I have a friend who is trying to maintain healthy eating habits and the other night when she went home and tried to figure out what she was having for dinner, they decided on pizza. She justified it by saying, “Mike and Katie eat pizza all the time and they’re in good shape.” I laughed when she told me this story, not at her but at her justification for enjoying a pizza slice or three. =)
We aim for B+ (seems better than saying A-) eating habits. I read an article recently that explained it well:
Aim for a B+: This is basically my nutritional motto. Inspiring, right? Seriously, I’ve found I just can’t maintain an A or A+ diet and be happy and healthy. So I don’t focus on a number on the scale or a specific amount of calories/carbs/protein/chocolate chips. Instead, I aim for sustainable, mostly healthy eating habits. Consistency is king, so I put healthy routines in place to help me: fairly regular breakfasts, lunches, snacks, exercise nutrition, etc. But I also realize that pizza, ice cream, brain hunger and Friday Night Binges are a part of an emotionally and socially normal – and healthy- life. A plan that doesn’t allow for them is unsustainable, and ultimately flawed. Ironically, when I took the focus off the scale and the numbers and instead on being consistently healthy, but flexible when needed, I became a happier, more confident and better athlete.
I really liked what he was saying because it tracks right along with our “plan” for healthy eating, and living for that matter. It’s the same concept as building margins into your life, allowing for flexibility, allowing for down time, allowing for the opportunity to say YES to something last minute.
So for those curious about what we do and how we do it… here’s the breakdown (and I’m do not claim to be a health expert of any form or in any way, these are just things we’ve found to work well).
Plan for success. Plan the meal/menu options for the week and stick to your grocery list. Make a large batch of _________ (you fill in the blank, for us its granola bars) at the beginning of the week so you have good snack options all week long. Here are a few Great resource. And Another. on meals, portions, planning, etc.
Enjoy being active!! This is probably one of the best things you can do. Your ideal activity may not be running, it may not even be a cardio classes. Find something active you like and DO IT!! If you don’t enjoy doing it, the likelihood of keeping up with it is slim.
Enjoy what you eat!! Find some good snacks that stick to your ribs – hummus and veggies, cheese and Triscuits (we like this cracker b/c it has only 5 ingredients and they are things you can read), greek yogurt and fruit/granola. Make a sweet potato instead of a baked potato. Try things well seasoned instead of salted. Cook a good piece of meat and pair it with some nice veggies.
Enjoy freedom: Enjoy 1-2 meals a week of freedom. Have pizza one night or enjoy a night out with friends. Just keep it reasonable. You don’t need to eat the entire pizza yourself but enjoying 2-3 slices is perfectly fine!
Don’t freak out about the scale. Yes, we own a bathroom scale and weigh ourselves occasionally. I try to use it more as a guideline than a rule- just keeping my number within a certain range. Nothing drastic, just a check point.