"Alright friends... anyone have any good tips on how to find a little discipline when it comes to eating healthy? I'm finally exercising regularly, and loving it, but I seem to have no self control when it comes to saying no to tasty, fattening, creamy, sugary, delicious food... "
This was posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. She, like many, is trying to improve her overall health and body composition. This inspired me to create a list of tips that have proven helpful for me, as well as my clients. These tips are simple in concept, the trick is applying them to your life.
*Do not buy unhealthy and fatty snacks.
It's simple, if you don't own it, you can't eat it.
*Do a kitchen "detox"
Go through your cupboards and throw away all that garbage that you have left over from your less healthy days. Same concept as above if you have it you will, eventually, eat it.
These first two will help you while you are at home and have control over what is and is not available.
But what is going to help you when you are at social functions, parties, or other special events?
*Fill up on healthy foods
If you go to a restaurant that happens to serve amazing desserts, order an amazing entree. A hardy salad or broiled salmon with veggies. If your stomach is full of healthy foods you will be less likely to over do it on the junk.
If you are going to a party or event eat dinner before, also if it's not too takcy you can bring some carrot sticks or other easy to transport snack with you.
*Fiber and protein are your new best friends
Not only are fiber and protein good for you, but they are filling, and digest slowly, so you will have the sensation of being full for a longer time.
Fiber can be found naturally in fresh fruits and veggies (broccoli, avocado, raspberries, and blackberries, just to name a few) black beans and lentils. The brighter the colors of your fruits and veggies the better they are for you.
Protein, specifically lean protein can be found naturally in: fish, chicken, black beans, omega 3 eggs, and nuts (almonds are my favorite) If getting enough protein is difficult for you consider getting a protein shake.
Read here for more info on protein shakes.
*Allow yourself small, occasional, indulgences
The key here is to keep the indulges to a minimum, and remember small. Not the kind of thing that is going to basically erase all your hard work (ie an entire chocolate layer cake) also if you are serious about fat loss, you can't get away with eating your favorite treat everyday of the week, or even every other day of the week.
*Find healthy replacements for those fattening foods
If you have a specific dessert that tempts you (chocolate lava cake for me) try to find a healthy, or at least healthier, replacement. This might be a struggle at first. Start by getting super dark chocolate, bit sized candy bar or something like that. As you progress you will be able to have a nice juicy apple or pear instead of your devilish favorite.
*Avoid fast food restaurants
We all know these places and perhaps have fond childhood memories of them. Let's be honest though, deep down we all know that even their "healthy" foods have more calories than we need in an entire day, let alone a single meal. If it's unavoidable try and get something that is as "natural" as possible. An nu-breaded chicken breast, salad with dressing on the side and no bacon bits, and most importantly no French fries!
*Be sure to eat a healthy meal post-workout
Post-workout I am starving. This when lean protein is most important. Once again filling up when that hungry feeling is the strongest will help you have more self control when presented with temptations.
Eventually your body will become accustomed to eating this way. You will sort of "train" your body to not "need" or actually just want the tasty, fattening, creamy, sugary, delicious foods.
At first it might be a struggle, but stick with it and before you know it, you will be saying "no thank you" to those fattening treats.
For more tips and advice feel free to email or leave a comment on this post.