I was having a chat with a client participating in my 30 day challenge last week about her eating habits. When I asked her how she felt about her diet she said to me, “I have been exercising really well for some time now, but here I am, I have become one of those fit fat people.”
I knew exactly what she meant…
The “fit fat” trap is where you exercise with the purpose and practice of shedding unwanted body fat, you’re in the gym like a good “fitness devotee” working out like a champion… but when you get home, you make the monster meal fit for a king, eating too much and making poor food choices.
Increasing fitness levels at the gym – Tick. Decreasing waist line and body fat – Cross.
Even I know this feeling, it is defeating and frustrating. Of course, being in my industry I am educated enough to know why the scales, and more importantly – my measurements don’t change when I take this approach. Despite my best exercise efforts, cycling like a mad woman in my spin class, increasing my kettlebell weights and upping the exercise anti over all, to find what is really letting me down is what’s going on in my kitchen!
Eating too much of the wrong things, at the wrong times, in the wrong quantities despite our best exercise efforts can be a very disheartening trap we need to be aware of.
The good news? It can be changed in the blink of an eye!! Here are some no fuss, simple, actionable steps to slip out of any unsupportive kitchen habits, so you can get in the slip stream to meeting your health & fitness goals. Sky high!
Portion Out Your Snacks.
Nuts, Protein Balls, Banana Bread, Trail Mix, Frittata, Celery & Nut Butter Goodness… Portion it out and zip lock it for later. If you have just the right sized snack handy when you feel a hunger pang coming on, you are sorted to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders without running the risk of going overboard. I myself have been caught ravenously hungry, to find a packet of nuts stashed in my car just in time for me to “praise the lord” scoff the whole packet down in one mouthful! Though nuts are a great snack to have on hand and offer a lot of great health benefits, they are also incredibly calorie dense and are a sure way to drastically increase your calorie intake, tipping the scales against your best efforts if you go overboard on them.
Use Petite White Goods
Sometimes we need to downsize our crockery from the monster size to the more moderate version. This is a very effective and simple way to immediately take your portions down a notch (no second helpings). The rewards from step this will be immediate. You will feel lighter, you may find you sleep better and your digestion will thank you for having a little extra breathing space – literally.
Kill Two Birds With One Stone.
Next time you plan a meal – double your recipe, portion out the extra and freeze for when you are in dire need of a healthy nutritious meal, but don’t have the time or couldn’t be bothered to cook (put down that bag of corn chips!) this will also allow you to use additional left overs the next day for lunch.
Pre Pack It Up.
Once you have dished up your delicious meal, before sitting down to eat, put any left overs in containers for lunch the next day or in the freezer – No picking, No seconds. Remember you can have a healthy snack later if you become hungry again.
Crowd Out – Sarah Wilson Style.
As the marvelous creator of the I Quit Sugar program, Sarah Wilson says “crowd out!” Meaning, eat more of the good stuff so you have no room left for the bad stuff. Cook more veggies! Make extra salad mix! Eat more of the nutritious goodies so there is no room or need for the bad food, aka dessert!
Peaceful Eating Environment.
Take note of the environment you surround yourself with when you eat. Below is a list of unsupportive environments I would best skip to ensure all of your attention is where it should be when you are eating – on your meal! This will make you more aware of when you begin to feel full and will minimise any external stress triggers (that may make you overeat) while you refuel.
Standing // In the fridge // At the office desk // In the car // Having a heated discussion // Lying Down // In front on the television // When you are – Bored – Nervous – Anxious – Sad // In front of the computer // Drunk!
Find yourself a quiet place with surroundings that feel relaxing to you. This may mean…
Removing yourself from your work desk or office // Finding a shady spot under a tree in the park // A new favourite cafe // Somewhere with a nice view // Refreshing breeze // Where you can sit and have your meal in a positive and peaceful environment.
Do you have any tricks you use in the kitchen to support your best efforts in the gym?