You know those times when you have a large block of unstructured time, say like summer vacation, and you go all out, enjoy every minute but at the end you say to yourself, boy, am I glad to get back to normal? That’s me now. We traveled to meet up with my husband’s family in Japan, came back home, went to see my family on the East Coast, took a bunch of trips to the pool and to go kitesurfing, etc.
I LOVE traveling and trying local foods but I find it challenging to get healthy snacks particularly when you traveling with a large group of people. In addition, I find Asia particularly difficult to manage (one day I’ll write an entire post on healthful eating in Asia). It’s not that you can’t get healthy foods but often, I don’t know what those foods are or I cannot easily throw it into a backpack. A lot of other times, the meals are fried or structured around refined carbs.
It’s also hard when the group you are with are all eating ice cream, fries or some other yumminess, I don’t like to feel left out. Or my mom cooks up one of my childhood favorites that I just can’t resist… Now that we are back to our regularly scheduled routine, it’s time to get back to more disciplined eating as well.
Here are some strategies that I use when I’m trying to get back on track:
Keep a Food Journal
This is my “go to” when I feel like I’m getting off track. I don’t care about the calorie counting but more about recording the quality of foods that I’m eating and keeping myself accountable. It also helps me to make sure that I’m balancing protein, fat and carbs appropriately. I have been using MyFitnessPal for a few years and while I’ve tried other programs I just keep coming back to this one.
Clean Out the Cupboards
One way to ensure that you don’t eat junk food, is by not having it around. I only keep the items that I know won’t tempt me and replace others with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts. I have a really hard time throwing away food, so I just don’t replace junk food when it runs out. This way when I’m craving something I only have healthy options to choose from.
I try to exercise in the morning because my energy is highest and my excuses are at their lowest. When I worked outside the home, I would exercise at lunch or after work because I enjoyed the boost of energy I got and the way it relieves stress. I don’t think it matters when you exercise as long as you find a time that consistently works and if it helps to write it in your calendar, by all means do that.
I don’t go crazy but I do outline the meals that I plan to have each evening and each morning. I make sure to have the ingredients for each meal on hand and if I have time I try to make them ahead of time. Having a plan keeps me from ordering take-out because I don’t know what to cook.
Be Strict with Bedtime and Wake-up Time
This probably the hardest one for me to adjust to because, I do like to stay up and watch TV but I like having a few minutes in the morning to myself even more. When we are home, I use the iPhone Bedtime feature to remind myself to go to bed and I do try to stick to it. It gives sanity to my morning and allows me to be present with my children when they wake up.
How do you hit the reset button?