The mindset preventing your leanest life
Is weight loss your goal ? Are you stuck in the habit of indulging in the ‘cheat day’? Maybe even the well known cheat weekend? What about daily treats at the office or when the work day is over?
You are not alone, as the average person who comes to see me has weekly treats plus cheat days on the weekends before we learn fun and easy ways to enjoy eating healthy more consistently!
There is a difference between cheat day and treat meal so let us chat more about this to get clear. Enjoying one donut here and there, one piece of pizza along a day of healthy eating every now and again will not throw you off your goals. Having a whole day of sugary treats, pastries and processed foods and a mindset that one unhealthy food intake leads to a day of unhealthy eating is where there is a misunderstanding. If there are daily habits of treating oneself like the food diary described below it will likely lead to cases for hormonal imbalances, weight struggles, gastrointestinal discomfort, diabetes, hypertension etc.
As a nutritionist and someone who used to have many too regular indulgences and a wicked sweet tooth. It has taken me years of practice, many failed attempts at building strong habits, overcoming of binge eating and food addictions.I am sure many other health professionals and people who have chosen to follow a healthy lifestyle change have experienced challenges to balance out the rollercoaster of breaking unhealthy habits and following intuitive eating consistently. To this day if I want a piece of pizza, fried chicken, french fries, dessert I will eat it but that is the case once a month if that and it will be one meal among my day of vegetables and I feel happy about that. That is what I want for you.
I understand the matrix of these addictive habits so I ask my clients to start with outlining a food diary when we start working together. This exercise helps us to understand where we start and demonstrates a clear picture of progress by the time we have finished. It helps us to understand how this way of eating leads to weight gain instead of weight loss, and how having treats every day is not aligned with your goal of weight loss. We will further explore some top tips of embracing a healthy mindset when it comes to your relationship with food and outlining the fine line between enjoying a treat moderately and consuming a diet linked to an unhealthy lifestyle. Let us have a look at this food diary of clients who come to see me who struggle to lose the weight.
Breakfast: Pita bread pizza & chai tea with creamer
Snack : 1.5 medium beef pies & chai tea mix with creamer
Lunch : Carrot rice, broccoli pie (cream of mushroom soup, breadcrumbs, cheese, broccoli), sweet potato & 1 glass pineapple juice.
Dinner: Baked chicken (shake n bake), carrot rice, broccoli pie, carrot rice.
Snack: Ovaltine 3 tsp and 3 tsp creamer
Nutritionist Note: The good parts in this day include broccoli and carrots. What is holding this person back from weight loss? The daily pastries, high calorie dairy in most meals, high calorie processed foods as sauces and excess sugar in beverages. This client has improved their day remarkably over 6 weeks and is now consuming much less dairy, less pastry and a smoothie for breakfast. They are enjoying fitting into jeans that they haven’t touched in years.
Breakfast: Coffee and creamer & Jamaican chicken patty
Lunch: carrot rice, pigeon peas, chicken breast, tomato and cucumber
Snack : Gluten free walnut muffin & Lipton tea and creamer & Chocolate chip granola bar
Dinner: Kraft mac and cheese, shepherds pie & fruit punch juice box
Nutritionist notes: It is great seeing pigeon peas, chicken, salad in the diary. The day is however packed with high sugar, high fat, total high caloric energetic intake inclusive of processed foods with low nutritional value. The ingredients in terms of sauces are packed high calories. There is room for more whole foods, fruit, vegetables and less sugar.
This client has swapped out creamers for dairy free milk without sugar and matcha lattes, reduced sugars from daily treats and juices and is eating salads more regularly with soups during the week. This client is enjoying their weight loss and noticing that there are healthy quick recipes that taste great.
A healthy mindset is related with wanting to eat mostly fruit and vegetables daily alongside other whole foods (grows from the earth, swims, flys, run in it’s natural state) and happily having a treat or indulgence once in a while or a very special occasion.
Remember to plan for success, focus on one thing at a time and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps to solidify healthy thought communications. A thought process that thinks okay well had a doubles or bake for breakfast bring on the day of junk food binges is something to look into improving. A great start towards this improvement would be mindful eating using a food journal. These mindsets are very strongly linked to the reasons that you are not achieving your weight loss and body fat percent goals. There has to be a practice of balance in consuming a diet of at least 80 percent healthy foods and recommended portions for you to see the results you crave. Starting with cleaning up your weeks and choosing one treat meal that is well portioned to enjoy with a group of friends or family per week is a recommended place to start. I encourage you to find friends who love smoothies, working out and enjoying a healthy balance and to open up the perspective that you can have it all, but not all at once.
This Thursday stay posted for detailed tips on how to break out of the mindset holding you back from your leanest life.
Rock on with your healthiest and leanest self. Start today!