- Track your nutrition. To know for sure if you are getting in enough, too much or not enough of the right things, it’s important to track your nutrition. This could be as simple as writing down what you eat in a notebook or using a free app like My Fitness pal to log your daily food intake. My Fitness Pal makes it easy to do, packaged foods (yes even some vegetables) can be scanned with the barcode scanner and automatically entered into your daily food journal.
- Keep easy to eat protein sources on hand to keep you full and your energy levels high. My favorite and quick protein sources are hard boiled eggs, Greek Yogurt, cottage cheese and baked or grilled chicken that I make in larger batches for lunches throughout the week.
- Diaper bag snacks are not just for your kids! Keep an apple and some raw nuts on hand for when hunger strikes while on the go. Avoid the late afternoon energy slump by eating these two snacks together.
- Stay hydrated. Often our bodies will send signals to our brain that we need more water. These can most often be in the form of headaches, hunger cues and lack of energy. Always be sure to carry a water bottle with you when on the go, no one else is going to be concerned about your hydration. Here is an easy water calculator from Bodybuilding.com that will calculate how much water you need per day based on your weight and activity level.: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/water_calculator.htm
- Wash and chop fruits and vegetables for the week after returning from the grocery store. Doing this simple task will allow for plenty of healthy grab and go snacks that are good for you.
- Try your hand at freezer meals! Start out by prepping one type of freezer meal each weekend and make multiples of it. You have all the ingredients out already, so making more than one freezer meal of the same type won’t take much more time. As you continue with this weekly habit, your freezer will be stocked with freezer meals that can easily be pulled out and tossed in the crockpot at the start of the day for dinner that night. Here is one of our family favorite freezer meals to try – Crockpot Chicken Fajitas: http://www.mmmomma.com/-recipes/crockpot-chicken-fajitas-freezer-meal
- Write out a meal plan for the week. This way all you need is already shopped for and available to you at your fingertips. More meal plans are available for you on my blog. Here is one of my favorites since each dinner is made in the crockpot and takes very little effort to put together a healthy meal for the whole family: http://www.mmmomma.com/blog/7-days-of-crockpot-dinners-meal-plan-recipes-and-shopping-list
- Eat every 2-3 hours. Doing so will avoid the inevitable hunger pit in your stomach that cannot seem to be tamed by any amounts of food. Easier said than done some days, but the above tips should help to ensure you have food ready and on hand.
- Avoid highly processed, packaged snacks, as these tend to be nutritionally void, meaning you will consume higher calorie foods which leave you hungry shortly after eating them. Think food made from plants or plant eating versus made in a plant.
- Finally, love yourself enough to make better choices. I realize this isn’t easy. Try making one simple change per week. Use the list above as a check list and implement each one at every new week. Maintain the changes you have already made and before long you will have created healthy habits for your nutrition.