I recently posted a picture of some lunch meat I had prepared into servings and a few people asked me to post some tips that I do to help stay on track. I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about the things that I do do and the things that maybe I haven’t been doing and need to get back into.
Eating out – Limit how much you eat out! ( this is one I really need to work on!)
Lately I have been eating at restaurants a lot and I think this can be a real challenge and has made maintaining challenging for me so I need to take my own advice and start limiting how much I eat out. Eating out is hard because you can think you are ordering something super healthy but the way it’s prepared or the hidden fats make it less than healthy.
Beware of Salads
When I do eat out, if I have a salad I ask for the dressing on the side. I always ask for them to not bring the bread, if it comes with a side of toast. I always go for the grilled meat, avoid anything blackened, it’s usually super high in fat. Salads sometimes can have as many points or calories as a burger so really make sure you are ordering a salad with more nuts, fresh fruit and goat cheese. I try to avoid the deli meats, cheddar cheeses and salads that come with creamy dressings.
Go for lean proteins
If I can, I try to order something off the menu that is higher in protein, like a filet of fish or a steak (tenderloin) hold off on the blue cheese or butter they sometimes top it with. I ask for no potato and ask them to give me extra grilled veggies instead. This will still be higher than if you made it at home but it’s far better than some of the other options.
Hold off on the bread
I find restaurants are usually very accommodating with my requests. Yesterday I had breakfast out with friends, I wanted oatmeal but it came with toast on the side. Really? Who needs big bowl of oatmeal and toast? I asked to substitute the bread for a side of fruit. This is the first time I was told no, they don’t do substitutes, but I could ask for no bread and order a side of fruit separately. So I did it, I paid 3.50 more for that meal but it’s worth it and I think everyone else was jealous of this beautiful plate of fruit I got to inhale. 🙂 Another great thing is lettuce buns, more and more restaurants are doing this. You can have a burger (hold the cheese and bacon) with a side salad and it’s amazing and it’s not that bad for you.
Only have them bring you what you plan to eat
I really try to not have things on my plate if I don’t plan to eat them because once they come, you can pretty much talk yourself into anything if you are hungry, so I don’t put myself in the position to do that.
At home I am super disciplined with my eating and what we have in our home. My house is a no baking and no junk food house. (sorry kids)
My number one favorite lunch is leftovers, I only really like salads if someone else makes them. I try to make my lunch right after dinner. This way I can measure and weigh it, if I wait until the morning I am rushed and end up eye balling my servings, which is dangerous. Another good thing about that is food isn’t sitting out after dinner so you don’t pick at it.
Measure and weigh everything
I really do measure and weigh everything, even if it’s tacos, I pre plan my portions and weigh it as I make it so I am not guessing amounts. I personally find that once food is on your plate you can convince yourself that it’s the right portion, so nothing goes on my plate until it make sure it’s the right size/portion.
Prepare ahead of time
I buy family packs of turkey breast or chicken breasts. I season them, bake them and then chop them all up. I measure out 6 oz bags of meat for the weeks lunches. This way if I don’t have leftovers, my protein is sorted, I just need to figure out the rest of my lunch. My husband loves salads so he just grabs a bag to take with his salad.
Healthy but filling snacks
Have you ever tried raw lentils? They are in the sprouts section in the produce section. They are very low in points/calories but they are filling and have a nice crunch to them, similar to eating peas out of pod. They can replace that need for a crunchy snack without resorting to crackers or higher point/calorie nuts. That being said, I do love to take a 1/4 cup of almonds, although they are higher in points, they are good for you and they sustain your hunger longer. (I buy the raw unsalted variety) Do you like edamame beans? I buy them at Superstore in the frozen section, they come in a box with 12 bags which is a perfect grab and go for lunch. You microwave them at work and it’s a great snack and super filling.
Breakfast, my favorite meal!
I know I shouldn’t but I eat the same thing every morning. I have a double serving of oatmeal with berries. No sugar and very little 1% milk. I have a box of frozen blueberries in the freezer at all times. They are great for adding to hot oatmeal. I don’t even thaw them, I just measure a cup of berries in my bowl and top with the oatmeal. A little milk to get them mixed easier and I am a happy camper. The berries thaw quickly but keep a nice pop in texture and flavour. The berries help make it yummy so I don’t even miss the brown sugar anymore. It’s very filling but it’s how I love to start my day! If I do venture away from that then it’s a banana, two poached eggs with a piece of try toast to mix things up. But 9 times out 10 I go for the oatmeal breakfast.
Because I am usually getting home from work and then trying to get out for yoga or run club I need to have my dinners organized. Sometimes they can be fast without preparing ahead of time, especially during BBQ season, but usually it does involve some prep so I try to get this done that morning. I do use my crock-pot a lot as well I use the delay bake feature on my oven. One of my favorite meals is chicken breasts placed on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, sweet potato’s cubed on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (separately). I time it so these are finishing with about 15 minutes left when I get home. I have my veggies, cut up and in the steamer so when I walk in I just need to start the veggies and then BAM! Within 20 minutes we can eat.
Eat early, if you can!
I do like to eat my dinners early. I like to be sitting down to dinner by 4:30 or 5:oo at the latest. I think the longer my body has to digest the meal before bed the better it will be for me. Any snacks after dinner or yoga is fruit or veggies. The odd night, if I have enough points I might have 3 cups of dry popcorn. Bedtime is usually 8:30 or 9:00 for me, 5:00am comes early!
I know after run club I should have a protein but I personally don’t like having something that heavy in my body that late at night. When I was half training, I did adjust that slightly but for just every day training, I don’t worry about it. I make sure my protein intake is high all week so I am not as worried about it on that one evening I run at night.