“I’ve put on weight since having 3 kids and running 2 jobs. I know I snack on and drink crappy stuff throughout the day. What can I do to break these habits? What can I snack on that is healthy?”
– Barry in Sarasota, Fl.
My first challenge for those in your situation would be to PRIORITIZE your health and fitness. Yes, we are all busy; and many prospective clients in this situation tell me: “I’m TOO BUSY to eat right and exercise.” My reply: “You’re too busy NOT to prioritize your health and fitness.” We aren’t able to add any more hours in a day, so our days have to be maximized for productivity! A healthy diet (and exercise program) helps give us energy and focus to do this.
My second challenge is AWARENESS & ACCOUNTABILITY. I highly recommend keeping a written food journal or using a smart phone app to track dietary intake. Most people go through their day “unconscious eating”. They are simply unaware of how many calorie-laden snacks and drinks they take in during the day.
While you are admittedly aware of your poor choices, you need to hold yourself accountable. My clients automatically make better choices if they force themselves to look at their intake via the food journal. And it’s not because they have to show me (though that helps), it’s because they are forcing themselves to be AWARE, and thus naturally hold themselves more ACCOUNTABLE.
Lastly, what HEALTHY SNACKS can we have? The first thing I recommend is what NOT to have. Cut out liquid calorie sources like soft drinks, energy drinks, calorie-filled coffee drinks, etc. These should be replaced by water, black coffee and/or unsweetened tea. Literally HUNDREDS of calories can be saved in a day from cutting out liquid sources of calories.
The second thing I advise is to snack on foods like fresh fruits and veggies, beef or turkey jerky and small portions of seeds or nuts. And for those with access to a cooler or fridge, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are excellent options too! I prefer all organic if possible. These foods provide us with plenty of calories, coupled with ample doses of protein, unprocessed carbohydrates, essential fats, and fiber to get us through a long, stressful day.
In summary: prioritize fitness, become aware and hold yourself accountable, and eliminate liquid calories and snack on healthier options!