Does reaching your health and fitness goals seem like a constant, overwhelming task?
What I’m about to share with you is going to contradict everything you’ve heard about improving your nutrition and leave you feeling like it’s so simple that it couldn’t possibly work. That’s why it’s important to know — if you struggle with feeling like:
You lack the willpower to stay consistent
You don’t have any “control” over yourself around your favorite food or drinks
You’re overwhelmed by all the diet options or “stuck” not knowing what to do next
Now, this isn't the sexy, "get-results-fast" kinda answer you're probably looking for...
...but it is the most effective!
To get big results, you have to go small...and simple. I KNOW, I KNOW - yawn. But bare with me...
As women, we want results fast, especially as it pertains to weight loss. Often times, when I challenge my client to do something related to a habit we're working on, it often feels “too easy,” so they’re worried it can’t possibly work.
What they often don’t realize is that long-term change requires consistency, so developing a sustainable strategy is crucial. Small and simple is a more effective way to make lasting change. But here’s the thing: small and simple can feel really weird at times. Especially if you’re used to making huge changes at once, or if you believe that to get results, you have to “go big or go home.” This is where the entire diet industry goes wrong with their "get results in 30 days" and "shed stubborn belly fat in 7 days" marketing schemes.
Now, you might be thinking, “I have such a long way to go. Small changes would take forever. I don’t have time for that.” But please hear this - when you make small, positive changes, they build on each other over time — and then results happen, and add up to much bigger than you think. Plus, the time's going to pass anyway, so what do you have to lose?
Why am I calling them secrets? Because despite their life-changing power, most people simply aren’t doing them. They’re incredibly under-estimated, overlooked... and people think they can’t possibly work. These secrets are skills — skills you can take and implement into your life. You can practice them from this day forward, and you’ll get huge, long-lasting results. The power is in your hands now.
Nutrition Secret #1: Eat More Slowly
What I’m about to share with you is probably going to leave you feeling like it’s so simple that it couldn’t possibly work. As we discussed yesterday, it's the simple tools that are often overlooked but are so incredibly effective. If these seem "too easy", I challenge you to do them anyway. I promise you, you will feel and see a difference.
These nutrition secrets are going to help you if you struggle with:
a lack the willpower to stay consistent
feeling like you don’t have any control over yourself around certain foods
feeling overwhelmed by all the nutrition information and diet programs out there, or....
the most common answer I hear the most....
you think you know what to do, but you just can't make yourself do it
Have you ever eaten so fast, you suddenly look down at your plate, amazed at what you ate is somehow already gone? Or maybe you're rushing in between school drop-0ffs, so you're cramming in whatever's quick and easy.
Often times, we're so rushed during our day-to-day, we don’t really notice how our food makes us feel or how much we’ve eaten. That’s why this first nutrition secret I’m going to teach you is this: eat slowly. Eating slowly can:
help you eat the right amount of food for your needs at the time
avoid overeating and eat more mindfully
pay closer attention to your hunger and satiety cues
actually savor and enjoy what you're eating
allows you to better digest your food.
This is an especially important skill if you have a weight loss goal and helps you eat in a way that supports these goals while still helping you feel satisfied. Eating slowly gives you back a sense of control over what you’re eating while still allowing you to eat foods you love, which is a key component in my online coaching programs.
Eating slowly might seem really simple. But it can actually take a lot of practice, and that’s what’s needed to get you long-term results! Here are a couple strategies to practice:
(Strategy #1) halfway through your meal, take a quick 2-That’s it. This is an opportunity to set your food or utensils down, take a few deep breaths, and take a sip of your beverage. You can ask yourself: “Am I still hungry?" "How is it making me feel?” There aren’t any right or wrong answers, just awareness. After two minutes, continue eating if you need to, or stop if that feels best.
Strategy (#2): When you put food in your mouth, put your fork down. At your next meal, try putting your fork down between bites and fully chew your food. I promise you the food remaining on your plate isn't going anywhere, so don't rush that next bite! No matter what your goal is, learning to eat slowly is a skill that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Nutrition Secret #2: Eat When You're Actually Hungry
When’s the last time you were hungry? Like actually hungry?
How did you know you were hungry? What physical sensations did you notice?
We’re all guilty of being in the habit of snacking unconsciously throughout the day, or eating automatically at certain meal times, and especially eating in hurried, distracted ways. Many of our eating habits seem to end up being kind of mindless and automatic.
