Article by: Natalie Minh
The most challenging part of keeping to a healthy diet often heard is time. So, the best weapon that we have in a time crunched lifestyle is better organization and planning ahead.
Here are some tips for common diet challenges that can help you achieve your nutrition goals.
1. Not planning your meals in advance and succumbing to hunger pains. You can save alot of time in your schedule by cooking your meals days in advance (I used to cook everything on Sunday night for the work week), pack in plastic wares, and pack into a large insulated meal bag. The biggest advantage is that you avoid falling off of your diet due to hunger cravings and chasing the vending machine.
2. Social derailment when dining with others. Another challenge to a successful diet are those in your social circle who are not on diet and may feel slighted that you choose to not eat the same foods as them. “What, my food isn’t good enough for you?” or “C’mon, one bite isn’t going to ruin your diet.” are lines that I’ve heard while focused on my goal. If you know in advance that the menu will be completely diet unfriendly, you can advise your friends that you have plans until X (working out, working late, errands), but will join straight away once the meal is over for the after dinner socializing. My friends knew me well enough that I was on diet but appreciated that I made the effort to join them anyways. If the meal is relatively clean, then just be mindful to portions as you would at home.
3. The most sophisticated meal that you have ever cooked was eggs. For those who are completely kitchen challenged, there’s still hope. The George Foreman grill has been a lifesaver for small apartment living or even when traveling. Ready made low fat, low carb, protein shakes are tasty snacks when on the go and in between meals. Dining out meals – seek broiled, steamed, grilled, roasted meals and avoid high carb, creamy, fried dishes. Again, most importantly, figure out portion control before eating. Order a take out box along with your meal, split the meal to your correctly sized portion, and pack the remainder. If you have the funds to afford pre-made, weekly delivers meals, there are so many options available today which are discoverable by typing “delivery meal plans (city)” into Google to find delivery services in your city.
4. Lack of diet consistency due to depriving too much, too fast. Every diet is effective as long as one is consistent in approach and is realistic. The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Cheyenne Pepper + Lemon Water Diet, or my favorite – The Hollywood Cookie Diet are perfect examples of the quick deprivation but not maintainable nutrition plans. Plan to lose 2-4 lbs a month, balanced meals of moderate to high protein, lower carb, and lower fat and you will be on your way to your diet goals.
This article was contributed to Anna M. Park, Editor-in-Chief of Audrey Magazine and was featured on their Spring 2011 Issue.
Audrey Magazine is the premier, award-winning lifestyle publication for Asian American women, created by Asian American women, now in our eighth year of publication.