You Can’t Control The Scale
Here is a profound and mind-boggling thought: You can’t control the scale (your weight on the weight scale, that is). You ask, “You can’t control your weight? What?”
Coming from a Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Coach, that must sound fairly depressing. But here’s the thing: You CAN ABSOLUTELY control what you eat and what you don’t eat.
Weight Loss is an outcome-based goal, whereas Healthy Eating is a behaviour-based goal.
As March is nutrition month, it is appropriate to focus on what you can control: Making healthy nutrition choices.
You can leave the outcome-based goal (i.e. weight loss) to me. As your accountability coach, I will compare my findings to the outcome-based results from time to time. In the meantime, let’s focus on what healthy eating choices you can confidently and realistically achieve.
A healthy lifestyle is not based on motivation or willpower, but on habit.
Heathy Eating Goals
The new Canada’s Food Guide is excellent. Half the plate should be vegetables and fruit. One quarter of the plate should be lean protein. The other quarter of the plate should be whole grains. Water should be the drink of choice.
We can unpack so much from that.
Are you consuming whole foods? (Fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, fish, beans, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, grains?) This should be the bulk of what we are eating.
The converse of that question is, are you eating a lot of processed or ultra-processed foods? Do you eat foods that come from a box or package with a label? Do you eat foods with added sugars and oils and preservatives?
Are you drinking enough water?
Water has to be the number one drink we consume. After that, there are some choices: Milk and plant-based milk alternatives are an option. Fruit juice could be an option, occasionally. Pop should be off the table. Naturally flavoured carbonated water is fine. Coffee and tea are not a problem, except what you add to it may be, or if it affects your sleep. Low-sugar red wine could be healthy in moderate amounts, but alcohol can affect REM sleep, muscle recovery, or the next day’s workout if too much is consumed.
Meal Planning and Preparation
Success in healthy eating comes down to a plan. Do you regularly plan a menu for the week? Do you make a list of what you will need? And do you regularly shop for your food?
If money is not an issue, I suppose there are healthy food service options out there. With a family of six on a budget, I have always shopped the flyers and made meal plans according to what is on sale and according to what I have prepared in the freezer.
Granted, it is a lot of work to plan meals for a week, make a list, shop for all the food, and then pack everything away when you get home. I shop once a week. It is sometimes amazing that I can fit it all in the fridge when I get home. But equally amazing is that by the end of the week, the fridge is empty. I have executed the plan. I used up all the food I bought. And I haven’t had to throw anything out.
Canada’s food guide has many tips for meal planning, preparation and shopping.
There are also excellent tips about mindful eating. You could set a goal to sit down when you eat, to eat more slowly and not to eat when distracted.
Perhaps you have heard of intuitive eating. This is really about learning to honour your body’s hunger and fullness cues. It is about learning to let your hormones work properly. But I think it is also about using your mind to think about what you really need. If you are hungry, have you had enough protein today? Have you had a balance of healthy fats and fibre? Have you had enough water? Are you tired and in need of sleep?
Doing What is Best For You
As today is Shrove Tuesday, a client was telling me what she was going to give up for Lent (chips and candy). I said I could give up chips and candy. But that’s because I generally don’t eat them. We tried to think of what I needed to give up. We couldn’t think of anything because I already know what is not good for me:
- Chocolate constipates me
- Rich/sweet foods bloat me
- Alcohol disrupts my sleep
- Too much caffeine makes me jittery
- Snacks interfere with eating a proper meal
- Eating in the evening disrupts my sleep if I have to pee in the night.
The alternative is simply to eat balanced, healthy meals that are good for me. As well, movement and exercise every day helps the body. Sleep is also absolutely key for having energy and feeling your best. It is really about self-care. You CAN control self-care.
What is holding you back from living the healthiest you?
Reach out for a free consultation and to have accountability to help you get on track for a healthier you.