How To Stay On Track When….

By: Christine Forsythe RD, LD, BS Nutrition Sciences

Dallas, TX

Lifestyle changes are hard! Especially in the realm of diet and exercise. How many of you have started a new diet change or exercise program and failed? You end up in the same place three weeks later with no progress. 

Why is that?! 

LIFE! 

Work gets crazy busy, you lose motivation, money gets tight, you go on vacation, you end up dining out with friends and then get frustrated because you can’t get a hold of the lifestyle changes you desire to make. 

Well, the RSN team is here to help guide you. 

We have created a list of simple tips and tricks that you can use when the ups and downs of life inevitably come around. These will help you stay on track of creating those positive lifestyle choices you’ve always wanted to make! 

First off, let’s talk about work. You get off late, you rush home pick up the kids, take one to soccer practice, the other to football, pick them up, take them home, make dinner, spend family time, put the kids to bed, clean up, and you go to bed because you must get up at 6am for work. Talk about being busy…! Where is the time to make healthful life choices?! 

Here are our top tricks for staying on track when… you are short on time! 

Diet: 

  1. Prepare! 
    • If you know you are going to have an extremely busy day or week, plan what meals you are going to have on a day when you have a little extra time! 
      • A lot of our clients find it the easiest to do this on a weekend in the morning, before the tasks of life start to hit.
  2. Pick up convivence healthy foods 
        • If you are at the office and didn’t pack anything, look up healthy places around you to order a salad or a bowl. This is better than skipping your meal! 
          1. Just because you didn’t have time to prep your food ahead of time, doesn’t mean you have justification to go through the McDonald’s drive through!

Exercise: 

  1. Park further away to get in your steps 
    • It doesn’t seem like this will do much, but it’s the little choices over time that will compound into results! Don’t discount the small, seemingly insignificant choices because sometimes those are what make all the difference! 
  2. Ditch the elevator for the stairs 
  3. Make phone calls while walking around (or pace in your office if you can’t get outside) 
    • You can take your walk outside or to a nearby gym to walk on the treadmill. This is a double bonus! 

Stress: 

  1. Take 2-3 minute breaks to do breathe work 
    • 5 seconds in… HOLD (5 seconds)… release 5 seconds. Repeat this 3 times
    • This will help to calm your body down to get in a better state for your health                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. Write down all that you need to do 
      • It can be super overwhelming to have all these things floating around in your brain that you know you have to do. Writing it down gets it out of your head and in a physical place so you can come back to it, leaving more headspace to think about other things.

Okay, let’s say you’ve been on your journey for a couple months. You made it past the toughest weeks! But there is one problem. You are starting to lose that motivation you had at the beginning. You’re struggling to keep with it, but you know it is for the benefit of your health. What do you do?!

Here is what you can do! How to stay on track when… you lost motivation! 

Diet: 

  1. Set, and write down SMART goals
    • SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely 
    • Writing down your goals and seeing them on paper is the first step to taking ownership of your choices. Food is a challenging thing to change, which is why goal setting is so important when trying to stay on track! 
      • Example: if you struggle to eat vegetables but know it would help achieve your goals to eat more, a SMART goal for that would be “I will eat one serving of vegetables with each of my meals 4x this week.”
  2. Start small 
    • A big mistake people make when starting a dietary lifestyle change is they go all in for the first week. They have all this motivation and want to change everything, but what we suggest are small changes you know you will be able to stick to! Making small changes over time will help to keep you on track and compound into much greater and more sustainable results!
  3. Have an accountability partner
    • It is always easier to make healthful choices when someone is doing it with you (especially if they live with you!). Someone who can help cheer you when you are seeing wins, on or call you out when you’ve been slacking a bit.
  4. Track your progress 
    • This will look different for everyone whether that is journaling to see your mindset change over time, snapping photos, taking measurements, making videos, etc. it is always cool to see how you change over time! 

Exercise: 

    1. Schedule weekly time blocks each day to get your workout in
      • Dedicating a specific time each day to working out helps to keep consistent because your body will start to get into a routine! 

Alright, so you are on your workout journey and things are going amazing. You’ve made it past the toughest first few weeks. You are motivated and are seeing changes, but now money gets tight. You must cut expenses, so you think about ditching the healthy foods and gym membership.

HOLD UP! Stick with it! Here are our top tips and tricks to follow when… on a tight budget!

