When I started this blog back in February I challenged myself to write at least one blog per week. It seemed like a good attainable goal at the time and was easy to complete initially….fast forward into week 8?? of quarantine and I don’t know what is realistic right now. I don’t know what realistic will be moving forward as I continue to add more to my plate just like everyone else. I am trying not to put any guilt on myself for not meeting my goals but I still think about it often and should probably set another goal-maybe once a month? I guess we’ll see.
Thinking about this recently and wanting to discus a relevant and relatable nutrition topic, I want to talk a bit about building routines with and without structure. Similar to setting goals for writing blogs and social media posting, giving yourself adaptability in eating habits is important. Having flexibility in a routine is exactly what intuitive eating is and the process of listening to your body.
Some ways to think about being more flexible (and ultimately more happy) related to food:
Restrictive behavior 1. I only eat at certain times of the day. This can lead to eating when you aren’t hungry and also not eating when you are hungry. To be more flexible consider having usual times during the day that you eat and having meals and snacks planned in the event you are hungry then or earlier/later. This will help you listen to your body and make healthy choices to make you feel your best.
Restrictive behavior 2. Labeling foods as good or bad and skipping special occasions. This can often lead to a restriction and obsession type cycle when foods or special occasion foods are set off limits. Once you finally break down you are more likely to eat a larger portion. Or if you never allow yourself a special occasion food you may become obsessed with it. Try giving yourself permission to eat the foods you like and enjoy them and then move on with your day feeling no guilt for what your body craves.
Restrictive behavior 3. Obsessing about your macros or tracking all of your calories. The more restrictive you are, the more your body will fight back. Feeling guilt or shame when you are not on your usual track can be harmful to your health and your training. Try giving yourself grace if your numbers don’t line up perfectly, because your overall nutrition should be powering your goals. This takes time, practice and patience.
Restrictive behavior 4. Only eating “healthified” versions of your favorite foods. I find myself in this pattern once in awhile. I can identify it now but it looks something like this. I am hungry for a cookie. I make cookies, modifying a bit here and there…I don’t really enjoy the cookie as I had hoped and still crave a cookie and the pattern continues. If the first thing I did was to either make a regular batch of cookies or buy a delicious treat I would save myself so much time (and ingredients!) in the long run.
Restriction may seem easier for some because it takes some of the thinking out of nutrition. But it usually backfires because we cannot plan for every situation life sends us, hello pandemic! Food shortages, reduced grocery shopping, lost income are just some of the changes recently most of us did not see coming. If you are having trouble figuring out what your new “normal” should look like or how to move forward from your current eating habits please reach out. I love walking through someones day and analyzing, planning and creating with them and their lifestyle. Its like a second set of eyes on your nutrition habits and behaviors you might not realize yourself. Stay well friends!