It has been a long, long time since I’ve written, but let me explain.
I had lost some general oomph and didn’t want to just blog to blog. I want to give you content that you can hopeful relate to. With that, I set out to educate myself. And I commited to not blogging again until it was complete. Therefore, I happily greet you all today as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Coach. It was A LOT of amazing information that I’m looking forward to sharing with you.
Without further ado, let me get to today’s topic. Food decisions. Oh man, do I sometimes sway in the direction of “poor choices”. I let my mood or level of hunger justify a less than adequate decision. It’s okay, this happens. I’m simply working on eliminating the frequency of these poor decisions.
Let’s take an example and then discuss some decision making techniques.
Yesterday I was on day 4 of a whirlwind travel week. I arrived at a client in the morning, assuming I would be done there by Noon. My Quest bar supply was gone — all I had was a pack of gum in my bag and a bottle of water, kindly supplied by the Hampton Inn that morning.
Well, I wasn’t done by Noon. And I wasn’t done by 1:00. I was done at 5:00. It was a situation where a lunch break was near impossible and I was on the ultimate fast at this point. I hadn’t eaten one calorie since 8:00 the night before, which was going on 21 hours without food. Oy vey!
When I left work, I was in Philadelphia with a good 3 hour drive ahead of me, starving and disgruntled. Most times when this conglomerate of circumstances hits me (hunger, annoyance, traffic, pity party)…I think the alleged reward for my mood problems should be eating non-nutritious food. Typically this means purchasing some sort of chocolate treat and ordering a meal deal at a drive thru — salty french fries and I have a certain love affair.
Look, most of us have some comfort foods here and there, and that’s alright. We’re human. But I travel for work alot, so should I justify poor food choices weekly? Probably not.
Yesterday my turnpike food options were as such: Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Hershey’s Ice Cream Creamery, Nathans Hot Dogs, Burger King or Sbarro.
I walked around and around thinking, “Are you joking me? This is what I have to choose from?” Eventually, I went up to Sbarro for a third time and ordered. I wanted the pizza and I wanted it bad. I was on a fast, this was deserved, right?!
Knowing that I didn’t earn any starchy carbs that day (I sat ALL DAY), I decided on something else. I ordered salmon, mixed veggies and a side of cucumber-tomato salad.
1. Always keep nutritional content at the forefront. Does what you are going to eat have protein, healthy fats, fruit or vegetables involved? This goes for snacks and meals.
2. How will you emotionally feel after eating what you decided on? It may help with your immediate, impulsive need but if you struggle with food remorse or food-guilt, don’t do that to yourself. Make a solid decision 80% of the time — allow that 20% for the impluse (ice cream, cheese sticks, french fries, etc).
3. Consider the number of servings with snack foods. Sure, a raw trail mix with a few chocolate chips and dried fruit isn’t so bad. But if you eat more than a handful, you are likely eating multiple servings. That can add up. Don’t purchase something with more than 2-3 servings in the bag. 1 serving is most ideal.
4. Compromise. Often I want a “sweet treat” to go with my meals. Last night I grabbed a container of strawberries and got a coffee for the road. Wasn’t exactly the dark chocolate bar I typically want, but it worked.
5. Take your food decisions one moment at a time. Don’t think that because you ate chocolate chip pancakes smothered in syrup for breakfast that your whole nutrition plan for the day is blown. You can make a new decision during the next meal.
Lastly, although I will write about nutrition and food a lot, I strongly feel that restriction with food and following too many rules is not natural and can lead to a lot of unnecesarry stress. Do your best, correct poor decisions with better ones moving forward. As I stated above, you have several times per each day to make a new food decision, so take them one at a time.
Have a Great Weekend!