Every day, I inquire each of my clients on how their nutrition is going, and every day, I hear more or less the same type of response from at least one person: a sheepish look followed by an excuse as to why they could not eat right the day before.
“Friends are in town so we eat out every night.”
“My family is visiting and expects me to cook all of the favorite comfort foods.”
“I was just too tired.”
“I knew better, but I just couldn’t help it.”
“I was stressed, and it calmed my nerves.”
You get the picture, and have perhaps at one time or another uttered any of the aforementioned responses — otherwise known as excuses.
Yes, those are very real issues that cause the noblest of dieters to falter, but that is all the more reason to plan ahead or at the very least have a plan B.
If you know that you are going to have an influx of company throughout the season — because let’s face it the weather is awesome down here — then plan to either cook at home or review a menu ahead of time to pick the cleanest eats you can find. If you are unable to cook at home (because everyone is just dying to hit their favorite hot spots) then choose protein and veggies when dining out. It could in the form of a salad, broth-based soup or just salmon and vegetables. Try to put dressings and glazes on the side to use sparingly if at all.
If you are the designated Paula Deen so to speak, then try out lighter recipe versions of the most popular comfort foods ahead of time until you find one that is comparable to the crowd favorite — and don’t tell them! Unless you want to, of course. Play around with different spices and make healthy substitutions as necessary. Pinterest is a fantastic tool in this regard!
For those days when you are too beat to cook, have an easy recipe handy that takes minimum prep and ingredients. Three ingredient meals (hello apple juice chicken!) and anything you can throw in a slow cooker top my list, or do the prep work the night before so that you only need to combine and cook with little to no fuss.
If emotional eating (in its many forms) has you scouring your cupboards for goodies, have a small treat available and savor it — not an entire bag or container. Some people work well with distracting themselves with a walk or hot bath, others by substituting (Greek yogurt for ice cream for example), but others won’t stop until they get the real deal. So have that piece of dark chocolate, but hide the rest of the bar!
Are we human? Yes. Will we mess up sometimes? Absolutely. The key is balance. Do your best by having a back-up plan and pat yourself on the back for making the extra effort. After all, no one will be upset at you if you blow it or proud of you if you don’t — except you. So, here’s to you and your fabulous self!
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes.” To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com. She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com, www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.