We all work SO HARD for results that we are proud of,
so it's important that we don’t risk furthering our progress with the day-to-day foods that we eat. Easier said than done, I know, but trust me with this one.
We all have our thing we like to indulge in - whether it’s sweet treats, salty snacks after dinner, or comfort food during a stressful time (chocolate, anyone?!). Unfortunately, all of these foods will delay your goals if you don’t eat them in moderation. Like I always say, your best body comes down to 80% nutrition and 20% fitness.
A life of restricting what you eat and drink is not healthy. You CAN still eat all your favorite foods, just not every day. Making a lifestyle change and creating new healthy habits will take time and discipline. You just have to ask yourself how bad do you want it? If you don't do it now, you'll never do it, so just START!
I want to share with you some foods and drinks, that if overconsumed, are most likely to be slowing down your fitness results! Now, if you see something on this list that you consume regularly, DO NOT get down on yourself. We are all about keeping a positive mindset here.
Let's take a look at some of the most common food choices that are actually hurting you from seeing your results from the gym.
Faster is not always better...
Sometimes we don’t take the time to create a healthy, hearty meal, and this can lead to unhealthy, but convenient, food choices. Even if you are sticking to your fitness plan, this is a recipe for slow results. Junk food is high in fat and processed carbohydrates, low in protein and fiber. All of this tricks your body into thinking it’s full, but your body is actually screaming for nutrients!
Junk food is also slow to digest, so it will sit in your body longer and could lead to some serious gastrointestinal problems. When food is just sitting in your body, it is not giving your system the energy it needs to get results. It’s okay to grab something quick every once in a while when life is in a tizzy, but this habit will stop results if you do it regularly.
Both fast food and junk food is typically high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol! WOW, definitely isn't something that you should consume often. Eating too much over time will lead to weight gain, and other issues like heart disease and high blood pressure.
One way to avoid last minute drive thrus and a stop at the corner store is by planning ahead. If you know you have an appointment or something after work, pack extra snacks and beverages for the day before you leave. Taking the time to plan your meals for the week, or even do some prep ahead of time will take all the guessing out on the day of.
I know some of you are very busy being a mom and have a to do list longer than a CVS receipt, but what about if you make cooking dinner a family affair? Getting your kids involved in cooking is a great way to teach them about proper nutrition and start them with healthy habits from a young age.
Sweet tooth anyone?
The temptation is real people!!! Consuming refined sugars from candy increases our insulin levels, tricking our bodies to believe that we have loads of energy, putting us on a sugar high - but we come down very fast. If you want to get energy to fuel your workout, you will have better luck eating an apple. That natural sugar will make you feel great and give you the energy to push through your workout!
We are all guilty of going through the pantry and fridge to get that quick sugar fix from whatever is laying around. When in reality, there's a pretty good chance that you're already consuming too much sugar.
According to the American Heart Association the average person takes in 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of sugar daily!!!! Recommendations are 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men. This is more than three times the amount suggested. How crazy are those numbers?!
Instead of going straight to the chocolates (my favorite) or gummy candies, opt for some fruit instead. Natural sugars are much more beneficial to your body than processed/refined sugars. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is converted into glucose which is used in our body for energy, however the overall effect on your body depends on the type of sugar you are consuming.
Fruits have vitamins & minerals while refined sugars add little to no nutritional value. Fruits also have fiber which will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Read my blog on How Sugar Impacts Your Fitness to learn more about how sugar is processed in the body and what to eat instead if you have a sweet tooth!
Eat the rainbow!
When your plate mostly consists of white foods, that means you’re loading up on carbs that won’t fuel your body with the right nutrition. These kinds of carbs are called refined carbs- they are processed and strip the fiber from your food. Also, they tend to put your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, which makes you crave more high-carb foods.
Instead, it’s important to train your body to crave healthy carbs- like veggies, whole grains, potatoes, and beans. Create a plate that looks like the rainbow to ensure that you are getting all the proper nutrients to sustain you. If you are going out to eat, you can always ask for an extra side of veggies or to swap something out to make your plate more nutritious.
Lots of times during the holidays, it can be difficult to create a healthy plate. If you are going to be traveling somewhere, ask the host the menu beforehand to see if there will be something healthy on the menu. If not, suggest you bring a dish! This is a full proof way for you to participate in the meal, take some stress off a friend or family member, and stay on track with your goals!!!
Drinks, drinks & more drinks
You’d be surprised how many drinks are disguised as nutritious! You might pick out a juice thinking it was the healthy option, but pre-packaged drinks/smoothies bottle up some serious roadblocks. They do not provide the fiber your body craves and pump your system full of sugar. If you want to stay on the road to results, I recommend that you create your own smoothies at home.
When it comes to your morning coffee, the less added to it, the better. The more cream, sugar, syrup you add, the less nutritious it becomes. The infamous Starbucks Frappuccino has an average of around 55 grams of sugar!!! Which is more than double what the suggested daily sugar intake is. A treat like this is perfectly fine on occasion, but that is what it is, a treat. Starting your day on a cup of sugar is a sure way to feel a crash shortly after.
Many alcoholic drinks are also mixed with sugary syrups, juices, or high-calorie liquor. Try sticking to something simple like a vodka soda or a glass of prosecco. But be careful, because you're filling your stomach with liquid, you'll probably find that snacks are sounding good after a drinking session. The combination of sweet drinks with decreased food inhibition means that your waistline is going to feel the effects.
We all have cravings from time to time, and yes you can give into them! You have to live your life. Check out my reel down below on how you can control your cravings!!
It does take extra effort to make smarter choices, find other healthier options, pre plan and cook meals at home, BUT it always comes back down to "HOW BAD TO YOU WANT IT!?" Check out my recent episode on the It Takes Grit Podcast as I spill the tea on my TOP 3 healthy habits that have changed my life.
I hope this helps, and remember that small changes every day lead up to big results. Stay disciplined and keep showing up. YOU GOT THIS!