Diet: 

  1. Cook at home 
    • Cooking at home saves money & allows you to be the primary influencer of what is going into those foods. If you don’t enjoy cooking, we recommend making meals in bulk so that you have leftovers to eat throughout the week! 
  2. Use leftovers 
    • Don’t let these go to waste! A great way to use leftovers is to make a stir fry. It is amazing how you can bring the taste of food back to life by just throwing it in a saucepan!

       3. Plan the days you will make your grocery runs

    • Create a list of what you need to get BEFORE going to the grocery store helps you to avoid impulse buying. Tell yourself you only are allowed to get what is on the list. 
      1. Also, make sure you never go to the grocery store hungry!! You will make it home with foods not only out of your budget, but that don’t align with the goals you have set for yourself

       4. Shop for produce in season 

    • Produce in season is often cheaper! Try to find a local farmer’s market to support local businesses as well.

       5. Purchase frozen fruit and vegetables 

    • If you tend to find yourself throwing away food you didn’t use up in time, this is a simple trick to use! Buying frozen foods will last longer, and you won’t be throwing away food all the time. Don’t worry, frozen food is just as nutritious as fresh

Exercise: 

  1. Join a Planet Fitness or similar
    • some gyms even offer sign-up specials so ask around to see if there are any good deals
  2. See if there is a job you could do a few hours a week for a free gym membership 
    • Oftentimes a front desk worker will get a free gym membership. This is an easy way to make a little extra money while cutting the cost of a gym membership! 
  3. Create your own Zumba session (put on music and dance away!) 
  4. At home workouts

 

Now that you’ve stuck with your budget and lifestyle changes you decide it’s time to go on vacation! Did someone say BEACH TIME?! But then you ask yourself, ‘how am I going to stay on track while I am living it up at the beach?’ Below are a few tricks and tips to help you stay on track while… on vacation! 

Diet: 

  1. Pack meals for the airport
    • Airports are usually full of processed foods. Packing your own meals if you know it will be a long travel day will help you feel satisfied while saving money and expensive airport food! Your body will thank you. 
      1. Just make sure to take any food out of your bag when going through security and you will be good to go
  2. Look up possible restaurants to go to before arriving 
  3. Balance your “fun” foods
    • Example: if you are planning on eating dessert, try a salad for dinner 
  4. Eat at your normal meal times 
    • This will help keep your body as close to a schedule as possible. Our bodies thrive off of routine, so anything you can do to keep your normal routine will be helpful in the long run

Exercise: 

  1. See if there is a gym in the hotel or one nearby 
  2. Have a vacation workout buddy! 
    • Whoever you are vacationing with, hold each other accountable to take a short time to do a workout! Even if it is a 20 minute HIIT workout first thing in the morning, something is better than nothing and by moving your body first thing, you will be much more likely to make better food choices later in the day.
  3. Rent bikes to do sightseeing 
  4. Make time to walk instead of uber 

 

Now that you are on vacation, it’s time to get all cleaned up to go out to dinner. You want to stay on track, but you also know there will be a lot of tempting items on the menu. Follow these next few pointers to help you stay on track when… dining out! 

Dining out: 

  1. Look at the menu ahead of time & plan what you are going to get 
    • Planning before you are hungry helps you to make good choices and avoid temptations
  2. Ask for half of your meal in a to-go box 
  3. Limit or avoid liquid calories 
  4. Put your phone away to avoid distracted / mindless eating 
    • Putting distractions to the side and being present in the moment helps you to stay in tune with your body to know when you are full! Remember, leftovers are okay! 
  5. Start with a salad instead of bread 
  6. Drink your water! 

Be sure to use this information as a guide the next time you are short on time, losing motivation, on a tight budget, going on vacation or dining out! These simple tips and tricks will help you to stay on track towards feeling good and living your best life!

 

Working with one of our RSN Coaches can help customize a plan that is specific to your body, root cause(s) and goals. Ready to start your gut-healing journey and get into the best health and shape of your life? Book a free 30-minute call today to learn more.

Rachel Scheer

Rachel Scheer

Rachel Scheer is a Certified Nutritionist who received her degree from Baylor University in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. Rachel has her own private nutrition and counseling practice located in McKinney, Texas. Rachel has helped clients with a wide range of nutritional needs enhance their athletic performance, improve their physical and mental health, and make positive lifelong eating and exercise behavior changes.

Leave a Reply