The last 33 years, I have sampled many diet strategies with mixed results. What worked best? Following a consistent routine is what worked best. Daily rituals are behaviors that we practice routinely. We can use daily rituals to our advantage to help maintain our nutrition habits.
Rituals might include-
- Eating at the same time every day
- Eat with a specific plate/bowl and at a specific place.
- Preparing extra protein veggies at dinner for lunch the next day.
1. Eat at (approximately) the same time each day. Establish a pattern that works consistently well for you. For example: (this just an example, each of us will have our own best scenario)
6:30 am breakfast
12:00 pm lunch
4:30pm light mini meal
2. Choose a favorite bowl or plate and sit at your favorite spot.
3. Prepare extra protein and veggies at dinner for tomorrows lunch.
I was once a “Sunday prep” kind of person for like 4 years. By Thursday, that food was yucky. Now I make just enough veggies and protein for dinner and one lunch for my husband and me.
4. Keep It Super Short #KISS
Since I don’t get involved in detailed recipes on weeknights, It is easy to make a double batch of veggies and protein for lunch.
By keeping our nutrition simple, we become consistent. If meal prep gets too detailed, then we are likely to abandon the plan. Save those special recipes for when time permits.
During the week, at night when I am at home, I enjoy winding down with a hot beverage, like this:
Hot Chocolate Chai:
In the bottom of the mug, mix 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk and 1 Tablespoon raw cocoa powder. Heat in microwave 30 seconds and mix very well. Make a cup of decaffeinated spicy or other tea. I like chocolate peppermint tea in this recipe. Chocolate Peppermint Tea
Add the hot tea to the cocoa and mix well.
Update on my own #PPP: Pause, Positive, Practice. I have been having this tea as my positive behavior instead of the negative behavior, night time snacking. Clearly, it is a work in progress, yet 6 days out of 7, I chose this behavior (positive) and did not snack at night(negative). In the past, I would have looked a the one day that I did not choose the positive behavior as a complete failure. Turning it around, we can see that 6 positive behaviors is pretty consistent! Change is not linear, and remember more good behavior than negative is progress. You can read about behavior change here: M&M’s and Changing Negative choices