These are the 4 most common diet challenges I encountered in the last 15 years in working with people from different countries, demographics and beliefs.
1. Badly organized, no planning!
It’s quite interesting how many otherwise very organized and very successful people rebel against being organized and prioritizing nutrition . They ofte excuse it as being too busy , but I wonder if that’s the actual reason, or do we all find something to rebel against, we are not robots at the end of the day. But the only way to change this is to prioritize it for a certain period of time until it becomes automatic .
If you didn’t plan your meals you will only start thinking about what to eat when you are already hungry and that could result in a bad choice, or simply the easiest convenient choice.
Solution : do your weekly shopping on Sundays, stock up on healthy options for the week ahead, buy lots of vegetables, salad, lean protein, avocados, nuts ….. Plan your meals but be flexible, life is not black and white, plan can change but stick to basics. It’s also a good idea to cook some bulk meals when free, portion and freeze.
2. Emotional eating
Do you find yourself eating when not hungry. You could be bored, stressed, anxious, lonely…..
emotional eating can’t be fixed but it can be well managed.
Solution: Know your triggers and patterns so you can anticipate and stop this behavior before it gets out of hand. It’s highly recommend to work with a coach or a counsellor on correcting this behavior , as it is persistent and overwealming.
Hyper palatable food like sweets and junk have perfect combo of ingredients to keep you wanting more, plus they are everywhere.
Solution: keep your environment like home, car, office free of these types of food, stock up on healthier snacks like fruit and nuts ( in moderation) , home made popcorn, raw veg, lean biltong….
4. Eating out too often
Are you using eating out as an excuse to overindulge? Ask yourself is the occasion really that special? Is that food so special and unique and amazing? Is it really worth it?
Solution: check the menu in advance, decide what you are going to have and how much you are going to drink and stick to it. Try to choose meal with lots of vegetables or salad, lean protein, ask for sauces and dressings on the side and use them in moderation, eat slowly and drink water.