How I cheat at "healthy eating" and get away with it.
I used to OBSESS over what I ate.
Calories in, out, burned, always striving for a deficit.
Thoughts like I can’t eat pizza or drink beer were always at the forefront of my mind while out with friends.
No candy at the movies.
When I would eat these things the guilt would overhaul my days. The stress and anxiety that would follow was debilitating. I am a health coach.
Is this how I’m meant to live?
Hell no. It’s unrealistic and honestly no fun.
I couldn’t keep up with all the things I was “supposed” to be doing. I had the idea that I was “supposed” to be perfect. I’m a perfectionist by trade and astrological sign (virgo to a T). This was causing me to stress out and became obsessive.
My habits were unhealthy. No one should ever put that much focus on one aspect of their life. In my training to become a certified health coach, I was taught about bioindividuality and looking at the bigger picture.
I knew in my gut that if I was unhappy that it didn’t matter what I ate, my body would not change. It would get worse. My mindset and outlook would get worse as well. No results despite the insane amount of effort I was putting into what I put into my mouth.
I changed my approach.
I refocused on taking care of myself.
Follow these 6 steps to cheat at healthy eating and get away with it.
1. Add in nourishment.
This means whole foods. The food itself is the ingredient. This step is so damn easy, you will kick yourself for not doing this sooner. Add in 2 more servings of fruit or vegetables a day. You will notice that after a few days of doing this, you are drawn to eat healthier options.
2. Add in variety and experiment with your food.
Do you eat the same thing every day? Pretty boring isn’t it. I know, i know. It’s easy to not think about anything but you aren’t doing your body any justice. The next trip to the grocery store, look around. What catches your eye? Is there something that you haven’t tried yet? What foods are seasonal in your area? (TIP: this could mean that they are more affordable and local as well – double win!)
3. Add in supplementation.
When we eat the same food every day and don’t eat balance meals, our bodies miss out on a ton of essential nutrients. Leaving our bodies depleted and not functioning properly. Your hair and nails don’t grow. Your eyesight while driving at nighttime sucks. You have little energy. Can’t think straight.
Sound like you? It’s time for supplementation to fill the gaps.
4. Add in fun in the kitchen.
This was a game changer for me. Instead of cooking being a chore, I decided to spice it up a bit. Every time I cook, I crank up my favourite playlist and dance around the kitchen. It sounds funny but it works. Occasionally, I get musical with the pots.
5. Add in a plan.
Are there meals that you have been saying “ooh, I want to make that” but never seem to get around to it? What better time than now? Look at the week ahead. What nights will you be home and willing to make these? What do you already have for the recipes? What do you need? BAM that simple.
6. Add in more FUN.
That’s right. I said it. And it has everything to do with what you are eating and how you feel about your current life situation. Your overall outlook is directly proportional (there’s the science nerd coming out) to how much fun you are having.
So to curb your cravings, make plans with your friends or partner and check something off your fun bucket list. I can promise that by adding in more fun your cravings for junk will decrease.
These days, I still have the occasional beer and pizza because I make room for it.
80 percent of what I eat is dedicated to nourishing my body, I fill the gaps with supplementation, I make sure I move for at least an hour a day and I don’t stress about it. The other 20 percent, I eat whatever the hell I want. I have successfully gone from 192 lbs to my current weight of 155 lbs and I am proud of who I am as a whole. I don’t focus solely on my body because I know, I am capable of so much more than just living and breathing. I am passionate about coaching women to move from feeling like shit because they ate a hamburger (and loved it) to accepting that they too have something to offer outside of their bodies. Building their confidence that they know what is right for themselves and supporting them in taking action.
What advice can you share with other women stressing over what they eat? What did you learn in overcoming the food focus mentality?