You’re officially a few weeks into your weight loss journey. You’re doing well preparing your meals during the week, getting your workouts in, and staying within your calorie allowance. But then the weekend comes around and that’s when the challenge arises. You know what to do all week to stay on track, but then you’re feeling stuck out with friends faced with lots of appetizers, drinks, and desserts and you enter into the all-or-nothing mentality.
At first, you tell yourself you’ll just indulge in one small thing since you did good all week, but one small thing turns into another and then before you know it you have overeaten and feel sick. You begin to think about how you blew your diet and failed. It feels as though all the hard work you put into this week was for nothing and you have to start over.
What if you could avoid this scenario altogether? What if we were able to eat in a sustainable way, adding in the foods you love to indulge on-in moderation. What if every Monday didn’t feel like it was time to start over?
Here are three tips to avoid getting in the cycle of the Monday morning resets!
Start with Something Sustainable
Before you begin any weight loss plan or program make sure you take the time to check that it is individualized to you and is going to work for your lifestyle and needs. Know what the plain entails and whether or not it is welcoming a sustainable approach to your eating habits, encompassing your favorite foods instead of restricting them. Ask yourself if you can see yourself sticking to it forever and if it’s do-able in every scenario of your life and schedule. If the answer to that is “no,” you may want to rethink what you are about to begin to avoid having to start over every Monday.
Plan your Weekends for Success
Regardless of what you’re following during the week, a key to your success is viewing the weekends as no different than the weekdays. Although there are many social gatherings and events on the weekends, you can always go into these with a plan. Having an idea of what food will be at the event or what type of restaurant you’re going to will allow you to pick out a few options prior to your arrival. Social gatherings don’t have to throw you off track with your eating. These events are a time to enjoy family and friends and indulge in your favorite foods, considering everything in moderation!
Set Small, Realistic Goals
It’s possible that you’re setting yourself up to start over on Mondays by setting goals that are too big to follow through with each week. When you begin your journey, you want to tackle the one thing that you feel will be the easiest change for you to make. If you set very high expectations for yourself and try to change multiple things at once, anxiety of overwhelm may set in! You want to begin by setting a small goal for yourself that you can continue to do to turn into a habit. This way, you won’t feel like you can’t keep up on your journey and you will be more focused on reaching the specific goals you set.
Chances are that some of your coworkers and friends are starting to get back into their routines at the gym, and maybe you’re wondering if you should join them! Quarantine most likely has been a long road with more calorie intake and less movement, and maybe those skinny jeans you love to wear on Friday nights…just don’t quite fit the same. But don’t worry! Gyms are beginning to reopen across the nation with new health and safety precautions so you can hit the gym and rest easy knowing that you’re staying safe. Here are three tips how to make progress at the gym and still keep you and your family safe:
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
If you’re an experienced gym-goer, you most likely have experienced uncomfortable moments where that one guy who hasn’t bought deodorant in years is just too close. In most gyms, space is limited at peak hours after work and you may find yourself squeezing into a spot on the mats to complete your stretching. Now times have changed and social distancing is a new norm that all gyms have to adapt to if they want to remain open. Social distancing includes the spacing out of cardio equipment and machines and also asking members to remain at a six feet distance apart from one another throughout their workouts. Some gyms also have a maximum capacity in place, and will only let a certain number of people into the gym at a time. More careful entities will only allow for you to come into the gym with a made-ahead appointment where only a select number of people are able to use equipment throughout your specific time slot. Make sure to call your gym ahead of time to ask them what their protocol is so you are prepared and can make the most of your time working out and making those gains!
WASH YOUR HANDS
I’m sure we’ve all heard this more times than we can count, but its importance has yet to diminish. Washing your hands is a sure fire way to keep yourself safe when you’re in an environment that could be contaminated with germs. Make sure to wash your hands when you get to the gym to help protect other people but also wash your hands before you leave! Avoid touching your face in between hand washes and use hand sanitizer as much as you can. If you’re using gym equipment that is highly used and likely to not get the same attention from cleaning staff, ie: dumbbells and kettlebells, then take initiative to wipe them down before and after you use them. You could even be really responsible and keep Clorox wipes in your car so that once you leave the gym, you can wipe down your handle and steering wheel to be extra cautious. A particularly important note here is to make sure that whatever you are wiping down is dry before you use it in order to allow for the chemicals to properly reduce the amount of germs crawling at the surface. In essence, you can never be too careful with extra hand washing and wiping everything down before and after you use it. Also, don’t forget to bring your hand sanitizer!
WEAR YOUR MASK
Unless you haven’t left your house this entire quarantine then you’ve most likely been using PPE, or personal protective equipment. Unfortunately, many people may not use their PPE correctly and that is taking away from your safety! Face masks are the most important and the most common form of PPE used from hospital settings to just being out and about. These pieces of cloth are not only extremely important in protecting yourself and others but are also required throughout many states in the U.S.- if you’re caught without one in some states you can get a fine of up to $1000!! These pesky pieces of cloth work to prevent the spread of your germs to other people, and although they’re uncomfortable, it’s a price worth paying for you and your family’s health.
Overall, there are a lot of tips to continue practicing hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing the proper PPE to help keep you and your family safe during these troubling times. As long as you’re diligent about your hygiene and follow your gym’s rules, you will have a much easier time staying safe and making gains at the gym. Of course, if you or a loved one have an underlying health issue that could cause serious problems if you become contracted with COVID, then take these tips very seriously or reconsider other options for staying active.
Here’s the truth! Preparing your meals can be an overwhelming task. When the term meal prep comes up, you may think of spending countless exhausting hours in the kitchen. However, meal prepping can actually have a huge impact in helping you reach your goals and can be done in a fairly easy and time efficient manner. If you are just getting started, it may take some time to make meal prepping part of your routine; but using these 3 tips can help you make it a simple and ongoing habit in your week.
1. Plan It out
If you are just beginning your weight loss journey, you may be excited to dive into meal prepping. Before you begin, however, you want to have a plan for how many days of the week you want to prepare so you know how many meals to make. If you work a Monday through Friday job for example, you know you need 5 prepared lunches and 5 prepared dinners if you like to have both meals prepared each day. If your schedule looks a little different than that or you work from home, you may be preparing fewer meals at a time. You also want to try and have a specific day where you meal prep each week so you can schedule it on your calendar and prioritize it. You will be more likely to complete your meal prep and be set up to have a successful week if you treat this time as a scheduled appointment.
2. Cook in Batches
Once you have taken the time to plan out how many meals you need to prepare and have chosen the recipes, it’s time to get to work! Batch cooking is a great way to save time and make your meal prep easy each week. You may not be able to batch cook all of your ingredients, but try to do it with as many as you can. Some of the ingredients may overlap in multiple recipes or have a large array of vegetables to prepare. In this case, consider using sheet pans or a crock pot to cook large amounts of these ingredients at a time. Extra tip! This will also leave you with fewer dishes to wash at the end of the day.
3. Change up Your Recipes
We know that eating the same dish over and over again can get really boring and make us want to eat something different. As you meal prep, try and switch up the recipes you use each week so you don’t find yourself in this position. This will allow you to enjoy a variety of dishes and practice preparing different types of foods. You may find that you have a few go-to’s that make for a fast and easy meal prep, but allow yourself to get creative and try new things.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with meal prepping, don’t worry! Know that it does get easier over time and eventually will become part of your routine. If you are just beginning your weight loss journey and starting to meal prep, try these 3 tips to help you get started.