I’ve coached hundreds of people over the years and there are 5 common challenges that seem to come up over and over again. Today I’m sharing 5 common-sense nutrition tips for navigating these 5 challenges.
They are far too simple, practical, and rational. And will never go viral on the socials. This means they’re super effective if you do them consistently but most people won’t.
Don’t be one of those people 🙂
Table of Contents
Challenge #1: We have no idea what the actual f*ck we’re doing
Common sense nutrition tips #1: Spend 2 to 4 weeks tracking your food. I don’t care what method you choose to use to track just track. I cover a number of different ways to track nutrition here.
- Weigh food but don’t track calories and macros
- Weight food and track calories and macros
- Use hand portions or the balance plate method
- Write in a food journal
- Take photos to reflect on
Track everything you eat and drink. If it goes in your mouth track it. Weekdays, weekends, bites, licks, nibbles, and tastes.
Are there patterns you can see? Do you do well during the week and struggle on the weekends?
Are you grabbing multiple handfuls of nuts, candy, etc… over the course of a day.
Challenge #2: We snack way too much
There’s nothing wrong with snacks. It just happens to be that our “snacks” are often enough calories to be a meal. We also tend to do it far to often and not because of physical hunger.
Common sense nutrition tips #2: Purposely try and wait 4 to 6 hours between each meal and take note of what you notice. Are you getting physically hungry during this time? If that’s the case you may want to adjust your meals so you stay satiated (more protein, fiber, and food volume).
Are you snacking because of something else? Angry, lonely, tired, bored, stressed, just because it’s there?
If you do need a snack try and make it fit inside of one 1 palm and keep it to a single serving. A piece of fruit is a great option. Even if you’re getting some M&M’s keep it to the size of a palm.
Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with snacking. Most of us tend to do it too much and have no idea how those calories are adding up.
Recommended watch: How to stop snacking (do you need to)
Challenge #3: We need to eat a little bit better when we dine out
For some reason, most people consider anytime they eat out as a failure. The challenge with most meals out is that you have less control over what and how much you’re eating but this doesn’t mean it’s a fail.
Common sense nutrition tips #3: Most places have tons of amazing options and most of the time you just need to do a little bit better in these situations.
🍕Going out for pizza? Cool, normally have 3 slices? Have 2 and a side garden salad.
🍔Grabbing burgers and fries? Cool, normally eat all the fries? Split them with a friend instead.
🍦Heading out on a date for ice cream? Cool, normally get your own? Split it with your date. Plus, this is super cute.
🤤Normally get appetizers and dessert? Cool, just get appetizers or dessert but not both.
You get the idea. When you’re dining out simply ask yourself how you can do a little bit better in whatever situation you’re in.
Challenge #4: We need to do better on the weekends
Common sense nutrition tips #4:
I’ve analyzed hundreds of diets over the years and most people do pretty well during the week. A few minor adjustments Monday through Friday and they are well on their way.
However, the weekends usually end up being far too off-plan to see any meaningful progress. My most successful clients treat every day the same. There is no weekday or weekend eating – it’s all the same.
Most people tend to eat out more on the weekends, have. more social experiences, and drink more alcohol. To start making progress you may not need to eliminate these things but it does mean understanding how creating a calorie deficit for fat loss during the week can be wiped out by weekend overeating and drinking.
Thus, doing a little bit better in these situations is probably necessary. This doesn’t mean you need to call the fun police and eliminate all enjoyment from your life. But it does involve you taking a look at what adds value and building a plan around that.
Recommended reading: How to stop overeating on the weekends
Challenge #5: We need to have better coping strategies for stress
Common sense nutrition tips #5:
There’s nothing wrong with turning to food and eating to help cope with stress. Sometimes it’s the perfect fit. It’s only a problem if it’s the only way we cope with stress and uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
The idea here isn’t to stop stress and emotional eating. The goal is to identify what’s causing you stress, how you want food to make you feel, and to discover other outlets that help you feel the same way.
Then, explore those options first as a way to slow you down to see if eating and food is how you actually want to respond.
Coping better with stress isn’t something you do overnight. It’s going to be a long process and a lot of trial and error to find what works for you.