I love food. I love watching cooking shows. I love cooking. I love to eat. I love pasta, cheesecake, pizza, French fries, loaded baked potatoes, Doritos, Potato Chips … I’m/I was a meat and potatoes kind of girl. I’ve learned to love vegetables and fresh fruits without adding ingredients to cover up their flavors (that started when I started eating less processed foods).
In my own fitness journey I have read about many different fads. I tried many of those fads looking to keep all the “junk” in my diet. As I jumped from fad to fad and restrictive food lists, I realized that I needed to take control of the junk food. It was hard. It sucked. I failed many times. But then I started to notice I had less cravings for junk. When I did eat the things I loved, I found things to be too sweet and I didn’t really like it or I found I was still hungry after eating a half a bag of Doritos. Now, I enjoy them when they are around and get back to my healthy eating.
After I stopped reading about fads (you could technically say all diets are fads, but bear with me), I started learning about Whole food diets, eating Superfoods, Nutrient-dense diets, and reading books written by Nutritionists or Dieticians. Much later, I even took a few nutrition courses. I began to slowly change the way we shopped, the way we cooked, and the way we ate. As our diets improved, our waistlines got a bit smaller. Then we plateaued. Then I found information about juice fasting, intermittent fasting, intuitive/mindful eating, clean eating, raw foods, macros, tracking calories (blech), and Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix container system*. I found some of the information helpful, I attempted every single one of them. But I kept coming across a common theme following a nutrient dense diet. While I didn’t strictly follow the principles of juice fasting, clean eating, mindful eating, etc., I did finally realized a nutrient-dense diet was important and I found a way to make it work for me…no where near perfection, but I continued to find progress.
One of the methods I was really excited to try was Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix containers*. Those little color-coded containers was Life. Changing. Did you realize you can still overeat healthy foods? I fought that information for a long time. It took me a bit of time to cut out mindless snacking and extra portions. Using the containers also force me to learn a different way to cook, but once I got the hang of it, meals were surprisingly simple and quick…even shopping was faster! I did not follow the program perfectly the first few months, but with what I was doing, I was getting results.
I was learning portion control without counting calories or having to weigh my food. I learned how to spread my food throughout the day so I felt satisfied and didn’t feel the need to snack or avoided the late-afternoon energy crash. I could fill my containers and move on with my day. I could cook one meal for the family. As I continued using the containers, I got better at eyeballing portion sizes but I still used certain containers to measure the foods I tend to over eat.
With any diet you choose (and we really need to work on not associating the word “diet” with negative feelings), it does not mean you will never be able to indulge yourself again. It just means you choose a nutrient-dense most of the time, or you begin to choose a nutrient-dense diet over comfort/junk/processed foods. It means you learn a new skill to further your fitness or health goals. You learn to empower yourself to eat better. Who knows, you may realize all those foods you were afraid to give up, you never really needed.
If you are ready to get help with your own nutrition, let’s chat. It will be painless. I promise. I’m here to help you succeed at your pace!
*The above links to Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix containers are affiliate links. That means I earn a commission if you decide to purchase but not at a greater cost to you. You can also use the links to get more information about 21 Day Fix or you can comment with your questions.