In an ideal world we would always eat what’s healthy when we’re hungry. All of our meals would be effortlessly easy, and we would all be stress free and in great shape. In this world workouts are a breeze and you always get 8 hours of sleep and drink 8 glasses of water.
Unfortunately the real world involves running late, bills unexpectedly popping up (leaving you penniless), and your boyfriend and friends making healthy choices seem almost impossible! Fear not, there are tricks to avoid these real-world diet sabotages.
When You’re Broke: So you splurged on a new hand bag and forgot that your phone bill is due. Oh, and you haven’t bought groceries for the week- Yikes! To avoid eating from the dollar menu until next pay day, try following this meal plan taken from cosmopolitan (Febuary 2015) where they had chef Ellen Damaschino of No Kid Hungry’s Cooking Matters program. 21 Meals for 30 dollars, perfect for even the least money savy person.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with an apple and cinnamon.
Lunch: Tuna sandwich with spinach and a side of carrots and homemade tortilla chips (toast a tortilla with oil and salt!)
Dinner: Pasta with shredded chicken thighs, sauteed frozen veggies, and tomato sauce (Canned tomatoes, sauteed onions, olive oil, salt, pepper)
Breakfast: Yogurt, thawed berries and chopped apples.
Lunch: Bento box: 2 hard-boiled eggs, carrots, apple, and tortilla chips.
Dinner: Huevos rancheros (2 sunny-side up eggs, tortilla, beans, and cheese)
Breakfast: Two-egg sandwich with cheese and spinach on toast
Lunch: Smoothie with yogurt, berries, oats, cinnamon, apple, and honey.
Dinner: Pasta salad with tuna, beans, chopped carrots, and spinach.
Breakfast:French toast with berry compote (cooked frozen berries, sugar, and cinnamon)
Lunch: Nachos (tortilla chips, cheese, veggies, beans, yogurt)
Dinner: Wrap with melted cheese and chicken salad (chicken, apple, yogurt)
Breakfast: Yogurt and uncooked oats (cover and refrigerate the night before) with apple and cinnamon.
Lunch: Chicken salad on toast with a side of carrots and tortilla chips.
Dinner: Two eggs in a hole, plus crumble of apple, oatmeal, cinnamon, and sugar.
Breakfast: Two egg omelet with sauteed onions, thawed veggies, and cheese, plus toast.
Lunch: Apples dipped in melted cheddar
Dinner: Chili (canned tomatoes, beans, shredded chicken, onion, and carrots) with tortilla chips.
Breakfast: burrito with eggs, cheese, and beans
Lunch: Pasta e fagioli soup (pasta, beans, canned tomatoes)
Dinner: Roasted chicken thigh and veggies, plus a crumble of berries, oats, sugar, and cinnamon.
When your friends or man sabotage your healthy efforts: So you eat healthy all day while your at work, then come home to your man and ingest 1000 calories for dinner, drinks, and snacks. Sound familiar? Me too. Or how about you go out for happy hour with the girls and end up splitting 3 appetizers and countless drinks? Here’s how to keep your cool when others’ influence is pointing to unhealthy choices.
1. Plan Ahead:
If you plan to go out to eat, for drinks, anything that you are not cooking yourself, scan the menu. You can always look ahead online if the restaurant has an online menu or at the very least scan pick two healthy choices when you first get seated -before you’ve had any drinks.
2. Don’t try to keep up:
This can be applied to whether you’re with friends or just your s/o. Just because they want one of everything doesn’t mean you would enjoy it. When I first started dating Elliott I would take half of every meal we made together, and when we went out would do the same while splitting an appetizer or bread bowl. The monkey-see-monkey-do effect plays a big factor in weight gain. Enjoy your own meal, and stop when you feel full!
3. Make Healthy Snacks For The Two Of You:
My favorite snack to make for my boyfriend are these sweet potato nachos from skinnytaste. Not only are they healthy and easy to make, they’ll also make you look like a rockstar to your man. Moral of the story: make the foods HE likes to eat YOUR way for an everybody wins scenario. Bonus points if he agrees to help make them!
When Your Workout Makes You Crazy-Hungry
You spend an hour giving your all to the gym and your body needs to repair and rebuild. Be careful of what you snack on afterwards though, or you might eat all those burned calories back… and then some! For an ideal post work out snack you’ll want to aim for 15-20 grams protein and 30 grams of carbs. Try a smoothie made with greek yogurt, almond milk, and berries or an apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter.
When You’re Always Eating On The Go:
Sometimes things pop up. Say you overslept and now have no breakfast or lunch. The easy solution is to stop at the closest fast food restaurant and get something to sooth your distressed soul (say coffee and a frosted donut). Unfortunately doing so may leave you hungry again in an hour due to little nutritional value to your foods, along with the sugar high and crash associated with foods high in simple carbs or high sugar. Its also possible you’ll feel regret later in the day and may be more inclined to choose poorly again in the near future-as in “lets just make all of today a cheat day”.
Try to choose a meal high in protein and healthy fat and low in simple carbs (anything white or sugary avoid) like mcdonals fruit and nut oatmeal, dunkin donuts egg white flat bread sandwich, or a cheese stick and beef jerkey or a hard boiled egg at the gas station. As for the coffee? Keep it, but keep the cream and sugar minimal. Caffeine has been proven to improve brain function.
If you’re always running late, i recommend doing a meal prep day. Mine is usually Sunday but any day you have an hour to spare will work. Next time you’re on the run you can easily just grab a container of whatever you panned for the week and go.