Updated: Jan 17
“I just have too much going on at the moment to make it a priority”
“I just don’t have time to think about it”
Too busy - Not a priority
It shouldn't matter how busy you are looking after yourself should be a priority.
If not, why not?
We all have to eat. We all have to make choices of what we eat.
Making a better choice doesn't take any more time.
When you choose items to go into a shopping basket selecting good nutritious foods does not take any longer than choosing high calorie foods that are full of fats and sugars and preservatives.
Cooking at home does not have to take hours. The average takeaway takes an hour to arrive after you place the order. Home cooking can be cooked and eaten in that time (and at a third of the cost!)
When we have too much going on - this is exactly the time to be making eating well and being active a priority. This is exactly the time we should be taking more care of ourselves.
Eating well does not have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be a complex plan, or being hungry or not eating certain foods. It really can be as simple as making smarter choices, being more prepared and thinking ahead.
The small amount of time and energy you invest in eating well will have a huge return on your physical and mental wellbeing, your sleep and your energy.
Last year I was asked to write an article for a magazine
I give out advice all the time, so I approached my nutrition group and asked them what advice had I given that had resonated the most with them and helped them change their approach to ‘dieting’
They came back to me, not surprisingly they all had a different answer, proving my point that one approach does not fit all!
I took on board their responses and the following article was printed. I hope it helps you too.
(If the reading is too much then check out my FB live where I will talk this through and answer questions!)
There is a healthy way to diet, and not just a way to lose or maintain weight but ways to improve your relationship with food.
‘Can you imagine living like this in a years’ time’?
If the answer is yes then your lifestyle balance is right. If the thought fills you with dread then it is time to make some changes.
In order to lose excess weight/fat we need to eat in a calorie deficit. This can be done by reducing food intake and/or increasing activity levels. Ideally a combination of both is best, as it helps us improve both our physical and mental wellbeing.
By doing this in a healthy way we can continue the same lifestyle once the ideal weight is reached and reduce the rebound cycle or yo-yo dieting that has held many people mentally hostage for as long as they can remember.
Changing your lifestyle is about creating healthy new habits and behaviours and creating your new ‘normal’. This shouldn’t be something you dread but something that you see and feel the benefits of.
Here are my top tips to do this in a healthy, sustainable way.
More good food, not less food
Being in a calorie deficit or eating healthily should not mean eat less. Eat more good food. Think volume of low calorie food rather than a reduced amount of high calorie food.
Focus on 80/20. 80% of what your body needs, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals etc and 20% of what it wants, the treats that help keep the balance and sustainability.
If your body was a vehicle and food is fuel how much fuel do you need for the day (high or low) and what fuel will your body run most efficiently on.
Be conscious of how your body reacts to certain foods and find the optimum fuel for you.
Drink more water
This won’t be news to you but most people still aren’t drinking enough water. Carry a bottle everywhere. Put it on your desk with the lid off.
Aim to drink at least 500 mls by 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm. Drink more if you are exercising.
Water has huge benefits in increasing focus and concentration as well as reducing appetite so make sure that bottle goes with you everywhere!
Make informed choices
Research what you read and what people tell you. Be a critical thinker.
Challenge diets that have a special name or an end date, especially any that promise certain results in a very short period of time.
Does it sound healthy to you?
Will the results impact you physically or mentally in a positive or negative way?
When choosing foods ask yourself if your choices are taking you closer to your goal?
Be consistent – Plan, Prepare, Persevere
If you want to change your lifestyle you have to be consistent, not one week on two weeks off or a last 6-week panic before your holiday!
Be consistent, take action every day that will take you a little step closer to your goal.
Plan ahead. What will you have time to prepare, cook, eat. Prepare in advance and then persevere with sticking to your plan.
The more you plan and prepare the less opportunity you have for excuses to go off plan!
Don’t try and make huge changes, for many people this is a short cut to failure.
The 1% was a successful strategy used by the British Sky Cycling team and is transferable to all areas of life.
Make small 1% changes that will take you closer to your goal and then focus on being consistent.
1% daily is more likely to achieve success than 1 week of 100% before falling off the wagon. It is also a key driver of success in changing habits and behaviours.
Don’t hit the pause button
Life is never going to be easy, or calm or predictable so if you are waiting for an ideal time to start making changes then you will always have a reason to not start at all.
If you are using a tough week, or a holiday as a reason to pause, then you are reducing the chance of reaching your goals. It may also be a sign that what you are doing is not sustainable.
Whether life is good or life is a challenge we still have to eat. Learn the skills and behaviours that will help you manage in these situations, especially considering this is quite possibly when you need your physical and mental health looking after the most!
If you would like to improve your nutrition there are a number of ways you can start your journey:
Spend an hour with me, from the comfort of your home and understand nutrition better and how to fit healthy eating into your busy lifestyle, book that session today
Spend 7 days in your own time and at your own pace understanding nutrition and how you can make it work for you
If you are unsure which is the best option for you then why not book in a clarity call and we can talk through what you want to achieve and how you can best be supported.
Published: June 2018
Revised: March 2019