Hunger is not a bad thing; Hunger is a helpful sensation from your body designed to keep you nourished. It’s like the light on your dashboard that turns on when you’re running low on gas. It’s a sign that you need to get more gas soon — but you probably still have several miles left in the tank. Mild to moderate hunger is not an emergency — it’s simply a sensation to guide you. And it can be a useful one. Eating when you’re hungry is a powerful skill because it helps you eat the right amount for your unique needs. If you find yourself eating when you’re not truly hungry, you may be in an energy surplus aka you’re eating more calories than your body needs, which can lead to unintended weight gain.
So here's nutrition secret #2: Eat when you’re (actually) hungry
Here’s a common mistake I see women make: waiting until they’re hungry before eating. Changing this cue can be a game-changing skill to practice when it comes to getting those results.
Even though waiting to eat until you’re hungry sounds pretty easy, in my experience coaching clients, I’ve seen that it can be tricky in practice. As I mentioned earlier, we are BUSY people - we’re almost always flying by the seat of our pants and fail to pay attention to what we're eating, when and how much. And second, most of us don’t know the difference between hunger and appetite, which are not the same thing. Let’s take a quick look at the difference.
Hunger signals the physiological need for food; it’s your body literally telling you it’s about time to eat; this often feels like an empty feeling in your stomach and/or a dip in energy. Appetite, on the other hand, is a psychological want for food. Have you ever felt so completely full after a meal... but you still
“have room for dessert”? That’s appetite!
Everyone occasionally eats because of appetite, and that’s totally fine, and eating just because you want to is a completely valid choice.The point is to recognize the difference because that’s when you can make more of a conscious choice.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself the next time you’re deciding on if you’re truly hungry or if you’re using food for another reason, like stress or emotional eating.
What are you feeling? Will food make you feel better? Or would you really feel better if you took a hot bath, caught up on your favorite show, or tried a new meditation? “Am I hungry, or am I munchy?” You can ask yourself:
“Am I hungry enough to eat protein and fruit or veggies if that were all there was available to me?”
“Does my stomach actually feel kind of hollow or empty? Or does it still feel somewhat satisfied by my last meal?”
“Am I feeling sluggish, noticing a dip in energy, having a hard time focusing, etc.?”
"How long has it been since I ate last?”
All you need to do for right now is put a label on it: hunger or appetite. Again, the key here is to simply become aware. Because when you’re aware, you’re empowered to make a conscious choice based on your needs and your goals. Simply recognize what’s going on, and make a decision from there.
If you’re still not sure if you’re hungry, consider finding something else to do for 15–30 minutes, and then re-evaluate whether or not you need to eat. This can be tricky, as you don’t want to wait until you have extreme hunger; this can make you feel out of control the next time you eat, which can lead to over-eating. Once you feel that mild to moderate hunger, go ahead and eat! And remember to eat slowly.
You’ll likely find that waiting until you’re hungry and then slowing down and savoring your meal results in a much more satisfying experience!
Remember that every meal and snack is a new opportunity to practice this concept. Over time, you’ll get better at knowing when you’re truly hungry versus when you’re feeling appetite. And you’ll be better able to make choices that align with your needs and goals.
Don’t underestimate these small assessments; they can be total game-changers when it comes to achieving and maintaining your goals.
Nutrition Secret #3: Eat Until You're Satisfied
This secret is going to cover being able to recognize satisfaction verses fullness.
We all know the feeling of having overeaten. Feeling bloated, uncomfortable, unbuttoning the pants, thinking “Why did I eat that much?”
Sometimes, we choose to eat more than we need simply because the food is so darn yummy! Hello, we're human! But often, we do it completely unaware; it just sort of happens. This kind of scenario is common because we're so easily distracted. We sit down for dinner in front of the TV or while scrolling through social media, and suddenly the plate is empty. Or, you're starting to feel full but there's only a little bit left on your plate and you think, “I might as well finish it all.” In these kinds of situations, you might wind up eating more than you actually need or want — simply because you’re zoned out.
As we've discussed earlier in the week, when we can make the conscious effort to tune into our bodies and listen to those internal cues, we can enjoy the foods we love without overeating (no more restriction and deprivation required!), which leads me to...
Secret #3: Eat Until You’re Satisfied
You're going to use those same skills I mentioned earlier in the week to pay closer attention to how you’re feeling while you eat so you can consume the right amount for your goals.
When it comes to eating enough, many of us finish a meal and say, “I’m so full!” By then, we're usually unbuttoning our pants and laying down on the couch to digest our food easier! So today, I'm going to give you some tools to help you differentiate between feeling satisfied verses feeling full.
How do we do this? Well, feeling full is typically accompanied by feeling like your stomach is at capacity and you have a physical sensation of fullness. You're completely stuffed, uncomfortable and you might even feel sick. When you're satisfied, you're satiated; meaning you no longer feel hungry and you're just slightly under fullness capacity. You feel food and you could probably eat a little more but you don't really need to. For many women, the bigger issue is not realizing when they’ve moved past satiated and onto full - and it doesn't take that much more food to get there.
