Summer is officially over, and for many that means shifting back into routines and mentally preparing for the months to come. October is almost here and with that the holidays are just around the corner...meaning increased workload, and upcoming family get-togethers to navigate! If you're working on losing weight this Fall, this can add a whole series of obstacles meant to throw you off your path.
To ensure you are keeping your ship afloat and sailing smoothly towards your goals this fall, it's important that you're making the most out of food choices, in addition to maximizing your mind power. To help you along your way, we have devised some strategies to keep you feeling energized, satiated, and alert, all while allowing you to stay on track and feeling good about your progress as 2022 comes to a close (Jan 1 will be here before you know it!!)
How to make the most of your nutrition
- Limit treats and other high-calorie items on the days you know will be the longest--maximizing your available food will be essential on long days. Save your treats for when you can really enjoy them and fill your lunch box with brain-boosting nutrient-dense goodies instead.
- ALWAYS eat for volume- loading up your fridge and lunch box with high volume, low calorie snack items such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, veggies, rice cakes, and strawberries will allow you to eat more frequently.
- Consume a high protein and fiber breakfast - this will help to keep you well satiated from the get-go!
- Space out meal times - pushing the time frames between meals out can really help to make your available food go further. Squeeze in an additional coffee or herbal tea between meals!
- Pay attention and be mindful when eating - taking away all distractions, pay attention and be present to the act of eating.
- Choose foods that make you feel good - limit sugary and salty foods, as these will have you craving more.
- Stay hydrated - This is a big one! Not only does hydration affect your satiety and energy, it also impacts your ability to think and perform.
- Keep dry goods and snacks in your bag at all times such as canned tuna, salmon, protein bars, fruit, and rice cakes.
Devise a plan - on the go options
When we are squished for time, it can be easy to allow panic to set in, which can lead to negative eating behavior. Take time to research the grocery stores and restaurants that offer goal-friendly options that are easily accessible to you on your way to work, school, or home. By simply knowing where you can gather food items quickly, you can alleviate unnecessary anxiety, stress, and deviations from your game plan.
Suggested research options:
- Grocery Stores - Identify where the closest grocery stores are on your route to and from home, the gym and school. Most grocery stores will sell ready-made salads, potatoes, instant rice and rotisserie chicken, this is in addition to items that you are able to cook yourself. However, if you are pressed for time, this can be a great option.
- Fast Food Outlets - Subway, Chick-fil-a, Sushi, Seafood take away restaurants are just a few that all have options that are weightloss-friendly. Do your research and locate the stores that are within your radius and identify some options that you know will fit your nutrition needs when in a bind.
When your workload and schedule are jammed packed, and you’re feeling stressed out, tired and will-power is low, it can be difficult to maintain motivation to stick to your plan. You may lose sight of the bigger picture and feel as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Whether it be work, training, family or a combination of many things, doing your best to maintain motivation and push ahead will be key to ensuring you succeed and reach your goals. Below are some ideas in how you can continue to keep yourself motivated each and every day, even when it feels impossible.
- Start each day by setting a daily intention - set an intention that today is going to be a great day and that you will work productively and stay focused. Remember, when we expect things to go well, they usually do!
- Create a mantra - this could be for use during the day at work, during your workout, or just when you are going about your daily business. Anytime you feel negativity creep in, state your mantra. An example of this could be “I am focused. I am strong. I will succeed”. Whatever works for you! State it loud and clear!
- Give thanks and gratitude each day - giving thanks and gratitude each morning, or when you find yourself fostering a negative attitude, can really change your mindset and have a profound impact on your perception of the day and situation.
- Find a training buddy, work buddy, study partner or accountability partner - two minds are better than one! Knowing you have someone else on your team to help you through the tough times and share the load can be a great help. It also allows you to take the focus off yourself for a moment and focus on the other person. You may be more inclined to show up and give it your all, when you know someone else is relying on you!
- Sign up or create a challenge or competition - this could be a fitness competition, or a nutrition study or a lifestyle challenge. Whatever works for you. Setting yourself mini-challenges or goals can really assist in helping you stay motivated and reach your long term goals faster, not to mention provide a little fun along the way!
- Create a goal/vision board - know your goals, then write them down. Keeping these front of mind is a great way to foster motivation.
- Clean out your closet - decluttering and getting rid of the items that no longer fit you, is a great way to motivate yourself to keep working hard! Whilst you might not have a lot of time, dedicate just 10-15mins a day, each day. Start with one drawer, then move onto the next.
- Reward yourself along the way - allow yourself to celebrate your victories along the way. This could be a pair of new shoes, a massage, or even just a coffee! Whatever works for you, set yourself small goals with rewards attached.
When you juggle multiple balls, it can be easy to find yourself very quickly feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This can happen without a lot of recognition, which then sends you into damage control. Doing your best to mobilize the mind to keep cool, calm and collected will not only allow you to operate efficiently and effectively but will also allow you to enjoy your journey and remain present to all the awesomeness surrounding you!
Below are some suggested relaxation methods to help you keep on top of your mental game:
- Journal Writing
- Read a book
- Listen to music or play an instrument
- Coloring in
- Draw or paint
- Coffee a friend
- Take a hot bath
The fall and holiday season will always be what you make of it. If you go into it with a positive mindset, along with applying some of the tips from this article, you will be suprised at how good you will feel come Jan 1.