Those are LITERALLY the words that came out of the mouth recently of one of my clients – and in a world of “low carb” “intermittent fasting” “portion fix” “weight watchers” “if it fits your macros” “high protein” “high fat” “low fat” – I really can’t say I blame her. It’s freaking confusing – You know you want to “be healthier” but how in the WORLD do you know where to start? And then you overthink it…stress about it…and dangn’t stress causes weight gain and overeating and water retention and DAMN you are back at square one!
But for real though…am I wrong?
I’m not a certified nutritionist (but I am a Registered Nurse) – so I’m just here to share what has helped me, has helped others and my own personal experiences in hopes that it somehow helps YOU or someone you know!
“I don’t know how to Eat”
I started running during college as a stress outlet..a way to stay active and just SOMETHING to clear my mind and work up a sweat! I was always super active during high school but going to college is different! And who wants to put on the freshman 15 anyways? I HATED running during high school because we alwas had to do it as a punishment – but in college it felt different! I taught myself to just ZONE out while on the treadmill -I could even read my notes to study or read a magazine (currently I still read my favorite blogs and my magazines on my nook while logging miles)
I found myself especially interested in nutrition while I was going to school. I loved my nutrition class we had to take for nursing and I seriously think I read every single health and fitness magazine -I was like a SPONGE for that stuff!
And since I was being more active with running I was also doing some various running events! 5ks, 10ks, training for a half AND working at a running store I figured I better clean up my act with eating too. I started eating salads for every lunch – and looking back there is no way that I was eating enough. I dropped some weight obviously even though that was never my intention! People say mean things when that happens. I was labeled as “anorexic” – crazy runner girl – obsessed – etc etc – that words “Go eat a cheeseburger” btw is not nice.
Here is me running my first half – kinda scrawny I know! BELIEVE me when I say I have been through it all – feeling too small – feeling uncomfortable in my skin too.
I remember this was before going out for a night with the girls and I felt like NOTHING fit right and I just felt yucky about myself. I by no means was obese or ANYTHING like that..but I definitely did NOT feel like me!
And THAT is what I’m TALKING about today – when you are at a low point in your life -and I’m NOT talking about a number on a scale but when you truly want to get back on track and feel GOOD again – YOU want to make make nutrition changes but DON’T KNOW where to start – Let me help you with some of my favorite tips that have helped me over the years!
1. First step – Decide that you actually want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. You seriously have to want to do it and be in the mindset for it! I’m NOT saying you have to go all or nothing – but you have to be committed too.
2. Do a self analysis. How would you describe your current nutrition. Take THREE days and journal it all- whether it be through an app like my fitness pal or just pen and paper! After the three days take a look at what you have written down.
What do you eat a lot of?
What do you NOT eat a lot of?
When do you feel extra hungry?
Any foods that you ate make you feel weird, sick or gross?
How much water did you drink these days?
What were you craving? sweets at night? salty? Super hungry and wanting everything by 9 pm? Just do an analysis and you might be surprised what you find out!
3. Is there anything in your entries that were super surprising that you eat or drink way too much of? For example: maybe you are having THREE sodas every day (and YES it still isn’t OK if they are “diet”) –
***DISCLAIMERI do have a soda every now and again but that is besides the point.***
Why are you reaching for more soda? Are you genuinely thirsty? Are you tired and you are thinking that will give you an extra buzz? Are you having an afternoon tired spell? What could you do for now to cut down to ONE soda a day?
Another example: You put ranch on EVERYTHING. Like we are talking everything drowning in ranch.
***DISCLAIMER #2 I like ranch!***
How could you make a healthier choice and use less?
1. Try a greek yogurt based ranch like Bolthouse Farms! Do half and half with your regular ranch and wean yourself to NOT drowning everything in it –
2. Actually portion out ONE serving and then put the bottle away.
So these of course are just TWO examples – but hopefully that makes sense and you get the idea!
4. Know that it is going to take time to make changes. Sorry – there really truly are NO TRUE “quick fixes” It took you a while to develop these habits and its going to take a while to develop and learn new ones! Be patient with yourself. Trust the process.
5. Know that that you are special and unique and there is not a RIGHT away that works for everyone. Everyone has different needs, likes and habits and that is ok. But you have to find something to try if you truly want to make a change. To me it was all about making small changes that added up to big ones. Not changing everything all at once
6. When you are changing your eating habits…ask yourself “Could I live like this?” I do agree that you will have to make some sacrifices – after all you want to change..right? But if the way you are eating doesn’t “allow” you to ever have a treat – is that really worth it and sustainable? Coming from a dark chocolate and a cookie lover – it sure isn’t worth it to me! SUFFERING AND FEELING DEPRIVED IS NOT HEALTHY.
7. Disclaimer. Yes I’m a beachbody coach – but you should know that I’m also a researcher and have looked into all different ways to help people in their nutrition. There are MANY things I do NOT get on board with – and you are entitled to your opinion of course too! What I do agree with is the nutrition system that beachbody does include in many of its workouts – called the portion fix system. It focuses on eating REAL food and eating them in their correct portions. You should be eating a diet (not dieting but HAVING a diet) that includes all foods: proteins, carbohydrates (yes you need those for energy!), fats, (no they aren’t going to make you fat), fruits, veggies -You should be eating all of these foods in the correct portion sizes and in the right amount of servings too! The portion fix system includes food lists from all the categories of food groups and even color codes them. You do a SIMPLE calculation to figure out how many of each food group you need throughout the day according to your goals! (weight loss, maintenance or even gaining) You choose foods that you like from the food lists that are “acceptable” and just simply put..you eat them. Nothing complicated. Eat real food. Portion control. Get away from processed. Eat enough. Boom. oh and chocolate and wine is included too!
Its a great education tool especially for the portion aspect!
What do you struggle most with in your nutrition? What are some changes you are trying to make?