The past few days I have been struggling with my diet. I am finding myself thinking about food to the point of obsession. There is no easy hack to losing weight, ultimately it is about making a series of healthy choices. Here’s what is working for me:
Eat a big breakfast: I choose to eat a big breakfast full of a combination of fats, carbs and proteins. This helps me feel full and gives me enough energy to last until noon. I usually grab a huge cup of coffee at 6 am and then eat breakfast when I get to work at 8 am. Recently my go-to breakfast has been two bananas with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Include some flexibility in your diet: Every week I have a higher calorie day. I used to refer to this as a cheat meal or cheat day, but I’m not cheating on myself of my diet. By allowing for a higher calorie day, I am still able to eat fun foods that I enjoy.
Don’t do anything now that you won’t do long term: Eating salads everyday or sticking to 1200 calories isn’t sustainable in my world. I need enough energy to run and so that I don’t snap at my colleagues. For the time being, I’m finding that 1600 calories seems like the right amount to allow my body to lose weight and for me to feel like I’m not starving myself. I am still hungry sometimes, but not starving.
Make a plan: Every Sunday I make a plan for my week, including what I am going to eat and when I am going to work out. By having a plan, I know if I have any upcoming special events that I may need to factor in food choices and I know if there is anything standing in my way of my running schedule. I can also plan out when to have my higher calorie day.
Chug the water: I keep a 20 oz water bottle on my desk and refill it several times a day. I probably drink close to 150 oz of water a day, which keeps me feeling full and hydrated. I absolutely love La Croix water, but I have noticed when I start drinking La Croix I don’t want to switch back to plain ol’ tap water. I have recently made a deal with myself not to start drinking La Croix until after noon and not until after I refilled my water bottle three times. I also love drinking out of a big straw. Hey, whatever works, right?
Distract yourself: If I can’t stop thinking about food, I will start another project, clean my office, talk to a coworker, make a to-do list, or go for a walk. Sitting and watching TV is a passive activity that can lead to mindless eating.
Exercise: Cliche but true, exercise helps me keep on track. Not only can I eat more when I workout, but I generally feel better about myself. Yes, I may hate running while I am running, but afterwards I feel proud and accomplished. For me, diet and exercise go hand in hand; I can’t lose weight without incorporating both into my life.
What tips or tricks work for you? Please let me know.
Peace and Love,