If someone, at the start of their fitness journey were to ask me what I would consider the first step to be, I would say, ‘think about your food’. Now, you would think that’s a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people think of a gym membership first or workout DVD. I would not just say, ‘food’, I would say ‘think about your food’. This is because a fitness journey is mostly mental then afterwards physical. It takes will power to start and then staying power to make a lifestyle, however that’s my next post ;p.
Let me tell you about food! Food is sneaky. Food is the sneakiest sucker there is. This is why a lot of people tend to become very pragmatic and verging on obsessive over the course of time. Now food is not the enemy but it’s definitely one of those friends you want to keep a close eye on.
Outside the obvious healthy food choices we make daily, you would also be surprised how many little food items slip under the radar, because of our cultures.
Coffees and teas on coffee dates
While I don’t care for coffee, I love me some chai tea and a chai latte tends to be what I concede to, while out meeting my friends. Guess how many calories are in that medium latte?! A whopping 422. In other words, in these coffee date streets, a medium chai latte is a whole extra meal in a day, without the good nutritional values. Calmly, think about that one.
Fruit juices during and after meals
Fruit juices used to be the first thing on my shopping list. Having some sort of meal, automatically meant I had to have a tall glass of orange juice. Even at the start of my fitness journey. To this day when I get to most of my friends houses, the first thing they offer me is juice! It is a hosting culture. Unless it’s freshly squeezed then it’s probably packed with added sugar. A glass of water and lemon will do just fine.
Snacks in between meals
With snacks we often think smaller, bite sized packaged portions won’t do any harm. That’s how I used to be fooled. I mean have you seen the size of the little Kellog’s cereal bar that looks at you when your looking for some lunch in Tesco? So cute, so small. You would be surprised about the added sugars and calorie punch most of these snacks are packing. To make matters worse, they leave you wanting more..
Sauces and dips
This is another culture. We just have to dip! I didn’t grow up with this culture, I have to say, but since moving to the UK, I realise this is quite a big thing. Name any one thing you eat and I guarantee you there is a dip or a topping for it. Innovative, yes, however, this is also where I used to get caught out.
Portioning on your plate during meals
Now my African natives are going to kill me for this one, but one of my favourite delicacies, Nigerian jollof rice or Ghanaian :P, consists of a mountain of rice and two pieces of chicken. The ratio of rice portioning to chicken portioning is probably 15:2, and I love it! Hahahaha….however, imagine if that was your daily portioning. This is generally how we tend to portion food. A carbohydrate mountain and protein molehill on a large plate, and sometimes a few overcooked greens. It’s worth doing some looking into, as this is also a culture not doing our waistlines any good.
Disclaimer: This should not upset my jollof rice suppliers. I still love you guys. Keep those portions coming as they are! I will work out the rest.
Friends who help you make excuses when they see you making healthier choices.
Haha, this is a tricky one, but you have to watch out for these little foxes too. Once I got to Costa and the friend I went to meet, politely had a carrot cake and juice waiting for me. On another occasion at Costa, another friend briefly lectured me about how ‘every thing in moderation..’ Me to her, ‘No darling you in moderation!’ Haha. I am only kidding. Still on another occasion, ‘alternatively, you can have a skinny latte.’ All this coercing! Let me tell you, most of my coffee dates begin with me having to explain why I won’t be having a coffee, a sort of ‘coffee-less date induction’. Then there’s the ‘live a little’ debate, etc. At the risk of sounding like all me and my friends do is debate about food when I meet them or that they put stress on my fitness goals, I won’t go into that too deeply! Don’t ditch your pals, just be aware.
So imagine having your wee cereal bar as a snack, your lunch with a dip or dressing, and then heading to coffee with a friend after work and then tucking into your dinner with a glass of fruit juice.Yikes!
Have you noticed any other extras that add to you food bill because of your cultures? Comment below, but also iron them out!
Have a great weekend guys! 🙂