I have mixed emotions about my progress lately. I felt like I really wasn't doing very well, but recently, I had my measurements taken again, and most of them decreased! It's so easy to be too hard on yourself, and when I feel like I'm going nowhere, I start slacking. This is why it's so important to track your progress!
Current Eating Habits:
I feel like my eating has been all over the place lately. I usually start strong with breakfast. I've been having either a half cup of oatmeal made with milk, cinnamon, and Truvia, or two pieces of dry toast. On occasion I add some fruit; usually raspberries or blueberries, but sometimes I mix it up. Lunch, however, is a totally different story. I haven't been meal prepping, and for whatever reason, I hate packing a lunch ahead of time, so in the morning, I just kind of grab random things. For example, yesterday for lunch I ate a can of tuna and some salt-less pretzels. There are some days I don't really eat lunch at all, which is completely unintentional. My boss also ordered a pizza for us not that long ago, so I had pizza that day, and then leftover pizza later that week. Dinner is normally one of two things; burgers or taco bowls. For the burgers, my fiance uses 95% lean ground beef, mixes in some dill relish and seasonings, and serves them with lettuce instead of a bun. The taco bowls are made with 99% lean ground turkey, salsa, spices (not a premixed taco seasoning packet), and spinach. Sometimes there's avocado and/or black beans added. I'm also supposed to have a snack in between my meals, but I haven't been very consistent with that. On the weekends, I've been eating out more than I'd like. Eating out doesn't have to be scary if you're trying to eat healthier. For example, one of the best meals I ever had at Texas Roadhouse was baked chicken with butter-less steamed veggies and applesauce. Recently however, I'm not always making the best choices. I try to have a turkey or veggie burger instead of a regular burger, and I'll sub sweet potato for regular french fries, but when it comes down to it, I'm still eating a burger and fries. I'm also not paying attention to my portions as much when I eat out.
My Eating Goals:
I really want to buckle down and start eating better for a number of reasons. I want to lose weight, and there's only so much you can do in the gym. I also want to feel better, have more energy, and just be healthier overall. To get back on track with nutrition, I'm going to do some goal setting, and I'm going to make these SMART goals so I can actually keep track of how I'm doing. If you haven't heard about this type of goal setting, check out this article on how to set SMART nutrition and exercise goals!
In the long run, I don't want to have to track my food everyday. Tracking is a great tool for the beginning of your lifestyle change. You might find out you tend to snack at certain times of the day, or you tend to overeat on the weekends, etc. However, once you're aware of your eating habits, it can be kind of a pain to track everything. In order to keep myself on track without having to track, I have a list of "approved" foods given to me by the gym I currently go to (Motifaith Fitness). I have a hard time sticking to meal plans for a number of reasons, so I find this approach much easier. For example, for lunch I pick a protein and carb from the list of approved foods, and I'm good to go! I don't have to eat chicken and brown rice every single day, I can mix it up by having tilapia with black beans, or salmon with sweet potatoes. I also don't have to track anything because I know I'm getting the nutrition I'm supposed to. It really just takes the guess work out of everything. Now accountability is where my goal setting comes into play. Tracking my food used to keep me accountable because I didn't want to have to input that I ate an entire bag of potato chips. Since I don't want to track my food, I need to find another way to keep myself diligent. Since lunch and after dinner snacking have been the two biggest issues thus far, I'm going to make two goals to target these issues.
Nutrition Goal #1:
I want to prepare my lunches ahead of time so I can grab them and go in the morning. I plan to cook all my lunches for the week at once, and portion them out into containers to take each day. This is something I hope to make a lifelong habit, but for now I'd like to meal prep once a week through the end of October. This is easy to measure, because either I do it, or I don't, there is no in between. I will take a picture of my meal prep each week to keep myself accountable and post it in my gym Facebook group. I believe this is a realistic goal for myself, because I have been able to meal prep in the past, I just fell out of the habit of it.
Nutrition Goal #2:
To help with my post dinner snacking, I want to stick to a schedule when it comes to food. I want to eat three meals a day with one snack in between each meal. Listed below are the windows of time I aim to eat each meal/snack:
Morning Snack 10-11am
Afternoon Snack 3-4pm
Starting now, I want to do this every day until the end of September. At that point, I'll check in and see if this still makes sense for me. I think this goal is realistic for me, because I already eat my meals roughly at these times during the week. I haven't been consistent with my snacks, and I need to work on sticking to this schedule on the weekends, but I know I can do this. To keep track of how I'm doing, I will keep a small journal of the times I eat each day. If I successfully eat during these time frames, I will consider that day a success, and I aim to be successful 5/7 days per week.
I've never been good at keeping a journal, but I've always wanted to. I hope you enjoy my sporadic posts about beauty, fitness/health, and various other topics.