With back to school around the corner, it means it’s back to routine for many of us. With larger work loads come long days, and a greater need for fuel. To ensure we are keeping our ship afloat and sailing smoothly towards our goal line this fall, it’s important that we are making the most of our macros, in addition to maximizing our mind power. To help you along your way, we have devised some additional strategies to keep you feeling energized, satiated, and alert, all while allowing you to stay on plan.
How To Make The Most of Your Macros
- Limit treats and other high calorie items on the days you know will be longest - maximizing your available food will be essential on long days. Save your treats for when you can really enjoy them and fill your lunch box with brain boosting nutrient dense goodies instead.
- ALWAYS eat for volume - loading up your lunch box with high volume low calorie snack items such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, veggies, rice cakes and strawberries will allow you to eat more frequently.
- Consume a high protein and fiber breakfast - this will have help to keep you well satiated from the get-go, not to mention chip away at those targets!
- Space out meal times - pushing the time frames between meals out can really help to make our available food go further. Squeeze in an additional coffee or herbal tea between meals.
- Schedule times to eat - Penciling in set meal times, can help to take the brain off food, keep us focused, and provide something to look forward to. This will also reduce mindless eating.
- Pay attention and be mindful when eating - Take away all distractions, pay attention and be present to the act of eating.
- Choose foods that make you feel good - Limit sugar and salty foods, as these will have you craving more.
- Stay hydrated - This is a big one! Not only does hydration affect your satiety and energy, it also impacts our ability to think and perform.
- Keep dry good snacks in your bag at all times such a canned tuna, salmon, bars, fruit and rice cakes.
Devise A Plan - On the Go Options
When we are squished for time, it can be easy to allow panic to set in, which can lead to negative eating behavior. Take time to research the grocery stores and restaurants that offer macro friendly options that are easily accessible to you on your way to work, school or home. By simply knowing where we can gather food items quickly, we can alleviate unnecessary anxiety, stress and deviations from your game plan.
Suggested Research Options:
- Grocery Stores - Identify where the closest grocery stores are on your route to and from home, the gym and school. Most grocery stores will sell ready made salads, potatoes, instant rice and rotisserie chicken, this is in addition to items that you are able to cook yourself. However, if you are pressed for time, this can be a great option.
- Fast Food Outlets - Subway, McDonald's, Sushi, Seafood take away restaurants are just a few that all have options that are macro friendly. Do your research and locate the stores that are within your radius and identify some options that you know will fit your macros when in a bind.
- Order In - Postmates, Uber Eats and Just Eat are just a few of many services that will deliver food to your door quickly! All these services provide a vast array of choices that will ensure you have no issues in finding something that works for you!
When your workload and schedule are jammed packed, and you’re feeling stressed out, tired and will-power is low, it can be difficult to maintain motivation to stick to your plan. We may lose sight of the bigger picture and feel as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Whether it be work, training, family or a combination of many things, doing our best to maintain motivation and push ahead will be key to ensuring we succeed and reach our goals. Below are some ideas in how you can continue to keep yourself motivated each and every day, even when it feels impossible.
- Start each day by setting a daily intention - set an intention that today is going to be a great day and that you will work productively and stay focused. Remember, when we expect things to go well, they usually do!
- Create a mantra - this could be for use during the day at work, during your workout, or just when you are going about your daily business. Anytime you feel negativity creep in, state your mantra. An example of this could be “I am focused. I am strong. I will succeed”. Whatever works for you! State it loud and clear!
- Give thanks and gratitude each day - giving thanks and gratitude each morning, or when we find ourselves fostering a negative attitude, can really change your mindset and have a profound impact on your perception of the day and situation.
- Find a training buddy, work buddy, study partner or accountability partner - two minds are better than one! Knowing we have someone else on our team to help us through the tough times and share the load can be a great help. It also allows us to take the focus off ourselves for a moment and focus on the other person. We are more inclined to show up and give it our all, when we know someone else is relying on us!
- Sign up or create a challenge or competition - this could be a fitness competition, or a nutrition study or lifestyle challenge. Whatever works for you. Setting yourself mini challenges or goals can really assist in helping you stay motivated and reach your long term goals faster, not to mention provide a little fun along the way!
- Create a goal / vision board - know your goals, then write them down. Keeping these front of mind is a great way to foster motivation.
- Clean out your closet - decluttering and getting rid of the items that no longer fit you, is a great way to motivate yourself to keep working hard! Whilst you might not have a lot of time, dedicate just 10-15mins a day, each day. Start with one draw, then move onto the next.
- Reward yourself along the way - allow yourself to celebrate your victories along the way. This could be a pair of new shoes, a massage, or even just a coffee! Whatever works for you, set yourself small goals with rewards attached.
When we juggle multiple balls, it can be easy to find ourselves very quickly feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This can happen without a lot of recognition, which then sends us into damage control. Doing our best to mobilize the mind to keep cool, calm and collected will not only allow us to operate efficiently and effectively, but will also allow us to enjoy our journey and remain present to all the awesomeness surrounding us!
Below are some suggested relaxation methods to help you keep on top of your mental game:
- Journal Writing
- Read a book
- Listen to music or play an instrument
- Coloring in
- Draw or paint
- Coffee a friend
- Take a hot bath