I’m sure by now some of you know I’m quite partial to a motivational saying or two and one of my all time favourites is ‘those who fail to plan, plan to fail.’
This notion is simple but so powerful because not only are its principles transferable to just about anything in life but it is so true. In today’s post I want to talk about this in regards to nutrition.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan and prepare meals if you want to give yourself the best chance at achieving your goals for your ideal body. I know this from first hand experience and noticing the difference in my own body from those times when I am organised and have prepared meals to other times when I just let my stomach decide.
I think we are all fooling ourselves if we believe that we will always make smart food choices if we decide at the time that we become hungry. How many of you out there have gone to the supermarket when you are hungry and end up impulse buying a snack or treat just to tide you over in the meantime, or you end up purchasing more items than you had on your shopping list. Or times when you are at home and the fridge is empty, but it’s already dinner time and your tummy is grumbling at you so the quickest and most convenient way to silent that noise is to grab some fast food or reach for a bag of potato chips in the cupboard?
Why not set yourself up for success and plan in advance and stop kidding yourself that you’re going to stick to your healthy ideals and have unbreakable willpower when you are already hungry. Preparation doesn’t necessarily have to be food related but activity related.
Implement these easy yet effective tips into your routine and I promise you will be moving closer to your goals than you realise:
1) Snack packs
Just like you wouldn’t leave the house without putting your house keys or mobile phone in your bag, carry snacks with you at all times. I never leave the house without having at lease one portable snack item in my handbag be it a small container of dry roasted almonds and cashews, hardboiled eggs or even some leftover meat from last night’s dinner for those times when I need a quick hit of protein.
FYI: My brother-in-law’s new nickname for me is ‘eggy’ as it’s not uncommon for me to pull out a hardboiled egg when we are mid conversation. He thinks it’s really weird that I carry eggs around with me, I think it’s foolish not to.
2) Essential items to always have in your home
Eggs – These little white and gold nuggets are one of my personal favourites (re above). Not only are they so quick and easy to whip up in an omelette, fried in a pan in some coconut oil or hard boiled, they also pack a whopping 12g protein per egg which makes them the perfect item to have on hand and bonus they’re cheap! (If organic eggs aren’t in the budget or you, please opt for free range eggs and know that not only are you benefiting yourself but also know that the chickens weren’t subjected to any animal cruelty).
Coconut oil – oh how I love thee. I adore coconut oil for many reasons. It is my preferred oil of choice to cook with. I fry my eggs in it as mentioned above, I cook all of my meat and most fish in it, and it can come in handy in spoon form to curb those sweet cravings we all get from time to time. Now before you pipe up and protest that coconut oil is bad for you because it is high in saturated fat, I need to explain something.
Not all saturated fats are created equal. Some fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through a man-made process called hydrogenation.
Hydrogenation manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened substance that really only benefits processed food shelf life and corporate profits. These saturated fats (also known as trans fats) should be avoided at all costs.
On the other hand other saturated fats occur naturally such as coconut oil.
The benefits of coconut oil include improving heart health, increasing your metabolism, supports your immune system, boosts your thyroid and promotes weight loss if desired. (But I will write more on the wonders of coconut oil later.)
Now let me tell you friends, it’s not just for consumption; lather this nutty goodness directly onto your skin and instantly feel and see the effects of skin that hasn’t looked so good since you were a baby.
Meat and Fish – Stock your fridge with a few different varieties so you won’t turn to the take away shop across the street or feel the urge to burry your head deep inside a chip packet when you get the munchies. In reality it takes very little time to toss some chicken strips into a pan or bake a piece of fish and is far more satisfying than some carb loaded, MSG and sugar laden dish at the local Thai shop.
Veggies Sticks – Celery, Cucumber, Capsicum and carrot.
Just don’t forget to wash your veggies well to get rid of those nasty pesticides, or if you buy organic produce even better.
3) Call a friend
Instead of letting the packet of Tim Tams call out your name, call a friend. This simple yet effective tactic works wonders. The next time you are about to give in to temptation, pick up the phone and call a friend for a chat (or better yet grab that friend and hit the pavement – you may as well exercise your legs while you’re exercising your gab) to distract yourself and I can almost guarantee you that afterwards you won’t feel the need to turn to that food. And bonus – not only have you done your waistline a favour but you’ve also treated your emotional self by connecting with a loved one.
4) Read a book or take a bath
Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry, thirsty or just bored. A lot of the time we mistake hunger for thirst or tend to think we are hungry when in fact we’re just bored. Do yourself a favour, drink a huge glass of water and take time out to read your latest book or run a bath (perhaps combine the two) and see if that ‘hunger’ subsides.
5) Remind yourself of your goals
One of the most effective things to ask yourself is ‘Is this moving me closer to or further away from my goals.’
I find just posing this question to myself can really shift my focus back to making a positive and healthy choice.
What about you, do you have any great tips to add to this list? I’d love to hear them.