Hello guys, long time no blogpost.
Towards the end of 2017, I gained about 4kg and I decided to do something about it. I’m not too hung up on weight but it got to a point where some of my clothes no longer fit properly.
I decided to do the Whole 30 diet in January. I had a meal plan in place, I shopped for food items and for the first 2 weeks, things went smoothly. I started falling off the wagon gradually and before I knew it, I was completely off.
Next, it was Intermittent Fasting February, I had an eating window between 11am to 7pm. I did this for about 2 weeks before letting go but even after, I tried to eat healthy throughout February.
I had some challenges with eating healthy but I got some tips to overcome them and I’d like to share. I’m not a dietician or an expert, these are just tips that have worked for me.
CHALLENGE ONE: The “Diet”
Going on very strict diets can be counterproductive because it can make one tired of the diet easily.
Solution: Just try to eat healthy instead of following a rigid diet. Eat whole grains, limit your sugar intake from sweets and drinks, eat more of protein and vegetables than carbs, control your food portions.
CHALLENGE TWO: Lack of moral support
This is a huge factor, it is easier to be on a diet when you have people working with you, cheering you on, people that you can be accountable to.
Solution: Tell family and friends, look for a partner, form a whatsapp group if you have to. Share meal plans, tips, exercise routines etc. I didn’t have that support so I got tired of preparing meals just for myself and doing it alone.
CHALLENGE THREE: Events/Visits
This was the beginning of the end of my diet. Most of the food served in events are unhealthy and its not easy to refuse food especially when everyone else is eating. Even visiting people can make you fall off the wagon because mostly they present snacks and drinks and ask you to eat and drink. How do you start explaining that you can’t have any? In Nigeria, some can take it as a sign that you have something against them.
Solution: Eat before you go for an event, so you can just drink water or eat fruits if they have any. When visiting, politely explain and ask them to pack up your food. Then, you can give it out to someone who would appreciate it.
CHALLENGE FOUR: Hormones/PMS
My hormones go haywire when my period is approaching. Sometimes, I get violent cravings (yes, I said violent). I had very serious sugar cravings in January. At a point, I could take it no longer and I gave into my cravings😔.
Solution: I honestly have no solution for this, I gave in to my cravings every time.
CHALLENGE FIVE: Traffic/Stress
Sitting in traffic is one of the greatest contributors to unhealthy eating. It makes me so frustrated that I start stress eating. Plantain chips, chin chin, drinks etc. Basically anything I can lay my hands on, it’s not a pretty sight.
Solution: Discipline…… It’s tough but it’s the best solution. Next, arm yourself with healthy snacks, always have some in your bag. Air fried plantain chips, coconut, tiger nuts, almonds, granola bars, carrots etc. Just don’t over-do it. I always try to have granola bars in my bag.
CHALLENGE SIX: Eating out
If you eat out a lot, you might find it difficult to choose healthy food options. Many Nigerian meals are carb heavy and very oily especially our street food.
Solution: Pack your own lunch. Take your lunch to work or school or where ever. Makes it easier to eat healthy. Also, have some fruits, nuts or snacks in your bag in case you get hungry randomly during the day.
CHALLENGE SEVEN: Lack of organization/planning
This is another huge contributor to unhealthy eating. It can throw off your diet if you aren’t careful.
Solution: To successfully eat healthy, you need to plan and organize your meals. Make a shopping list, buy your groceries in bulk, prep your meals, and be DISCIPLINED!!! Also, have a go-to meal. A meal that you can put together in a hurry if you’re out of options.
Have you tried any popular diet? How did it turn out? What challenges do you have with eating healthy? How do you deal with it? Please share in the comments. Thank you.