Regarding healthy eating and exercise, what is your biggest struggle?
This is the question I posed to my Facebook friends last night.
And here are their responses, reorganized and lumped into categories. And though I haven’t included their names, I will point out that four of these responders are male and the rest are female. Which proves absolutely nothing.
Eating on the road:
“Being on the road, convenience is the name of the game. Know what to do, how to do it, but ‘comfort food’ along with convenience is too hard to pass up.”
“Time-Like when I’m forced to eat cheap when my budget is tight and I can’t eat at home, when I’m working or traveling- “
Lack of self-discipline:
(This was my contribution to the discussion) “My biggest struggle is that I love food and I eat a lot. It is very hard for me to stop eating when I’m enjoying something, even if I’m stuffed. Though I enjoy exercise, I can’t burn off the amount of food I eat.”
“Agree with the food part totally! Also, not getting enough sleep :(“
“I am good all day and then it gets dark. I am like a vampire for food at night!”
“I’m an emotional eater. “What sounds good” dictates what I eat. So self-control and discipline… man I hate those words. Ooooh chocolate sounds good now! :o)”
“Not enough discipline–good starter bad finisher”
“I do not have the discipline…I have the equipment, but no motivation. I do love to eat too! (u know I do) but recently discovered I am gluten intolerant, so that is changing my dietary habits a lot!”
Lack of proper sleep:
“My biggest problem is I don’t sleep well. Because I am tired, i don’t feel like exercising and i often stress eat (although, i usually eat pretty healthy–just too much). Then because i don’t exercise, i don’t sleep–it is vicious circle!”
Convenience at home:
“I’m too impatient when I’m ready to eat I want something quick to eat and healthier food seems to me takes more time to prepare than Fast food and Frozen Pizza’s or Pizza delivery. Basically I really don’t know what the right foods are so i don’t know what I need to buy to eat healthier. Sad I know but True.”
“I don’t stock my pantry/fridge with enough convenient foods to eat…then I get hungry and don’t feel like preparing a meal…then I eat something I shouldn’t! I just need to better plan and time-manage….”
“Not enough time!”
“Organizing my time to plan healthy dinners!”
“lack of time and self-discipline”
“No time to shop and cook and analyze every drop of what is going into the meal.”
“I consistently fail to make myself a priority.”
And last, but not least…
“Skinny people complaining about not being able to lose weight makes me want to eat a bucket of chicken. :D”
Today, I’m going to discuss two of these, and then address the rest next week. And maybe the week after that.
Eating on the Road:
Though I don’t technically have a paying job that forces me to travel, being a mom of school-aged children does find me in the car a lot—an average of 2 hours a day. In addition, with my family living in another state, we do a fair amount of car travel. Basically, if my kids and I didn’t eat in the car, we would rarely eat. Which is interesting, because my kids recently have turned into ravaging beasts at home. Which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I just got a new car and instituted the “I’m Tired of My Car Smelling Like the Bottom of a Garbage Can So From Now On, No Eating in Mom’s New Car” rule.
But let’s say you don’t have such a rule. Your car is—more often than not—your kitchen, your dining room and your garbage can. What are some things you can do to ensure you are eating well and eating inexpensively while you’re out and about?
1. Stock your car with a stash of healthy foods that will keep. I always have water and almonds in my car. (shhhhh…don’t tell the kids) Some foods that will keep for several days or longer, especially when it’s cold outside:
a.Bananas and apples
b.Granola bars and protein bars (I like Clif Bars and Kashi)
c.Nuts of all kinds
d.Popcorn (I pop my own, use only salt, and put into a large ziplock)
e.Peanut Butter sandwiches
f.Trail mix (I make my own with all the things I love)
h.Whole grain crackers
2.Have a few places you know you can stop and always get something wholesome and healthy. Don’t even go to the traditional fast food places if you have a weakness for fries and soda. It’s just too tempting. My favorite on-the-road places are
3.At convenience stores, bypass the donuts, the greasy hotdogs and the prepackaged, processed snacks and instead choose a bag of popcorn (the all natural kind), a granola bar, a bag of nuts and some orange juice. Choose the most nutritionally-dense food you can find. It’s best to look for foods that are highest in fiber and lowest in saturated fat, trans fat and sugar. If you still aren’t sure what’s what, always choose the food that is the closest to real food in its natural state. A fresh apple over a fruit roll-up. Granola over pretzels. 100% juice over Sunny D.
4.Pack a small cooler with cut up veggies, string cheese or a sandwich made with whole grain bread, lean meats and lots of vegetables. Think beyond lettuce and tomatoes here. I put every kind of veggie on my sandwiches. You may think you don’t have time to prepare food at home to take on the road with you. But making a sandwich and putting it in a cooler takes no more time than driving to a fast food restaurant and sitting in a drive-thru.
5.Here is a great article with more tips, specifically what to choose at hotel breakfast bars and at restaurants.
And before we go, I’d like to address my good Facebook friend whose whiney, skinny friends make him—yes HIM—want to eat buckets of fried chicken. Friend, I think your problem is that you need to spend more time with Jesus. I’m just sayin.
What about you? What’s your greatest struggle that keeps you from eating well and exercising? Do you have any tips for healthy eating on the go?