I ate way too much Halloween candy last night, specifically those Reece’s peanut butter cups, peanut butter Snickers and possibly an Almond Joy or two. Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you ate too much candy yesterday. Or you’ve been eating too much of everything for the past few days or weeks or months or years and you’ve finally had enough of feeling like temptation is constantly sabotaging your good intentions.
If so, today’s post is for you. I’ll be sharing my 6 healthy tips for getting back on track so you can regain control of your eating habits and feel great in your own skin.
Tip #1: Stop beating yourself up.
Okay so you raided your kid’s Halloween candy stash last night (or when you woke up this morning). It’s important to stop the negative self-talk right now. I mean it. You’re not a bad person because of what you ate. And in general, food is not bad — it’s the consequences of eating said food that either gets you closer to your goals or further away. In my one-on-one sessions and RESTART sugar detox classes, I help my clients work to remove guilt from eating. If you want to eat a cookie, eat the damn cookie and ENJOY it! It’s always your choice. In fact, I like to use the RESTART RULE whenever I can to make this point, so here it is: Whatever I eat, I choose it consciously, I enjoy it thoroughly and then I let it go. You hear me? Let it that shit go.
Tip #2: Get real with your habits.
Raise your hand if you’re one of those moms (or dads) who finishes your kid’s breakfast. Or you put leftovers into your mouth instead of Tupperware containers? Or you take few gulps of egg nog right before bed. (For the record, my hand is raised…) Being aware of your habits will make it easier to change them. I hear plenty of clients say I don’t eat any snacks. Or I always fill half my plate with veggies. Yes, all of this might be true. Or maybe part-true. But getting real with what you’re actually doing can make or break your success. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, but if you want an accurate record of what you’re consuming, keep a food journal for a day or two. I think you’ll be surprised. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll put the extra forkful of food down if it means you’ve got to add another entry to your food journal for the day. #slightlylazy
Tip #3: Clear out your cabinets and fridge.
My husband has a habit of collecting candy. I swear we have chocolates from three Easters ago and every international trip we’ve ever been on. And even though the candy is way past its prime, I think everyone in my household has dug around in there when the sweet cravings strike. My point is, if it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Plain and simple. So clear out your pantry, cabinets, fridge or anywhere else you keep food (at least for now). And if you share kitchen space with a spouse/roommate/kids and they’re not ready to get their eating back on track, just clear out a section that’s only for you. Doing this eliminates the temptation and the follow through (aka eating it).
Most people want that instant gratification — I had a stressful day, I want chocolate. I feel unsatisfied after dinner, I need something sweet. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. And the best way to avoid it is to eliminate that temptation. Tip: You don’t have to throw foods away either. Try putting foods you want to avoid in the back of your cabinets or on a really high shelf.
Tip #4: Think about what makes you feel good.
Certain foods. Movement. Songs. Snuggling your kids. After a weekend of overconsumption, I feel best eating light for the first day, then eating a healthy amount of fresh veggies, protein and health fats. My light day typically consists of smoothies, veggie juices and bone broth. But that’s not for everyone. My friend Sarah has never been a smoothie girl — she always tells me “I prefer to chew my food”. I get it. And if you’re like Sarah, maybe you feel great starting your day with scrambled eggs and chopped spinach, onions, mushrooms and peppers. Or you like to have a bowl of blueberries and a few tablespoons of almond butter. Maybe you feel great when you start the day with a glass or two of warm lemon water. Or a brisk walk. Or dancing to classic hits from the 80’s. Whatever makes you feel reconnected, do it. It’ll be a huge asset to getting back on track.
Tip #5: Get inspired (and prepared).
Think about the meals you like to make. Are they healthy? And if not, is there a healthier way to make them? A simple formula I like to use for meals is one protein (chicken, beef, fish, eggs) paired with 1-3 veggies (zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, broccolini, slaw, roasted root veggies) and some healthy fats (like olive, avocado or coconut oil or avocados). Need a little inspiration? Head over to Pinterest and search Whole30 or The Restart Program for recipes, then, pick a day (I like Sundays) to gather your grocery list and get to the store.
I know it can be a chore just to put your groceries away, but it’s important to PREP your food next. This is where the real magic happens and it’s going to be key to your success. If you’re not sure what it means to prep your food, it’s essentially getting all the ingredients you just bought ready to be eaten or cooked, so when it’s time to eat later in the week (and you’re starving, stressed or staring down a box of cookies hidden on the top shelf) you’ll be more likely to stay on track because you’ll have a healthy snack ready in seconds and a healthy meal ready in just a few minutes more.
Here are some examples:
- If you bought zucchini…wash ‘em, spiralize ‘em and put ‘em in a ziplock bag
- If you bought nuts…measure out ¼ cup servings and put them in containers
- If you bought brussels sprouts…wash ‘em, chop ‘em and pop ‘em on a baking sheet with oil and sea salt and cook ‘til roasted
- If you bought chicken breast, pound it flat, put it in a ziplock bag and add a healthy marinade (or just season with salt and pepper)
- If you’re making meat sauce, taco meat, etc…cook up ground beef and season with salt and pepper (taco seasonings can be added later if you’re making Mexican)
- If you bought fruit…chop it up into chunks to make it easy to grab and go (pineapple, watermelon and apples are my favorites)
Tip #6: Drink water.
This is super important whether you’re trying to get back on track with your eating or just be a healthy human in general. Water is crucial for everything from feeling full to transporting nutrients to the right places in your body. And not having enough water can result in cravings, overeating, constipation, brain fog, fatigue…the list goes on. I tell my clients in my one-on-one sessions and 21-day sugar detox classes to try to drink half their body weight in ounces, so if you weight 150 pounds, strive to drink 75 ounces of water a day. And if you drink coffee or caffeinated tea, take prescription meds or sweat a lot, drink even more.
The back on track recap…
If you’re ready to regain control of your eating habits and feel great again, congratulations! You won’t ever regret making your health and happiness a priority. To recap, here are my 6 healthy tips for getting back on track.
- Tip #1: Stop beating yourself up.
- Tip #2: Get real with your habits.
- Tip #3: Clear out your cabinets and fridge.
- Tip #4: Think about what makes you feel good.
- Tip #5: Get inspired (and prepared).
- Tip #6: Drink water.
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