Top 5 Nutrition Tips to Help You Stay on Track
Now that you’ve learned the basic principles of healthy eating and how to take care of your body, we wanted to share some extra tips and tricks to help you take your nutrition to the next level. These simple principles can help enhance your experience by teaching you how to approach many of the challenging situations you’ll face on a daily basis when it comes to your diet.
1. All Things in Moderation
Just because you’re transitioning over to a new, healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up all of the unhealthy foods you’d typically enjoy. However, it does mean you need to be honest with yourself about how often and how much of these foods you’re consuming, and how it could be affecting your progress. One sure-fire way to know if you’re indulging into too many treats is to track everything you eat throughout the day, so you know exactly how many calories they’re contributing to your diet.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying small treats from time to time – it’s what you do the majority of the time that matters most. Sometimes, full-blown cheat days can be harmful to your routine, as they can throw you into a spiral of unhealthy eating that is hard to come out of. Allowing yourself to enjoy the things you used to in smaller portions and only occasionally can help you stick to your healthy routine, and it will make your new eating habits feel less restrictive and more manageable.
Pro tip: Remember, if you have a bad day of eating, just hop right back to what you know you should be doing the next day. Don’t let one day get you down and completely throw you off course!
2. Avoid Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is used to describe when someone turns to food for comfort or relief. This type of behavior is often brought on by stress, sadness, boredom, or other difficult emotions, and it can cause you to fall off track with your nutrition plan in a heartbeat. More often than not, when we’re reaching for a snack because of our emotions, we’re going for the unhealthy junk food or the sweets that bring us the most comfort.
But it’s important to recognize when you’re emotionally eating and put a stop to it, so you can prevent yourself overeating throughout the day. Keeping a food diary is a great way to identify emotional eating, as you can track what you eat, when you eat, and why you’re eating throughout the day and recognize different patterns. Eventually, with enough practice, you’ll learn your body’s cues and only grab food when you’re truly hungry. Overcoming habits like emotional eating is going to be key if you want to stick to your nutrition plan and eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
3. Don’t Give Up on Eating Out
While some foods might be off the table now that you’ve started a new healthy diet, you don’t have to completely stop doing your favorite things or enjoying your favorite restaurants. You can still go out with your family or friends to enjoy a nice dinner without ruining all of your hard work, as long as you make smarter meal choices while you’re out.
One of our best tips is to always avoid alcoholic beverages, sodas, or other sugary drinks that add extra calories to your meal. Also, try not to order dishes with fried foods or creamy sauces, as these tend to carry more empty calories without any nutritional value. Instead, opt for grilled meats and lighter sauces, such as a marinara- or pesto-based dish.
Another great tip to help you dine out without getting off track is to embrace leftovers. Restaurants are notorious for offering large portion sizes that are way more than the average person needs in one sitting. Start your night out knowing you’re going to take home half of your meal for lunch tomorrow, and you’ll be able to avoid overeating with ease, and you’ll have one less meal to plan for during the week.
Pro tip: Ask for a take-home box at the beginning of your meal. By doing so, you can you ahead and portion out how much you should eat in one sitting and enjoy your meal without being tempted by the extra food on your plate.
4. Master the Art of Substitutions
Learning how to substitute various ingredients in a dish can be key to enjoying many of your favorite meals without ruining your diet. This also helps ensure you have more than one option for each dish when you don’t like a certain ingredient, or you want to mix things up for the week. For example, substituting chicken in place of fish for a recipe or switching to rice instead of pasta. We talk more about substitutions in our 9Round Nutrition Guide in your online Member Portal, so take a look for some simple ideas of how to incorporate substitutions.
Pro Tip: Always make sure your macronutrients add up correctly when substituting different ingredients. This means if you’re removing a protein, like fish, because you don’t want seafood, you need to substitute it with another protein, such as chicken or steak. This helps keep all of your meals nutritionally balanced.
5. Learn to Meal Prep
The easiest way to make sure you stick to your nutrition plan is to meal prep ahead of time. This will help prevent you from missing meals or grabbing whatever’s most convenient when things get busy, as this is often when we eat out more or consume prepackaged meals with unhealthy ingredients. Meal prepping can also help you keep better track of your calories and macronutrients, so you know you’re getting just the right amount of food to meet your nutritional needs.
Be sure to check out our 6 Tips for Simplifying Weekly Meal Prep blog for some great time-saving tricks that can help you get more things done at once, such as how to use multiple pieces of kitchen equipment all at once while cooking.
Now that you’ve got some extra tips and tricks under your belt, it’s time to get ready for the week with some healthy meals! Make sure you take advantage of the Nutrition section of your 9Round Member Portal, and if you’re not a member yet, sign up for a Free Introductory Session using the link below to learn more about how we help members grow stronger in 30 minutes!