If you’re just back from a summer break perhaps you’re feeling the effects of a “relaxed routine around food and drink”. It’s a great time to re focus – here are some tips to get you in the healthy and energetic zone.
- Drop the guilt – it doesn’t serve you, accept where you are and make a START.
- Setting your intention – for most people getting into a good mindset helps with getting on ‘back on track’. For example, I may go out for lunch and choose anything I like from the menu having already set an intention that I will choose to have a healthy dinner and not continue in a ‘treat’ mode for the rest of the day. Or, after a holiday, I set an intention to get ‘back on track’ as soon as I start my journey home, whereas I’ve noticed friends stocking up with specialist foods from their trip and eating their way through them, thus avoiding getting ‘back on track’.
- Nourish your body – eat good quality fresh produce, no processed foods or ready meals, organic if you can. Eating this way makes it easy for your body to do its job, as it has instant access to a wide range of nutrients and doesn’t need to allocate resources to elimination of toxins from processed foods.
- Meal routine – establish a plan for meal times (and snacks, if required). Eating at regular intervals, I suggest 4-5 hours apart, will support your blood sugar balance, helping to maintain energy levels, keep your mind clear, stop hunger pangs, and balance hormone levels.
- Portion sizes and plate balance – an easy guide is palm-sized portion of protein, half a plate of green vegetables and salad, plus a fist-sized portion of starchy vegetables or whole grains. I find that getting ‘back on track’, especially after a long period, is not the time to deprive yourself, so eat enough to satisfy you and keep cravings at bay. You may adjust portion sizes when you feel more in the zone with ‘being on track’.
- Hydration – consume 6-8 glasses of filtered water and herbal teas per day. Feeling hungry is often a sign that you are dehydrated. Try sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, or cucumber strips, or pomegranate seeds. Minimise or eliminate stimulants such as coffee, black tea, soft drinks and alcohol. If cutting these drinks out all at once feels too challenging, then make a choice to reduce the number you have over the period of a week or ten days.
- Keep a clean fridge and larder – avoid temptation. Only chill wine and beer when you have consciously chosen to drink it. Move the coffee away from the kettle and put it in the larder. Clean out your fridge, ditch or freeze the foods you wish to avoid. I also have a storage box in my larder for ingredients I only use occasionally, so that I’m not seeing them every time I open the door. Out of sight out of mind!
- Remind yourself about the 80:20 rule – it’s all about balance in every aspect of our lives, however it’s very easy to be in denial about the 80:20 rule when it comes to healthy eating and living. We sometimes have the tendency to start our weekends on Fridays, which is much more like 60:40. In my experience getting ‘back on track’ after a longer period like a holiday really requires a 90:10 approach.
- Get moving – add a little extra exercise in to your day. Every day try a 30-minute walk or 2 x 15 minutes at any time of the day. There’s nothing better than a nice walk appreciating the scenery, even in the city. Getting ‘back on track’ is the ideal time to re-establish any regular exercise, or to try something new. Plan it, get it in your diary and make a commitment to yourself.
- Make a START – don’t put it off, start at the next meal! It is such a relief to know you are on your way to being ‘back on track’.
Finally, don’t try to do it all at once, be gentle, be kind to yourself and enjoy a gentle routine.
If you’d like some extra help – sign up for my next Activate Your Health MOJO programme https://www.thehealthheroine.com/group/