Here are a strategy to help you eat enough, but not completely over-do it: minimize distractions. Distractions don't include sitting around the dinner table, visiting and talking with family. I mean distractions like: simultaneously eating and watching TV or scrolling through your phone, eating while driving or working on your computer, or other tasks that distract yourself away from what and how much you're eating.
Sometimes this is unavoidable, again - we're human! But if you share most of your meals with a screen throughout the week, this tip is for you. Such distractions can prevent you from being in the moment and paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you. You may not realize when you’ve had enough — and that’s why distracted eating very often leads to overeating. Seems simple enough, but this can actually be really challenging!
The biggest takeaway with this nutrition secret is to pay attention — but don’t stress if things look different on different days. Remember, every meal is another opportunity to put the skills you've learned so far into practice!
Nutrition Secret #4: Add, don't subtract
One of the biggest questions I get from my coaching clients is this.... “What the heck do I eat?” As a flexible dieting coach, you're never going to hear me tell you what you “can’t” eat. What I want to guide you through is learning how you can improve your nutrition with less stress, zero dieting, and no cookie-cutter meal plans. Drumroll please...
Nutrition secret #4: Add, Don't Subtract
If you're a chronic yo-yo dieter, you know what restriction feels like, and typically when we focus on all the foods we can't eat, it always leaves us feeling deprived, exhausted, and in a way, resentful. Not to mention freaking #hangryAF. It’s more effective and sustainable to focus on adding healthful things to your diet, rather than subtracting or eliminating the so-called “bad” things. This guideline of "adding" can also help cultivate a feeling of abundance, which is a much more enjoyable way to make improvements to your diet overall.
Putting this skill into practice:
As you read on, please remember there are no food rules; rather, this is a simple guideline and many ways you can implement this skill to fit your dietary preferences and needs. Here are some examples of additions I recommend, no matter what your fitness goals are:
#1: Protein: Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body needs to function. But more than that, protein has a lot of advantages for your health and fitness goals: You can read more about the many benefits and roles protein plays in our bodies right here. One of the biggest benefits of protein, is it helps satiation and satiety, helping you stay fuller longer. If you aren't interested in tracking macros, what you can focus on is adding one source of protein to as many meals and snacks as you can. Some options include meats, seafood, eggs and dairy, beans and legumes, and certain grains (like quinoa).
#2: Fruits & Veggies: Adding fruits and veggies throughout the day provides your body with fiber, which also helps with satiety and digestion, and supplies your body with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that your body needs to function optimally. If you're not a big veggie eater, I get it - but there are several fun and tasty ways you can incorporate them without it being a plate full of boring broccoli (unless that's your jam!). The helpful strategy here is this: taste the rainbow. Aim to add a colorful mix of produce to your meals throughout the day. Every version is acceptable - frozen fresh, canned - whatever you find is easiest, most convenient and what you are most likely to actually eat and enjoy.
Here are a couple tips for sneaking in more veggies into your day:
Add carrots and cucumber alongside your snack of chips and dip.
Add spinach to your smoothies
Sprinkle in some veggies to your breakfast omelet
#3: Water: Food tends to get most of the attention when it comes to eating healthier and weight loss. But the beverages you’re drinking (or not drinking) can also significantly impact your results and how you feel. Most of us don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Staying hydrated helps you have more energy throughout the day, concentrate and focus better, and eat less in a meal by helping you feel more satiated. If you struggle with drinking water, try these tips:
set a timer to drink X amount every so often
keeping a big bottle with you at all times (one in the car, one at your desk, etc.)
add in flavorings like Crystal Light, or make some tea (yes, this counts towards your fluid intake!)
Ideally, aim for about half your body weight in ounces per day (so if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces).
Nutrition Secret #5: Don't be perfect, be prepared
It's day 5 of nutrition secrets to reaching your goals, for good!
I talk about this final topic a lot in my online coaching and training program, and on social media, so this may not come as a huge surprise to you. Regardless, take the time to read through this one because it's super important.
I'm going to help you develop a game plan that lets you enjoy all the things - girls night out, your favorite foods, dining out - you name it - all while still improving your nutrition. Because here’s the thing: You’re never going to eat the “perfect” diet. (What does that even look like, anyway?) And thankfully, you don’t need to. If there is one thing I want you to takeaway, it's this:
You don’t have to be perfect to reach your goals.
