We all know that small things done consistently make the biggest difference. This is true in life and inside the gym walls. Not many people can walk into anything and be an instant rock star. It takes dedication, it takes…consistency. Some people hear this word and they cringe. It feels forced. It feels like they “have” to do something. We’re looking at the big picture of our fitness lifestyle and consistency is our guide, but not the end all be all.
Consistency is looking at those goals every day and wanting to achieve them. Consistency is only having one week left of a nutrition challenge and finishing it all the way through. Can you set goals and see them through with small, steady, consistent steps? Or do you get “close enough” and wonder why you’re not seeing results?
Consistency is not a small scale thing. The reality is someday you’re going to have every intention of making it to the gym, or packing your lunch, and you won’t. Your kids may get sick, you may get sick, traffic will be awful, the tupperware is all in the dishwasher or you’ll show up to the gym and your shorts will still be at home. These things happen. They don’t make you a horrible person, a slacker, or any of the likes. When these things happen, you take an unplanned rest day, find the healthiest thing you can to eat, and regroup. Then get ready to jump right back in and hit it hard the next day. That’s consistency! It’s about getting back to your routine after life happens. It’s about seeing that goal sitting out there and finding a way to achieve it.
As we get deeper into the nutrition challenge, planning becomes even more important to be successful. There are a lot of outside factors working against us on our quest to be healthy, not just for these 30 days but on an ongoing basis. Here are a few things you can do to up your planning and nutrition game this winter.
Plan your menu one week out, and create a shopping list
Taking the time to sit down and pencil out what you plan to eat all week (breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks) is absolutely critical in keeping your house stocked with the right food. As easy as it might be to say I’m going to make chicken and sweet potatoes this week for all the meals, by the time you get 2 days in it’s going to be hard to talk yourself into day 3 of the same old same for every single meal. You are also likely leaving something on the table nutrition wise if you lack variety. Maybe you have the same lunch plan, but a try to vary dinners to keep it exciting and get lots of nutrients. Eitherway set a plan that looks appetizing to you, and create your list. You can most certainly make big portions of certain foods (think chili and pasta sauce) and freeze them for a week or 2 down the road to keep up the variety without increasing prep time.
Pick a time for your weekly grocery store trips & STICK TO THE LIST
If you’ve done your menu planning and list creating, this should be a fairly quick painless experience. If you can avoid showing up to the store while hungry I would recommend it. We’ve all attempted to stick to a list while hangry in a grocery store that’s crowded….that usually ends with half a bag of goldfish gone before you get through the checkout line…or is that just me? Eitherway, pick a time (preferably shortly after a meal) to shop, and stick to your list!
Meal Prep Days – Pick them and stick to them
If you are a 9-5er than Sundays work great for this! I tend to plan my list Friday evenings, shop Saturdays, and then spend my Sunday afternoon meal prepping so I am ready to go for the week. Find a way to portion those meals out for the week as you go as well. Ideally when you are done with your meal prep you have lots of meals already portioned out in Tupperware you can quickly grab on your way out the door to get you through the week. This is very important for lunch and snacks, and if you have the Tupperware to put the right portions for all the meals I would encourage you to do so for breakfast & dinner as well.
While eating at home is the easiest way to know you are eating a completely clean/paleo meal we understand that isn’t always realistic. If you know you will be going out to eat in the coming week, plan accordingly. Just about every restaurant nowadays has an online menu. Look at that menu, and have a game plan of what you plan to order before you get there. If you have a say in where you go, throw out an option you know has some paleo or healthy options. If not aim for the meats that are grilled vs fried, fresh foods/veggies vs mashed potatoes or foods that could hide lots of the fake (albeit tasty) stuff. You may have to ask for no cheese or dressing on the side, but most places will accept those requests.
Basically if you wanna win that prize money, you gotta be a woman (or man) with a plan, and keep crushin it in the kitchen!
So you’ve done, you’ve either jumped right in and joined our Paleo challenge or you are making an effort to clean things up without fully diving in. Either way there have been some life changes and you’re feeling pretty good about it. We want to help you be as successful as possible and work through some of the pit falls before they affect your overall results.
Make Sure you are Eating Enough
One of the biggest reasons people don’t see results when they start eating in a healthy way is because they are no longer eating enough. It’s really easy to come up with 1000 calories when you’re grabbing a big mac, fries and a 32 oz soda. It’s a whole different ball game to get those calories from eggs, kale and broccoli. One of the easiest ways we have found to overcome this is load up at breakfast.
Breakfast should be bigger than you are used to for sure, and how you ask do you do this and get out the door to work, plan ahead. Make some egg cups in a muffin tin for grab and go, when you make dinner make extra for in the morning, blend up a smoothie with avocado for extra calories and good fats. If you have time to makes some eggs, make as many as you can fit in one hand with some good quality bacon. Also stop thinking breakfast has to be just eggs and oatmeal. The above picture is one of my favorites, it takes time to get use to but you can eat anything at breakfast…anything!
DO NOT skip meals!
Again I repeat DO NOT SKIP MEALS! After about the first 10 days this will be
borderline impossible as your body will be letting you know you’re starving (hanger is real). Eat until you feel full. This will vary over time as well but eat enough that you feel satisfied, not stuffed. Each plate should have about ½ the plate in protein, just under half in green yummy veggies and the rest is reserved for good fats like oils, avocados, nuts and or seeds.
Vary Meals as Much as Possible
Lastly vary your meals as much as possible. I for one love meat in a bowl with some veggies but I can’t eat that every day. Try some of the meals we have posted, ask other people in the challenge their favorite so far or grab a new paleo cookbook and try things you’ve never had. This is a time to try some new things. Some may work, some may not but keep trying and don’t give up! The long term health benefits will be well worth it!