Mind and Body
3 easy ways to improve your nutrition
I was recently overseas for almost three weeks and in the time I was away I was eating everything in sight, all the wrong foods, at all the wrong times. Why is it so hard to eat well when we’re on holidays? It’s a constant struggle for me. By the end of my trip, all I could think about was fixing my diet. You know that feeling, right? When your pants don’t really fit, you don’t want to wear jeans anymore and even washing your hair seems impossible.
My self-esteem was at an all-time low and it was very much a result of the terrible diet I had whilst living in luxury between restaurants and cafes. I kept telling myself I would be ok, but oh, what’s that? BBQ shapes? Yes please! Sigh…
So where do we start when we’re trying to fire up our nutrition? Let’s get started with three easy adjustments:
We’re all guilty of it at some point. Telling ourselves we’re ‘too’ much of something or ‘not enough’ of something else. “Too big, not healthy enough, not fit enough, too frumpy”.
In order for change to occur, it cannot be as a result of negative energy. We should choose to eat well because we love our bodies, not because we hate them. It’s so important we are affirming ourselves and practicing positive self-talk. Otherwise we’ll be off the wagon after one slip up.
As a part of this rule, we need to be mindful of the conversations we’re having with others too. Stay away from conversations about body weight. Often we find ourselves telling our besties how unhappy we are with our current state and it only feeds the negative energy which won’t carry us far.
Start changing up your drinks of choice. Water has zero energy/calories which means it doesn’t contribute to our energy balance in a negative way. And even better, it gives us a feeling of satiety (fullness). Often the brain confuses the ‘thirst’ signal for a ‘hunger’ signal so try drinking water first and always drink a large glass of water prior to eating. It will help to reduce over eating during meals.
As well as drinking water before meals, try to swap some of the daily drinks for water. Most of our ‘other’ options are loaded with sugar which we know is high in energy and has an enormous impact on energy imbalance. Cordials and juices can be watered down if it’s too much to swap to water completely in the beginning. Don’t like water? Add in some fresh lemon or lime for some flavour.
I’ve also started drinking more soda water just to change up from tap water. Aim for one litre during the work day and then another half a litre during the evenings. Before you know it, you’ll be craving water and drinking over 2 Litres per day. One more bit of great news, herbal tea counts towards your water intake for the day too!
Finally, start cutting back those portions. It’s important when we’re trying to make a change we don’t start obsessing over everything we’re eating. Portion control is very important. We can eat all the right things but if we’re having too much food, we end up with too much energy.
A great way to control portion sizes is to share your foods where possible; two spoons for one dessert is a great option. Another great way is to use smaller plates and bowls. Eat. Wait. Refill. If you eat one serving and after 15-20minutes you’re still hungry, then top up the plate (but keep the servings small). We’re never as hungry as we think we are when we dish up our meals.
Give your bodies a good three weeks to adjust to these changes. In the beginning we might not feel better for it but remember, we’re looking at a long term improvement. Nothing will change immediately. Persevere and keep up the positive self-talk and tell yourself how amazing you are every chance you get!
Good luck! I’ll have some more tips for you soon. Focus on these three for now, I know you can do it.
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