The key to good nutrition is having a healthy mindset.
Without this, you will fail. This is an often overlooked aspect in all things exercise and nutrition related. I’m pretty sure everybody at some stage has had a stressful day at work, came home and pigged out on sweets and a takeaway regardless of if stuff for dinner was already there. We always forget how strongly our nutrition is linked to our emotions.
I am going to share some of my ways that I try and get people to improve their mindset towards nutrition.
Once people make a few simple changes, it’s easy then. These are all things that you can do yourself today.
Set a goal and write it down. Any goal will do, you need a target – lose ten pounds, go down a clothes size etc..
Physically write this down with a pen and paper and keep it safe to look back on. We always think about goals and targets but never commit to them.
Take a picture of yourself. It is very hard for us to see any change in our bodies when we look at it everyday. Pictures show so much more than any weighing scales can. Again this means you have made a commitment. Just do it. Nobody likes their starting picture but that’s all it is, a starting point.
Give nutrition respect.
[arrows style=”arrow-2-1.png” align=”left”] Everybody goes on a health kick at some point and joins a gym or starts exercising.
Nobody looks at food. My clients eat approx 35-40 times a week but only exercise 3/4 times a week. Sure, you get great benefit from exercising those times that you do but think of the possibilities if you improve your nutrition. Add those to your gym sessions and you have about 40 opportunities to improve yourself each week. Realise this and make use of them.
Ask yourself why? 2 parts to this one. [arrows style=”arrow-2-1.png” align=”left”]Why do you want to lose weight? Why am I eating this food?
Really think about why you want to lose weight, everyone wants to look better but there may be more behind that reason. Find your own reason, this is way more powerful than just wanting to look good. I have had clients that just want to be able to keep up when playing with their kids and others that have had family history of certain diseases linked with obesity. Everybody has their own reason.
Also ask why I’m eating these foods. Upgrade your knowledge. Every food does a job. Different foods are better for us at different times depending on the person and the goal. Knowing why you are eating a food and when to eat it is so much better than any week or month long meal plan that isn’t sustainable. Everybody has different preferences so you should be able to dictate your own nutrition and enjoy it too. This is why I try and educate everyone I deal with instead of spoon feeding.
Stay ahead of yourself. Sounds silly but it really means always plan ahead. I always try and stay one main meal ahead of myself each day. Know at breakfast what you will for lunch and know at lunch what you will have for dinner and so on. This prevents coming home, realising there’s nothing to eat, getting posses off and ringing a takeaway. Such a simple strategy that works wonders.
[arrows style=”arrow-2-1.png” align=”left”]Always have safety nets. These are foods that you have at home, in the office or in the car that prevent slip ups. Nuts, yoghurt, seeds, protein powders are all good options that you can rely on if stuck for a snack or craving something. Stopping into a garage and eating crap isn’t an excuse I allow, plan ahead.
Be confident. So often you are the outcast if you try and eat healthy. Friends and family might slag you or workmates question your meals etc.. Who cares. Getting slagged for good health and nutrition is literally the stupidest thing ever. Be proud that you are making a change. Show it off and then you get to show off your results too.
And lastly….enjoy it! Nutrition is always meet with negativity. Can’t eat this, can’t do that etc… I totally disagree with this. Food is to be enjoyed and should be tasty. It’s a journey so embrace it. It won’t happen overnight but you will get there with the right help and support. Learn new recipes, try new foods.
Do the simple things well. Be consistent and the results will come.
Alan Kenny BA, CSCS, MSc
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