3/13/09

Resolutions and rewards

Did you make a nutrition-related resolution approximately 3 months ago?
I think we all have habits that can be changed. Perhaps, your habits are keeping you from your ideal weight.
About 3 weeks ago, karel and I noticed that we were eating ice cream yogurt almost every evening. Granted, we were only eating about 1/4th cup w/ fruit, it was a bad habit that we needed to break. There was no reason to eat the ice cream yogurt at 110 calories per 1/2 cup, but it was a bad habit that did not contribute to an improvement in our training. Even if the ice cream had no affect on our total calories for the day, it is not healthy to have a habit of eating ice cream after dinner...even if it is just a little bit.
Now, we only eat ice cream on Sat and/or Sun. After our hard training. The best part is that it can be any type of ice cream. Maybe we want butter pecan (my favorite) or mint chocolate chip...We use small bowls (like coffee cups) and we still eat fruit with our ice cream but it is more rewarding on the weekends when our body actually wants the extra sugars.
I know people like to have cheat days to eat whatever they want one day a week but I believe that we should always want to put heart healthy food in our body. Sure we could choose ben n' jerry's which is loaded with saturated fat but we choose yogurt ice cream or double churn. We aren't eating french fries or chips and we aren't ordering pizza. We still believe in making all our meals and putting the best foods possible in our bodies.
If you eat healthy every day of the week and you exercise everyday, especially long on the weekends, I believe that you should have some variety in the diet. Resolutions are often un-realistic and I believe people are too hard on themselves. I love eating healthy and I love the way healthy food makes me feel and makes me perform. Most of all, it is so rewarding to know that the food in my body is allowing me to do what I love to do (train and race) for a very long time.
So, if you have a few "bad" eating habits that you need to break, give yourself a day to workout a bit harder and reward yourself for that hard training. Having said this, you still need to portion control and prioritize heart healthy food. There is no point reversing that hard training session which you thought would make you stronger, by eating more than 500 calories in one meal and eating fatty or sugary food. Be consistent with creating good eating habits and be wise when you do decide to have a treat. Ice cream on sat evening will not hurt you but eating ice cream every night will not help reach your weight and performance goals.
Good luck with healthy eating and think about a new resolution that is rewarding for all areas of your life.