Why is it we could do such a great job of getting to the gym (or at home) and work out, then sabotage our effort by eating poorly?
You spend an hour working out doing strength training and cardio and you feel great afterwards. Do you then say to yourself, “I did my workout, now I deserve a treat?” How do you feel after eating that treat? Does it make you feel better? Does it move you closer to your goal weight? Are you mad at yourself for eating it? Why do we eat it?
One of the things I noticed when I started to take my workouts seriously was my attitude towards food. I no longer looked at it as a treat or thought about how good my dinner was going to taste. I looked at food more as fuel for my body. I had muscles and I felt good about my body, I did not want to feel crappy by eating fat laden food or a lot of sugar. My food still tastes good. It is healthy and good tasting!
I teach my clients to eat supportively. Eating supportively means eating every 3-3.5 hours, eating smaller meals that consist of a lean protein, a starchy carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate. This is a meal that is highly thermic. A thermic meal is one that causes your body to burn a lot of calories when digesting it. Ideally you want to make every meal as thermic as possible. By eating every 3-3.5 hours, you keep your metabolism burning at an even rate all day long.
Really, the key food to eat which will benefit you the most is lean protein. If you only have time for a quick snack, make it a lean protein snack (preferably one without a lot of sugar).
When I know I will be in my car all day going from one class or client to another, I plan for my snacks and pack an insulated bag with my water bottles and my snacks. Sometimes my snack is a small portion of almonds or a Greek yogurt. Sometimes I make more of an effort and pack up some whole wheat crackers, cucumber slices, and rolled up “all natural turkey” slices. I will put my little snack together and eat it in my car.
I think the key is to change how you look at food. Change your attitude towards it. Think of it as fuel for your awesome body. Your body needs healthy fuel to be able to do the workouts you want to do (or need to do if I have assigned them to you ).
Also, if you do get off track, restart immediately. Don’t think that because you already messed up you can continue eating that way for the rest of the day. Before putting food in your mouth stop and think, will this be good fuel for my body?
I think you will find yourself eating healthy more. Once your body is used to healthy food, when you eat something that is not so healthy, your body will let you know.
Stop sabotaging your efforts, change the way you think about food!
Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.