Fad diets, detox programs and 21-day-fixes will make you feel otherwise; and if you've fallen victim to these kinds of programs, the feeling of needing to be perfect to see results is likely all too familiar. Reaching your weight loss goals doesn't have to be between choosing a fun, social life or having the “perfect” diet. It's possible to have both. So let's tackle secret #5 right now...
Secret #5: Don't be perfect, be prepared
Have you ever:
gone on a vacation and indulged on ALL the delicious food available to you...
had a few glasses of wine at a girls night...
ate dessert at a birthday party even though you were full from dinner...
...only to feel the guilt and shame set in a few hours later? Only to feel like you ruined all your progress and fell "off track". This might have even been the turning point for you, feeling so defeated, you just five up on that diet completely.
We've got to accept that life is going to happen and with that, comes food (and usually alcohol). Every single social event is centered around food, and that's ok - that's part of our society and culture. So what, does that mean you have to continuously be "on" or "off" a diet depending on what's going on in your life? What about those not-so-happy times happen, like stress at work, emotional struggles with relationships...life is going to happen and food is typically at the center of it.
So what do you do? How do you make progress toward your goals without having to hibernate and avoid all social things?
The answer: plan and have a backup plan.
In the past, you might have used those opportunities mentioned above to just throw in the towel, restart on Monday or quit altogether. Not anymore - we're changing the cycle, and we're changing that cycle by having a plan in place. When you do a little planning, you’re better able to navigate the detours and speed bumps of life. Having pre-prepared alternative options makes it really easy to make a conscious choice about your actions. It's like going on a road trip - you're probably going to have a checklist of things to make sure you are prepared before you even start driving i.e. you've filled up the gas tank, you have your wallet and phone with you, your bags are packed, you've made the hotel reservations, etc. The same concept can apply towards your diet. I'm not talking about bringing a pre-cooked meal in a Tupperware container with you to your next girls night - ew. I'm helping you understand that whatever you choose to do, you can keep moving toward your goals without beating yourself up about it or stressing about what the right decision is in-the-moment by being prepared ahead of time.
I challenge you to take charge and practice these two steps:
(1): Think about a couple potential obstacles or challenges that may come up in the upcoming week; these are the things that might make it more difficult for you to eat in a way that aligns with your goals.
Do you have a weekend getaway coming up?
Do you have a work deadline that you have to work through on the weekend?
Do you have a family dinner planned at someone else's house, where they are doing the cooking?
You know yourself best, and what scenarios are most challenging for you, and which ones tend to leave you feeling unhappy with your choices after. We can't plan ahead for every single life event, but the point here is to look ahead (when you can), and then give yourself options so you can tune into what you need at that moment in time, consider your goals and values, and then make an intentional choice. Onto step #2.
(2): Have a backup plan
Once you have your potential obstacles thought out, come up with an alternate game plan. These are simply alternative actions you could take at that moment that would be in closer alignment with your goals.
What would this look like? Let's use this example:
Let's say you have a weight loss goal of 15 pounds. Since you’ve started working toward this, you haven’t gone to happy hour with your friends because you’re worried about losing any progress you've made. With these skills and mindset shifts, you can now feel more relaxed knowing that if you do go and indulge in a couple drinks, it won’t derail you, but you still want to prepare a bit so you don’t end up feeling totally crappy afterwards or making poor food choices that you wouldn't make otherwise. Your backup plan could be that you decide that if your friends invite you to happy hour, then while you’re there, you’ll:
Have one drink, but switch to a diet coke afterwards.
Enjoy a side salad along with your entree to get some veggies in.
Ask for a to-go box when your food is delivered so you can take half of it home with you and not be tempted to keep picking at it once you're satisfied.
Next time you meet up with your friends, it’ll feel way easier to make those choices, which will help boost your confidence with making those choices again in the future, and keep you on a consistent path forward towards reaching your goals.
I know this has been A LOT to sift through. Hopefully you’ve learned a ton and taken the first few steps towards reaching your goals. But — here’s the thing - going at it alone rarely works.
If you're someone who thrives on accountability, you’re not alone. Finding the time for change can be difficult, especially when you're doing it on your own.. And trying to new things, like changing the way you eat, without the accountability of a coach can feel overwhelming at times.
That’s why the ultimate “secret” for getting long-term results is having a qualified and passionate women’s coaching specialist by your side. So you’re in luck because - HI, THAT'S ME!
Imagine waking up every morning loving the way you look and feel…
Imagine having the energy to do all the things you love, like traveling, spending time outdoors, playing with your kids or grandkids…
Imagine no longer stressing about your nutrition, and instead living your most balanced life and eating foods you love (minus the guilt!), and knowing you’ll NEVER be on a diet again… That’s what you’ll get with the Forever Fit Formula.