it. It will be hard and it will take time, but you will have to be patient and know you are in control.
You Think You Have To Give Up Your Social Life. You like to go out with friends on the weekend, you have lunch dates, you enjoy the nightlife, etc. You think you have to give all that up while you are on a diet. So you either cut off anything, which requires you to be social or you say “F” it and go all out on the weekends. Either of those options will not support a healthy lifestyle change! When it comes to social events, it just requires you to be more mindful and aware of what you choose to consume. Maybe you take a few extra minutes before going out to look over the menu and find the best option to support your goals. Maybe you choose to have only 1 drink verse 5. If you make sure to always have your goals in mind and choose the best option to support those goals, you are golden. Remember, you want to get commit to a nutrition plan you can stick with. Social events are always going to be there.
You’re Doing It Alone. Without a support system, starting a new nutrition plan can be overwhelming to say the least. Especially if you have people around you who do not understand why you are choosing to do it. By surrounding yourself with people who support your decisions, it will motivate and encourage you which will help tremendously. Taking it another step further, would be to hire a nutrition coach. They can help get you on the right path and help educate you along the way. Plus, it always helps to have someone there for accountability!
Hopefully some of those points gave you a different perspective on dieting. Instead of going on a “diet”, learn to make nutrition choices you can sustain for life! For more advice on all these topics come to our first nutrition seminar at CrossFit Elkhorn led by our nutrition expert Liz Jenkins. Give us a call or send us an email to sign up: 402-916-4623 or email@example.com
Nutrition is an individual journey. We owe it to ourselves to determine which foods and what style of eating works best for our bodies. Just like learning any new skill, nutrition takes practice.
The goal should be to develop an approach to eating that makes you feel great, maintain a healthy body, and achieve your goals. We all run into moments of weakness around food, but if your current diet makes you feel angry or sad on a daily basis it’s time for a change.
Let’s take a look at some different ways that eating better can make you feel better:
- Improved mental function
Our brain is the control center of the body and just like our muscles and organs it requires fuel to keep it going. In fact, some studies have shown that the brain uses up to 20% of our body’s daily energy.
Focusing on eating to improve our brains function is a great way to feel better. The brain loves wild fish like salmon and mackerel. That’s because these fish contain omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. DHA helps our brain send signals to our body and improves our memories. Try adding 1-2 servings of wild caught fish each week to get an optimal dose.
The foods we eat determine the way our body and mind perform. Next time you reach for that donut try to picture how your brain will run using the donut as fuel. Instead look for some fresh veggies and hummus, a handful of nuts, or a stick of turkey jerky to give your brain some jet fuel to run on.
- Add Muscle, Burn Fat
The battle to fit back in those jeans from college starts and ends in the kitchen. No amount of exercise can overcome an unhealthy diet. Figuring out the right foods in your diet is the key to unlocking your ideal body composition. Imagine how good it would feel to go out on your anniversary wearing the suit from your wedding rehearsal! Protein is known for building muscle but it can do more for your body than help you recover after a workout.
Set the bar at breakfast. A high protein breakfast is one of the best ways to improve body composition. Studies have shown that consuming 30g of protein at breakfast helps with satiety and improves glycemic control. This means less desire to snack on high carbohydrate or sugary snacks later in the day. One study showed that participants who ate a high protein breakfast on average consumed 441 calories fewer each day!
- Foods that light you up
Eating is often thought of for fueling performance, but food plays another important role as the building block of our cells. Certain foods help build healthy hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re looking for a youthful glow and to get carded until you’re 50 try these 3 superfoods:
- Avocado. Rich in vitamins A, D , E, and many phytonutrients; avocado promote supple skin, help prevent environmental damage and prevent signs of aging.
- Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for forming collagen which holds hair particles together.
- Lentils contain Folate, a B vitamin needed to repair cells in your fingernails and skin.
- Get Creative
Preparing meals from whole foods can be a fun and relaxing part of the day. Learn how to season dishes using herbs, spices, and complementary pairings. This eliminates “empty calories” from your diet that show up in sugary sauces and dressings.
Eating is a time for bonding and camaraderie, get together with family and friends to create a new dish. Focus on great conversation, chewing your food, and turning off the TV and electronics. By giving new meaning and tradition to your meals, eating can be a source of enjoyment beyond just the food.
To have a better understanding about the basics of correct eating, click here to contact us and sign up for our one hour nutrition seminar on May 20th at 3 PM.