Karen
150 wallball shots (20/14)

This is part of your yearly benchmark series. Log your score!

We’ve all heard the statement that nutrition shouldn’t be approached from the stance of a diet but rather a change in lifestyle, but the hard part for many is figuring out how to make an actual lasting effect. Yes, it requires planning. Yes, it means preparing your own food (to some extent). Yes, it means knowing what is in your food. And yes, it is “harder” than just grabbing stuff off the shelf and cramming your face. Food, for many, has taken a backseat to the endless list of priorities that take up most of our lives, so the first step in a lifestyle change is making it a top priority.

We’ve been on-board with Paleo since we first learned about it but left to my own devices I can quickly overeat protein and fat and neglect healthy carbs (veggies). For the past 6 weeks or so we’ve been Zoning our meals. Our general rule is to Zone anything that we make at home, which for us is about 80% of what we eat in a week. We don’t stress when we go to friends for dinner or happy hours, but if we make something it really doesn’t make it any harder to also weigh it.

For us, this works better as a “lifestyle” because it allows wiggle room for things like drinks (which can still be Zoned). It also allows items like rice which makes some meals easier to balance when I’m tired of eating greens. It also helps to cut out small non-Paleo things that I may buy just out of boredom and because it’s there (I love egg rolls). Lastly, it helps on days when I have an off meal because I can just simply adjust the rest of my meals for that day based on how I slipped. For instance, if I eat a meal that is too heavy in carbs I can just adjust the rest of my meals that day to compensate.

It’s not a perfect system, but neither is life so for me this approach works. My clothes fit well, I’m happy with how I look, and my performances are as good as ever. Combine that with the fact that if something comes up that doesn’t fit the Zone or Paleo and I can still participate and it’s a recipe for longevity.

What methods have you incorporated into your daily life to bump nutrition up the priority list? Post to comments!