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5 Points To Get Your Nutrition On Track

We are less than 3 months away from summer.  So, now is the time to get your nutrition in line.  

Most of us let our diets slip around the holidays due to the abundance of sweet treats, meaty meats, and some wine you just can't beat.  Combined with the way this winter was treating us, you may have eaten like a bear in the hopes you could stuff your face, then hibernate till June.  Unfortunately, you're a human.  So instead, try these simple tweaks to help get you back on track.   

WRITE IT DOWN
Yes, it's 2014 and personal trainers are STILL insisting on you keeping a food log of everything that you eat.  The reason is simple: it's always worked, and it always will.  Keeping a record of every thing you consume is a great tool to hold you accountable to eating healthy; even if another person never sees it.  Simply said: You Bite It?  You Write It!  If you don't feel like carrying around a notebook everywhere you go, there are plenty of online food journals you can utilize as well as apps you can download for your cell phone or tablet.

DON'T DO TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
Making a nutrition goal of "I'm not going to eat any bread" or "no more fried food" or "no more takeout" can be a great thing.  If you can stick with it, more power to you.  But for many people, it can be overwhelming.  This is very common for people with an "all or nothing" mentality.  Try to find a happy medium so you can take a first step, instead of a giant leap that you may not be ready for.  Instead of cutting out all bread or gluten completely, allow yourself a couple of servings per week so that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't seem that far away. 

ADDITION, NOT SUBTRACTION
This goes along with my last point.  Rather than cutting things out of your diet, you should focus on putting new things in.  Pick two to three food items that you know are healthy for you, but don't normally eat, and add them to your current diet.  You don't need to eat them every day, but stick with it for a week.  Maybe add some kale to your current salad.  When you buy apples and oranges, pick up some raspberries, too.  How bout give almond butter a try?  The following week, add 1-2 more, and so on.   

BALANCE OUT CAFFEINE AND WATER
Some of us just can't function without a little caffeine to get us going in our respective days.  A good way for a personal trainer to get their hand bit off, is to mess with their client's morning coffee.  In an effort to save my fingers, if you have coffee or any beverage that contains significant caffeine, add an extra serving of water.  Caffeine is a diuretic, so you need water to balance out. 

LIFE WILL HAPPEN DESPITE YOUR GOALS
There will always be holidays with a table full of food. There will always be kid's birthday party with cake and ice cream.  There will always be celebrations to be held at the local bar.  There will always be events with an abundance of comfort foods that will deter you from your health and fitness goals.  The point is you can always find an excuse to pig out.  If your goals are important to you, you will find a reason not to.  Eat something healthy with a glass of water BEFORE you go.  That way, you can indulge, but not overindulge.  It's OK to to have a "Cheat Meal" as long as it doesn't turn into a "Cheat Day", "Cheat Weekend", or "Cheat Week".  

Frank Francis is a personal trainer and small group fitness instructor at Fitness Together North Andover located at 73 Main Street North Andover.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fitness-Together-North-Andover/238726724770
Twitter: @FT_NorthAndover
#978.659.0047

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