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12 Days of Fitness 2015: Day 10 – Better Nutrition Starts With a Better Plan

December 18, 2015 0 Comments

(This is Part 10 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful blurbs and tips to keep your fitness in focus over the holiday season)

download (3)One of my all-time favorite sayings is “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. Whether you’re speaking of fitness or finances or nutrition you couldn’t be more correct. People will go out of their way to seek some new magical diet plan or potion when all they really need to do is give their nutrition the focus and attention it deserves. Cooking your own meals is vital to controlling your diet, not putting yourself at the mercy of restaurants or pre-packaged meals. Deciding you want a more healthful diet basically means you begin worrying less about what to cut out and more about what you need to put in your diet. Here are some simple strategies to start taking control of your own diet where you’ve had the power all along:

  1. Write It Down. Planning your weekly menu in advance may seem obvious, but writing it out and posting it somewhere visible will keep you honest and on track. This simple tip turns food shopping into a fast-and-easy errand, because the menu lets you create a shopping list with everything you will need for the week. It will also keep you from making poor last-minute decisions. The bonus? You will save money since you won’t buy ingredients you don’t need.
  1. Add Muscle to Your Cooking Skills. You don’t have to be a professionally trained chef to make good, wholesome meals that taste great! Home-cooked meals don’t have to be complicated, and they definitely don’t have to take up a lot of time. Cooking is a skill so take some time to learn a basic skill or two (lots of good shows on Food TV, PBS, etc.) and don’t strive for perfection – just to be better. Just like training muscles, the exercises will get a little easier over time.
  1. Start With a Base for the Week. Preparing a different meal for each day of the week can be daunting. An easy technique to help you get through the week is to pick a recipe or item you can use a few times during the week. An example could be a roasted chicken. Make a dinner out of it one night with healthy sides then use the rest of it throughout the week for smaller meals, with salads, etc.
  1. Use Your Freezer Better. Frozen foods are convenient but they are also laden with processed and subpar ingredients. Create your own frozen meals by cooking large batches of freezer-friendly dishes and freezing them in single-serving containers. Homemade frozen foods are as good for you as homemade fresh foods, because few nutrients are lost in the freezing process.
  1. Make It Sounds ridiculous but it’s not when you consider the statistics that show a parallel growth between the nation’s increasing waistline and the decrease of the family sit-down dinner. Setting the table, designating a dinner time (free of electronics), forces you to pay attention to what you are eating rather than the mindless shoveling dinner sometimes becomes. If you eat alone, find someone to share the meal time with if not for anything to support you to keep on track with your goals.

See you tomorrow for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Fitness.

 

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

Day 1 – Chew Your Food
Day 2 – Fitness for the Road
Day 3 – The Many Names of Sugar
Day 4 – Side Stitches: Causes and Treatments
Day 5 – The 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Feel Hungry When Trying to Lose Weight
Day 6 – 10 Rules of Fitness
Day 7 – Which Are You – A Chronic Dieter or A Healthy Eater?
Day 8 – What Happens When You Skip Your Workout
Day 9 – The Truth About Lactic Acid

 

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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