By Blake and Gwen Beckcom | Fitness Together
The kick off to the warmer seasons is just around the corner. The No. 1 goal in defining, toning and weight loss is being mindful about what we are eating, and why we are eating or drinking it.
Mindless eating is one of the biggest penalties committed on the nutrition front. To keep yourself moving toward your weight goal as the heat comes, as well as maintaining a consistent healthy and fit lifestyle, try to incorporate the following eating strategies into your nutrition playbook.
Follow a game plan
As you scurry throughout your day, it is easy to drop your healthy eating habits by eating something here or there without realizing how many total calories you are consuming. When you are super busy, hungry and tired, your worst play of the day is to start putting whatever is around the office or pantry into your mouth.
The way you avoid getting yourself into this pattern of unconscious eating is to set up a game plan that is easy to execute every day of every week.
The first play of the day is to figure out how many total calories you need to consume on a daily basis to either maintain or lose weight. Divide your total number of calories into three meals, with one or two small snacks. A sample game plan to get you started on the road to victory includes:
- Breakfast: Yogurt and oatmeal
- Snack: Your favorite fruits
- Lunch: A mix of whole grains, lean proteins and the greenest vegetables possible
- Snack: High protein-based snacks, such as almonds
- Dinner: Whole grains, lean proteins, heart-healthy fats and vegetables
There is no quick fix. Don’t get caught up in fad diets. Keep what you eat as simple as possible. This is all about portion size, frequency and quality.
Review the game film
It’s important to practice healthy eating habits on a regular basis, but especially during this time of year if you want to wear shorts and tank tops. The key is to keep it as simple as possible. The best way to pinpoint your eating habits and identify where you might be committing penalties is to create a food journal.
Over the course of a week, write down all of the calories you consume — food and beverages — to get a better picture of what types of foods you typically eat and how many meals or snacks you consume on a daily basis.
You may be surprised at what you learn; we tend to think we eat better than we actually do. Once you review the game film, you’ll be able to diagnose additional plays for your next opponent.
Score the winning goal
Portion control and eating in moderation are star players when it comes to high scores in mindless eating avoidance.
To make sure you are eating proper portions, prepare one serving size of your snack or meal items and store them in small containers. This portioning strategy eliminates the need to worry about eating too much. When you’ve finished the food in your container, you know that you only consumed one serving size.
Depending on your schedule, you can prepare and portion out your meals for the week on the weekend or do it on a daily basis every evening or morning. Just figure out what works for you and stick with it. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
When it comes to managing the tendency of overeating at business functions, parties and dinners, don’t be afraid to bring your healthy eating game plan with you.
Instead of sampling a little of everything on the buffet table or serving platters, look through the menu, pick out the healthy options and build your own meal based on the healthy foods that are available.
Also, it is a good idea to eat something healthy and light prior to the party. This will help curb your appetite and reduce the risk of eating everything in sight at the event. Eating a healthy meal before you go to a party is the best defense against unconscious eating.
By keeping your head in the game, you will set yourself in motion to achieve your fitness goals before your first warm-weather event, as well as stick with the resolve you had as you entered this New Year.
— Blake and Gwen Beckcom run Fitness Together Mission Hills. Contact them at fitnesstogether.com/missionhills or call 619-794-0014.