The most challenging part about getting in shape is staying on track with your eating habits. What you eat makes a significant difference with the results you get from your workouts. It can either hold you back or get you where you want to be much faster.
It’s actually pretty easy to slip-up if you have a habit of over indulging on snacks, going back for seconds (sometimes thirds) at dinner, treating yourself to junk food to “celebrate” when something awesome happens, ordering dessert when you know you don’t have any room left for it (guilty), or always having food within arms reach and eating without thinking — when you’re “winging” an eating schedule.
I know most of you are thinking, “psh, eating schedule? I listen to my body. I eat when I feel hungry.”
But the problem is that most people
get super busy with their work, projects, kids, chores, errands, etc — they forget to make time to eat. Because of that, they either end up having big gaps of time between meals because they skip meals (which will slow down your metabolism), they start binge eating to "make up" for missed meals, or they hit up fast food out of convenience. I was guilty of all three a little over a year ago.
Is that you, too? Keep reading.
A great way to stay on track is to have more structure by writing down what you eat. This is also known as a "food log". Sounds tedious, eh? Hear me out first.
/// What You're Going To Do:
- Grab a notebook, sketchbook, dry-erase board, post-it note — whatever you want to use.
- Write down the times you plan to eat throughout the day. (I eat every 3-4 hours)
- Write down everything you eat at that time. If it helps you to write it all down ahead of time so you have your day planned out, go for it!
- (optional) Set alarms on your phone. Within a week or two, your body should be accustomed to your eating schedule and you won’t need the phone alarms anymore. However it never hurts to have it as a back-up!
That's it! It's a simple method that I personally use and teach to my clients.
I'm a post-it note chick. I write down the times I eat throughout the day and I put hearts next to my main meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner). It helps me differentiate my meals from my snacks. And then I cross them off as I go throughout my day. Sometimes I tally up how much water I drink too because it's really easy to forget to drink enough water. Maybe your food log is super simple like mine. It's just a "reminder" note. Some people need more structure and writing everything down helps keep them focused. Every person is different. I personally just need to be more mindful of time because I work a lot and it's easy for me to lose track of time.
Anyways, I’m not an avid calorie or macro counter. I just stay within a single serving and I’m mindful of what’s high and low in regards to calories, sugar, sodium, fat, protein, etc. But if counting calories or your macros helps you stay on track, great! Just try your best not to stress out over it.
I also write out 3 reasons why I love myself next to my eating schedule every day. It really gives me that little boost I need to get my day going. You can also write about your 3 goals for the day, 3 things you’re grateful for, etc. A little personal development while you’re getting your eating schedule together, can give you that little push to make it happen! :)
Having an eating schedule isn’t meant to be a chore. It’s meant to help you be more conscious of what you consume each day so you'll be able to stay on track with your health goals. Nutrition is 80% of the deal. You can workout as hard and as long as you want, but you will not
out-train a poor diet in the long run.