Far too often, I see people obsessing over their food, trying to find the perfect combinations to meet all their dietary needs. I see people consuming foods they don’t necessarily enjoy because they have been told its part of a healthy diet. Many people don’t realize that it is nearly impossibly to adhere to a nutrition plan you do not enjoy, and creating unnecessary stress can hinder your results.
Instead, the best approach is to keep it simple. Don’t overhaul your entire meal plan to fit a mold, create something that you look forward to, and can continue in the long term. Begin by making small changes in your daily routine, replacing some of the unhealthy foods with nutrient dense meals that will not only benefit your body, but keep you energized, focused, and satiated. I generally recommend to all my clients that they begin with a list of foods they enjoy and dislike. Create a meal plan from this list using the healthy foods you actually enjoy. For example, swap our your usual mid-morning snack for a serving of nuts and a piece of fruit, or if you are prone to skipping breakfast, grab a protein shake on your way out the door. A change as simple as switching your salad dressing or olive oil or lemon juice can make a big difference in how you look and feel!
It can be difficult at first to determine what you should eat on a daily basis. I recommend speaking to a nutrition specialist who can help you understand food groups and nutrients. In the meantime, you can use some of my daily recommendations to get you started on the fast track to fit and healthy! Always begin your day with a healthy breakfast! Fruit and protein shakes are great if you are short on time, but sitting down to eat a bowl of oatmeal with berries and an egg is going to keep you full until your next meal. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you to sip during the day! Get creative with your snacking, homemade trail mix, fruits, nuts, yogurts, cottage cheese; the possibilities are endless! Be sure to always pack a homemade lunch, this way you know exactly what you are consuming and you have more control over the ingredients. Sandwiches on whole wheat or Ezekiel bread are great, or a salad made with all the fixings. My personal favorite is spinach and spring mix salad, with chopped apple, dried cranberries, broccoli slaw, chopped cashews, and hard boiled eggs. It’s filling, nutritious, and has all your essential nutrients! Another helpful tip is to plan your dinner ahead of time. Be sure it is something you enjoy, so you look forward to it on your ride home from work. Having a dinner planned that is delicious will keep you from stopping at the nearest fast food joint!
You can find more of this article in our October 2014 issue of ModelsMania