“Starting” to live the Lean Life – Why wait?
Tip #2 in living the “Lean Life” without feeling like I’m on a “diet” has to do with social lives, summers, and busy schedules.
Have you put off starting to eat right and exercise until the “time is right”? Usually after summer vacation, work deadlines or the holidays? And then totally ate everything that you know you’re not going to be able to eat on your diet in the days before it starts?
I’m SO guilty of doing this, and unfortunately, more than once!
I remember telling my husband that I wasn’t going to start my diet because April vacation was coming up (it was March)!
Why start before vacation?
Not only did I think I had to give up my social life, but I also felt like I had to deprive myself of the things I liked to eat and drink. And the closer the “diet start date” crept up, the more I thought about everything I was about to deprive myself of, which of course made me feel like I should binge on all of those foods before I “started on Monday”.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned, there will always be something coming up or something to go to, that will have food and drinks that aren’t necessarily fat loss friendly. But I can pretty much guarantee that there will also be healthy options as well. And the awesome thing is, we always have a choice 🙂
What I eat is entirely up to me. I am in control of every single thing I put in my mouth, and I no longer use social events or vacations as an excuse to eat like shit.
So, if you are going on vacation this summer or just spending a few more nights than usual at happy hour, check out some of the tricks I use to living the “Lean Life” without losing my sanity 🙂
Start your day off with a protein shake. On the rare occasion I want something else, I’ll go with a protein pancake. I find that keeping just 1 meal the same everyday takes the guesswork out of what I’m going to eat, making it easier for me to stay on track. The next time you’re on vacation, pick one meal that you can easily keep the same for the entire time and see how you do.
Eat mainly protein and veggies during the day. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all, I feel like I’m making the choice to eat super clean and light during the day, so that I can indulge a bit at night. Simple as that. All on my terms. I’ll pack cucumbers, carrots, sugar snap peas, and turkey or ham rollups to bring to the beach instead of mindlessly shoveling 1,000 goldfish in my mouth. It keeps me full, doesn’t lead to more cravings and I create a little wiggle room for what I really want later in the day.
Choose bread, alcohol, or dessert, but not all 3. If I go out to dinner with my husband, I’ll typically order protein and veggies, skip the dessert and bread and have a couple glasses of wine. Or, if I know that we will be taking the boys to get ice cream after dinner at home, I’ll skip my starch and go heavier on the protein and veggies, but I won’t have any alcohol (but most of the time I’d choose wine over ice cream). Think about what things you are willing to give up to get what you want.
Get Moving. Just move as much as possible and do things that you enjoy! If you’re on vacation, stay active by walking, biking, playing Frisbee, horseshoes, etc… If you love working out on vacation, do it, but don’t stress about it, and don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are going to “exercise off” everything you ate the night before. Not gonna happen. I’m completely obsessed with my Jawbone (wireless step and sleep tracker). It is such an incentive to move more and just reminds me that although sometimes I feel like I don’t stop running after the boys, I tend to overestimate the amount of activity I actually do.
REST. It’s just as important as moving. Seriously. Relax. If you eat normal portions at most meals, move a lot, get a lot of sleep and stop STRESSING about everything you put in your mouth – you’re doing your body a favor. Continually stressing about gaining weight etc. is just making you crazy! You don’t always have to be going a million miles an hour.
Obviously, if you aren’t willing to stop pounding nachos at happy hour 4 nights a week, you’re prooobably going to continue to struggle when it comes to fat loss. You will need to make some decisions as to what you want more, or better yet, what you’re willing to give up – the plate of nachos or that goal of yours. If you are looking to maintain where you are, you can probably get away with a lot of the tips I use above (and maybe a few nachos!). However, if you have an immediate goal in mind and are looking to shed some body fat – you will most likely have to tighten the reigns just a bit.