Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious, guilty, bad, or preoccupied with food? Ditch your current meal plan or “diet” and try a new approach. I coach my clients to change their mindset to view food as it is….FOOD! When we begin to dissect and account for every calorie or macronutrient (“macro”), it can be daunting and frankly stressful. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition, which makes intuitive eating very flexible and fun!
1. Begin by reviewing your goals and set realistic expectations.
Success with food begins with preparation. Here are a few questions to help jog your brain, and it starts with knowing your expectations and setting goals.
- Do you need to meal prep for every day and every meal of the week?
- When are you the busiest? Review your schedule for the week.
- Do you have the tools you need to prepare meals at home?
- When will you plan, grocery shop, and prepare your meals?
- Is a meal prep service an affordable alternative? Is it worth saving time and energy?
2. Start small. Pick ONE meal to transform at a time.
Change is a process, and it will not be perfect. I’ll be honest; you will burn-out if you aim for perfection. Focus on improving that one meal each day by (St. Pierre).1
- Add protein
- Add veggies and/or fruits
- Add more nutrient-dense, whole foods
- Drink less alcohol
- Drink less sugar-sweetened beverages
- Add more water
3. Change HOW you eat.
If changing WHAT you eat is a little overwhelming for you at this moment, another strategy is to change how you eat. These are a few simple strategies you can begin incorporating to improve your eating patterns (St. Pierre).1
- eat-in a calm, relaxed setting
- eat slowly
- put utensils down between bites
- use real dishes
- sit at a table
- remove distractions of technology – tv, phone, computer while eating
4. Keep it SIMPLE. Begin with hand portions.
I call this strategy, “way of the hand.” Add variety and reduce stress when it comes to building a meal. There is no strict menu plan, counting macros/calories, or measuring ingredients—just the size of your hand and your imagination. The cool thing is, your hand is portable and proportionately sized for YOU! Begin using hand portion by following these guidelines (Malacoff).2
- Your palm is a portion of protein.
- Your fist is a portion of vegetables.
- Your cupped hand is a portion of carbohydrates.
- Your thumb is a portion of fat.
Depending on your goal, activity level, age, height, and weight will determine each portion’s daily amount.2 Download the HAND PORTION infographic I’ve created to assist you if needed (see below).
5. TAKE ACTION: My challenge this week for you:
- Ask yourself, how can I make this meal just a little better? — and DO IT!
- Use “way of the hand” to build a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) for the next 7-days.
Keep an eye out for these future posts: planning a meal prep routine and macros vs. calories.
My goal with my posts is to give you information and tools that will help you decide what is BEST for you! If you need further assistance or guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me with questions.
- St. Pierre B. Meal plans usually suck. Precision Nutrition. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/meal-plans-usually-suck. Published December 11, 2020. Accessed March 27, 2021.
- Malacoff J. 6 ‘hand-portion’ body transformations you have to see to believe. Precision Nutrition. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/hand-portion-transformations. Published 2021. Accessed March 27, 2021.