My friends joke that since I’m a trainer I never eat bad food, always workout, and always say no to dessert… as if I was some kind of health robot.
Well, I’m human, and candy is sweet. Fries taste good. And now that I live in the South, there’s barbecue…
A lot of times, we go food shopping at the store conveniently located on the way home from the gym.
I make lots of bad decisions after the gym.
So that being said, here are three quick and kinda-easy strategies that help keep me on track.
1. Go food shopping when your in a healthy mind-set, not when you’re starving. Everything looks good when you’re starving.
2. While shopping, say “I don’t eat that.” Now, at first glance that sounds pretentious, but a psychological study proved that saying “I don’t” ingrains the discipline into nucleus better than saying, “I can’t eat that…sigh…”. You’re not depriving yourself of something, you’re just choosing the better option and setting yourself up for success.
3. Don’t bring it home. If it’s not in the house, you’re not going to graze on it. Period.
I know not every one is like me, but if something edible is sitting in front of me, I’m going to pick at it…until it’s gone. Or if it’s stashed in the cupboard, I know it’s there and it’s a matter of time before my willpower caves, I snap, and commence food product annihilation.
Therefore, in contrast to your new don’t-buy-it strategy, DO surround yourself with good food. You can do that with these three good-habit enforcing strategies:
1. Fill your fruit bowl, keep veggies in the fridge that are washed and ready to eat. Add some natural peanut butter to your apple or banana, or dip your veggies in hummus for a more satisfying snack.
2. Have a pre-workout snack. If you find that you are ravenous after your 5 pm workout it may be because you haven’t eaten since lunch. Have a snack about an hour before your workout. Try peanut butter and banana on whole wheat toast or apple wedges and almond butter or some overnight oats.
2. Have quick-fix snack ready and waiting. Keep your freezer stocked with frozen berries and bananas so that you can whip up a quick smoothie with a scoop of protein powder after your workout. Also, a Clif Bar is better to keep on hand than a Snickers bar. Or, a handful of raw nuts is a better triathlon nutrition choice than a handful of peanut M&M’s.
However, keep in mind that no one is perfect. A handful of M&Ms, a bowl of ice cream, a slice of cake or a few chips every now and then won’t kill you.
None of these ideas are breakthrough, and the point of this post really is quite basic:
Small strategies work in big ways to help you stay committed to your personal health as well as your triathlon training goals.
Take a step back, examine where you may be falling short (for me it’s shopping when I’m starving), and get creative to put a strategy in place that will help support your commitments.