Life is busy. Between work, school, friends, family, and getting everything tackled throughout the week, our nutrition can fall to the wayside if we don't make it a priority. Here I'll provide tips and tricks to keeping your nutrition on track no matter the curve balls that come your way.
1. Have a plan. Any goal without a plan in place has a higher chance of failure. In fact, not having a plan in place is the biggest pitfall I see when it comes to my clients reaching their nutrition goals. While you might be able to have strong willpower to avoid non-compliant foods throughout the day, convenience may overwhelm you and cause you to settle on what's readily available. The easiest way to avoid this happening is to have meals and snacks available for your day no matter where you're at. Meal prep is key to have meals to suit your needs as well as avoid picking something based on cravings. Every meal can be prepped ahead of time, or you can prep only the meals you'll need while out of the house and unable to cook. You can also prepare snacks to relieve your cravings between meals. For example, if you get a sweet tooth in the afternoons, you can pack fruit to snack on and satisfy that craving.
2. As part of your plan, have a schedule in mind. Set aside time once or twice a week to do meal prep. Create a Sunday routine to grocery shop and do meal prep for the week, or for a few days. You can set aside another evening during the week to do additional prep if cooking for the whole week is overwhelming or if you'd like to keeps things fresh and mixed up. You can also write out a flexible schedule for meals you'd like to cook throughout the week based on what groceries you have available.
3. Anticipate hanger and have easy back-up snacks ready. Ever get stuck in a long meeting or in traffic on your way home for dinner? How about after a workout when you forgot your protein shake and you're out of prepped food? And then hanger strikes.. Try keeping easy snacks in your car, your desk, your gym locker, or wherever you find you need an extra boost to help keep you on track rather than grabbing a junk food snack to keep moving. Go for foods that don't require refrigeration and can be kept easily for longer durations - cans of nuts, trail mixes, apples, jerky, etc. This way, when you're in a bind you'll have a go-to snack to hold you over without putting junk calories in your body.
4. Know how to satisfy your cravings. Our body is super smart and knows when we're missing vitamins and nutrients that it needs to function optimally. It's also good at asking us for those nutrients, we just have to know how to provide them properly. The below chart shows cravings we typically experience and what our body could be asking for during those cravings. By using this guide, you can give your body what it's begging for while staying on track.
Make your nutrition plan work for your busy schedule. By putting a plan in place and having go-to's for staying compliant, you'll be able to put your nutrition first and reach your goals.