What most people don’t realize is that losing weight, building muscle and obtaining optimal health is most dependent on what you eat versus how much exercise you do. A lot of people refer to the 80/20 rule, stating that fitness is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Exercising seven days a week will not help you obtain a healthy lifestyle if you are fuelling your body with garbage. With that being said, here are some key tips that I’ve learned over the last year regarding diet and making healthy food choices!
- Consistency is key. Find a few meals that you love and have those a few times a week. For example, my favourite meal is breakfast and I always have two hard boiled eggs, a piece of toast and a banana. I eat this every single day because I don’t need variety but you may want to alternate every other day.
- Meal prepping helps you avoid temptations. Having food already made ensures you don’t spend money on take-out and stops you from being hungry and choosing something quick/ unhealthy to eat. I usually meal prep for three days at a time. I’ll make chicken and vegetables because they can be made in various ways such as in a salad, by themselves or in a wrap.
- Snacking is required as long as you do it right! Try to always have fruits and vegetables available for you to munch on. Fruit will definitely help satisfy your sugar cravings and they will keep you full as well. Avoid the following: high carb snacks like cookies, donuts, chips and candy. Substitute nuts, dark chocolate and natural foods.
- Make sure every meal is well rounded. For lunch and dinner I always make sure I have a form of protein, vegetable and carb. This helps keep me full and ensures I’m getting all of the nutrients I need. My most favourite lunch meal is grilled chicken, broccoli and sweet potato.
- Eat every 2 hours. This will help with cravings and ensure you aren’t hungry all the time. What you eat every two hours is important as well. Aim for small snacks like an apple or a protein bar.
- Don’t eat two hours before you go to bed. Setting guidelines like this for yourself will stop you from forming bad habits. In addition, your metabolism slows when you go to sleep so processing food won’t happen like it does during the day.
- Get creative! So many people tell me that eating healthy is boring. This is only true if you make it that way. Use this as an opportunity to make those recipes that are stored in your favourites tab.
- Allow yourself to have the food you love. Quit labeling food as good and bad. Allow yourself one meal a week that you can look forward to that may not be as healthy as the rest but makes your heart happy! If you abstain from eating the things you’re used to eating, your body will quickly go into withdrawals and you are more likely to crack.
It’s important to note that the term “diet” gets a negative rep. You often hear people saying “you shouldn’t diet, it’s not healthy for you” but diet is simply what you are eating and you should monitor that as long as it’s in a healthy way. This means ensuring that you are getting your recommended intake of vitamins and minerals every single day. This does not mean cutting back how much you eat or skipping meals. Finding a happy medium between cutting out unhealthy foods and filling that space with healthy all-natural foods is the goal.
I love food and I have a lot of issues with food (ie. emotional and stress eating) BUT these tips above are what keep me on track. I’m not perfect and you can’t expect yourself to be either. Figuring out your diet can be extremely difficult and frustrating but every small step will help. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m here to help YOU!