I’m pretty sure that you have either heard it, said it, or thought it. Monday, I’ll start on Monday. It gives us an out and tells us “it’s OK” if I eat this or drink this, because once Monday comes, I will be stronger and I will be “good” and “I’ll start my diet”.
I can bet that 9 times out of 10, there are a couple good days after Monday but within two weeks, you’ll have another Monday, I’ll start on Monday.
We have ALL been there. This roller coaster of emotions most likely leaves us lacking progress and feeling like a failure. So what’s the alternative?
Well, it’s first of all not actually “a diet” – I don’t use that word. That implies short-term drastic changes where we are setting all sorts of restrictions and putting our bodies into unsustainable situations. Second, it’s not as alluring of a solution as you would like to hear.. It’s not a product. It’s not extreme…
Small. Simple changes. Consistently.
Do we have to immediately take our eating from where it is at to some textbook-version of a healthy diet? No. And we probably shouldn’t either. (When you started back squatting you didn’t immediately start stacking the 45 lb plates on each end.) Even your nutrition needs some type of progression.
So what DO you do? Well, first look at where you are at. What are you doing right now that in the back of your mind is holding you back? For me it would be when I mindlessly snack on chips or snacks at a BBQ or give in one too many times to my craving for chocolate chips. It’s going to be different for everyone.
After you identify some of your problem areas, take small steps that you know you can do when you run into the same situation time and time again. A consistent and simple solution.
• Run out of time in the morning, getting kids ready?: Cook egg muffins on the weekend to keep in the fridge, pack breakfast to go, make overnight oats, make a protein and fruit smoothie on the go.
• Eat out or at work daily?: Try to bring food from home when you can, sub out starch options for vegetables, follow the plate-method, choose a restaurant where you know they will have healthier options.
• Under-Hydrating?: Splurge on a cool water bottle, drink one full bottle between coffees, and drink one bottle between meals.
• Eat too fast?: Check the time before you start and aim for 15-20 minutes of eating slowly. Take a drink between bites or set down the fork. Pace off the slowest eater. Enjoy the food.
• Mindless calories/macros?: Food track for 1-2 weeks using MyFitnessPal to recognize what foods and amounts are holding you back. Try to find alternatives or a serving size that works better for you.
Progress, not perfection. Make the small and simple changes, consistently, and you will start to see some positive results.
It doesn’t have to be strict, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. And most importantly, it doesn’t have to start Monday.