We all know that when you are following a strict exercise and eating plan it can get hard. There are times you want to skip the training session or fall off plan and eat that cake or chocolate bar.

To make a healthy lifestyle sustainable you have to see food differently: food is fuel, it heals, it supports the vital organs and systems within the body, and it keeps you functioning to the max. It cannot function well when you feed it crap. Therefore you need to learn to listen to your body; what your body desires to keep it fuelled and running efficiently.

How?

You have to become mindful of what you are putting inside your body by tracking your daily food and liquid intake.

  • Write down each meal you eat, what was in it, when you ate it, were you hungry/ full both before and after you ate?
  • Did you have any feelings beforehand e.g. did you have a headache, an energy dip or spike, bloated stomach or feeling tired etc.
  • Do this for a week; no two days are ever the same.
  • Take note of any anomalies, if you had headaches when were they? How were your energy levels at certain points in the day?
  • Make sure you track your fluid intake too, this can have a huge impact on eating habits and body functions.

Once you have reviewed the diary then look at what you want to change.  Make a list of short term goals (set 3-4 specific and easily attainable targets you can do over the space of a month). Start off small to reach your main goal.

Food tracking will increase your awareness of the foods you eat. Increasing this awareness will make you view food differently thus enabling you to enjoy and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Of course we all deserve a little treat now and again but try not to always base it around food. Does it really have to be a sweet treat?

Why not lose those pounds, turn around the unhealthy eating habits, turn up for your PT session or your fitness class and then reward yourself with something non-food that will make you feel good? Treat yourself to a new outfit, a hair cut, try a new activity or a weekend spa break with your loved one or friends, anything but the greasy burger and fries or the sugary dessert.

If you would like more detailed guidance we have a range of programmes which could help you achieve your goals. See www.PaulCollinsFitness.co.uk for further information.Paul Collins Fitness superfood salad at Mordros Bude