It may sound corny, but the cliche “you are what you eat” is true. You will likely be more successful in becoming fit and healthy if you eat good food. But what does “good food” really mean?
If your body could talk, it may tell you it craves nutrients to keep it energized, promote brain and mental health, build a strong immune system, maintain digestive health, and much more.
Unfortunately, in our fast-food, hectic world, it is easy to make poor food choices that do not fuel our bodies. Temptation is everywhere.
So it is no wonder that we all have those days (weeks, months) when we stray from eating the foods that benefit our health.
If you have drifted away, it’s time to get your diet back on track.
You Have a Lot of Company
It is not uncommon to have fallen off the healthy eating wagon and added those unwanted pounds at times. Data reveals that almost 50 percent of U.S. adults are right by your side, trying to lose weight.
So if you’ve noticed your clothes feel a little tighter and your plate is filled with high-fat and high-sugar foods, it’s time to act before it becomes a health issue.
How to Restart After a Setback
Use these ten tips to get back on track when you’re ready to restart your healthy eating routine.
1 Healthy Eating and Snacking
It’s easy to eat when you’re not hungry. We have all eaten out of habit or because we are bored.
Keeping a food log will create awareness of your eating trends and help you achieve long-term weight-loss goals. You may discover that your eating trends include a monster sandwich for lunch with chips or a high-calorie afternoon latte?
Your food log should include tracking your snacks like that after-dinner ice cream bowl while watching television. If you can swamp that bag of cookies for fruit or protein, you will likely be cutting out calories and enhancing your mood, too.
2 Hydrate Often
Staying hydrated is a crucial thing you can do to support your overall wellness. Here’s why:
- Drinking a good amount of water should help you lose weight by increasing satiety (feeling full) and boosting your metabolic rate (burning calories)
- People who tend to drink water before a meal eat less and lose more weight
- Proper hydration supports a healthy intestinal system because water helps break down the food you eat, allowing the nutrients to be filtered appropriately or absorbed by your body
- Drinking adequate amounts of water boosts your performance during exercise, especially if you work out for longer than 30 minutes
3 Plan Ahead
You’ll be able to stay consistent with healthy eating if you can avoid having to make food decisions before every meal. It may not be easy, but find some time each weekend to draw up a seven-day food plan for the coming week. But if you can only plan one day in advance, that’s a great way to get started.
4 Smart Shopping
You should shop from a list and do your best not to purchase additional items. Don’t add anything else to your cart. Saying “no” once in the grocery store means you don’t have to say “no” 100 times in your house to a bad food choice.
You’ve probably also been told to shop on a full stomach. You’ll be better equipped to avoid temptation if you’re not hungry on your trips to the grocery store. There is a reason the candy is put in the check-out line. The store is counting on you being tempted to make unplanned purchases, especially on these foods with little nutritional value.
5 Tracking Macros
Macronutrients are those you require daily for your body to function properly. Macronutrients are divided into three categories:
- Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source and allow the body to convert food into energy. Aim for 45–65 percent of your daily intake from carbohydrates (900–1,300 calories), primarily from fruits and vegetables
- Proteins keep our body’s cells, tissues, and organs functioning properly. Target 10–30 percent as protein (200–600 calories) from fish, poultry, beans, legumes, and tofu
- Fats act as an energy source, help with proper cell function, and protect our vital organs. But avoid the unhealthy saturated and trans fats since they have been linked to health issues. Add 25–35 percent of your food intake as healthy fats (500–700 calories) from avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds
Counting macros can help you:
- Lose stubborn fat
- Maintain lean muscle mass
- Keep you feeling full, especially between meals
- Achieve and maintain a moderate body weight
- Accomplish fitness goals
6 Balanced, Not Drastic Dieting
As you can see, a balanced diet consists of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, healthy fats, as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Without balanced nutrition, your body will likely be more prone to health issues, fatigue, and low performance. In fact, published data shows that 4 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are significantly linked to a poor diet.
Some people, however, choose to take drastic steps for weight loss. One of the most common is a liquid diet. Liquid diets for weight loss are typically limited to fruit or vegetable juices or shakes to replace some (or all) of your meals.
Although a liquid weight loss diet can cut calories, you should not stay on them for long. Missing essential nutrients can lead to serious side effects such as dizziness, cardiovascular issues, hair loss, etc. That’s why medical experts encourage a healthy, balanced diet. Always talk to your healthcare professional first if you are considering a liquid diet for weight loss.
7 Mindful Eating Matters
Simply put, mindful eating is being fully present and aware while eating.
Too often, we seek to eat for reasons other than being physically hungry. The urge to eat can be influenced by emotions or smells (like that amazing barbeque aroma from the neighbor’s yard).
Mindful eating also includes the way we eat. For example, multitasking while you eat can negatively impact your weight loss.
Whether scrolling through social media, watching TV, or texting, distractions can make recognizing when you’re full a challenge.
Interestingly, people who are more mindful about eating eat less overall and tend to have a clearer sense of how much they’ve eaten than people who eat while distracted. Plus, they tend to weigh less than those who eat quickly.
Mindful eating will allow you to eat until you are satisfied instead of just eating everything in front of you. So, put down that cell phone and turn off the television to help get your diet back on track.
8 Sleep Matters
Sleep can directly impact your eating pattern. When we don’t get enough rest, we are more prone to hunger, and the risk of obesity increases.
A published study showed, “A sleepless night makes us more likely to reach for doughnuts or pizza than for whole grains and leafy green vegetables.” People who sleep less than the recommended number of hours make poor food choices.
9 Stressed Out
Stress affects everyone’s body differently, but increased stressors contribute to elevated cortisol levels for almost everyone.
Research confirms that high cortisol hormone levels can slow weight loss and increase hunger and cravings. Even if what you are doing is optimized, the stress in your body could cause you to hold onto unwanted pounds.
Take steps to reduce stress’s impact on your life (think meditation, deep breathing, and exercise). Recognizing and handling the stress in your life will help you with your weight and just about every other area of your life.
10 Move Often!
To get back to your healthy routine, you need to move your body and burn some calories.
Find an activity you enjoy. Exercising with others can be incredibly motivating. Group classes and a healthy food plan can be the perfect combination to support your health.
Choosing the Best Group Fitness
At Fit Body Book camp, our supportive and motivating small group workout classes will inspire you. You’ll get loads of positive support from your others in the classes that will keep you coming back.
We provide 30-minute classes that deliver results. Our signature “Afterburn Effect” keeps the body burning extra calories for up to 36 hours after each workout. A certified coach leads every Fit Body Boot Camp session to keep you injury-free.
We also add nutritional guidance to your workout program to keep your diet on track.
A Final Thought
Food affects us in so many different ways. As you get back into the swing of things, remember that you’ll be less than perfect, and that is okay!
We encourage you to use these ideas to get your diet back on track. Join us today at Fit Body Boot Camp and begin your journey to optimum health.