..getting too tight?
Maybe you didn't wear them for a few weeks (that definitely happens when you live most of your life in workout leggins… I know that well), so without even realizing how that happened, they don't fit that well anymore? Or maybe you find that your favorite workout top is not as loose as it used to be?
First thing, don't panic. In the past, I thought that's going to be the end of the world, but it's not true.
If you put on a few pounds and you don't like it, you just have to figure out the adjustments that you need to make, and give yourself a little bit of time. You'll get back to your favorite size again.
Note: I don't think that putting on weight or going up in dress size is a bad thing. It doesn't determine your value as a person–you're not good or bad based on what your body looks like or what your weight is. In some cases, putting on weight is even necessary. I'm writing this to share what helps me if I feel that I'm slightly falling off the healthy eating wagon, where I'm possibly making mistakes and what I do to fix them.
My Workouts Are Good…
I personally almost never have to force myself to workout. Working out is something I generally really enjoy. I love training and I love the feeling after a good workout even more. Other than taking an occasional week off, getting my butt out and work out is not a problem for me. I've done it for so long and usually usually don't need much willpower to get myself together and work out; it's a habit.
It's My Eating
But eating is different. I do have some diet mishaps. My diet is generally good, but there are a few things that I know I can do better when I notice some unwanted changes in my physique.
I don't follow any special diet or count calories, because I've learned that I tend to go to extremes, which usually doesn't end well (it used to lead to lot of bingeing in the past). But when I notice that my clothes are getting a bit tighter, I feel a little bit bloated and heavier than normally, there are usually a few things in my diet that I need to address.
I Have to Control My Portion Size
Sometimes I do eat too much. If I notice a change in how my clothes fit, I may have eaten slightly more than I need.
It's absolutely possible to over eat healthy foods too. For example, almond butter is healthy food and provides you with good fats and even some protein, but it also provides you with 100 calories per tablespoon. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to eat just one tablespoon of it.
Many diet experts say that it's time to stop eating when you feel about 80% full. For me, it doesn't really work. I like to eat close to 95-100% fullness, because I feel like if I eat only 80%, I have to eat again in two hours. I don't like it. I don't want to eat that often. I want to eat and then forget about it for 4+ hours if possible, so that I can focus on other things, instead of thinking about food non-stop.
However, it's rare, but sometimes I go over 100% fullness. The solution is to slow down when I eat, so that I can give my body enough time to realize when it's at around 95-100% fullness. I don't eat super quickly, but I could eat a bit slower.
I Have to Pay Attention to My Snacking
Even though I prefer to have full meals 3-4 times a day and snack as little as possible, it doesn't mean that I never snack in between the meals. Sometimes, I do.
But for me, snacking adds up. There are times when I'm having a protein bar after lunch and a spoonful of nut butter after dinner and a few chocolate chips before the bed… It would be silly to think that these snacks won't affect me. They do!
Of course, if you keep your other meals smaller so you make room for snacks, it may come out the same. But if you don't adjust your main meals while still keep snacking and snacking and snacking, then of course it will end up showing on your waistline.
For me, minimizing snacking helps a lot.
I Have to Limit My Booze
Can you booze it and lose it? Not really.
I've mentioned here that I don't drink wine as often as I used to. There were times when I had a glass of wine pretty much every night, but not anymore.
Last winter, I went about three months without having any alcohol at all.
I love wine, but I can absolutely tell the difference in how my body looks and feels when I don't drink. When I don't have a drink for 2-3 weeks, I feel lighter, even if I don't measure or weigh myself (which I haven't done for few years!) and I definitely see a little bit more muscle definition.
I haven't tried to be without wine for a full year, but I can only imagine that it would probably make pretty big difference in how I look and feel in my body. Who knows, I may do it in the future, but I also really like drinking wine, so I don't want to give up on it unless there's a good reason for doing it.
So, whenever I feel that I may have put on some weight, I may have had a few too many drinks lately. I may need to cut it down a bit or cut it out completely for some time.
There's no one and only answer to the question how much you can drink without that affecting the way your body looks and feels. Everyone's different. I know that for me, 2-3 glasses of wine a week is maximum to maintain the way I am. More than that and I start gaining weight.
How to Make a Change
Whenever I feel like I may have added some inches here and there, or that my clothes don't fit as usual, I know that I have to check in with my eating habits.
So, what do I do then?
In the past, I would've panicked. I would've cut out all snacks, all booze and all fats from my diet and worked out as much as I could–all at the same time. Ironically, working out more would mean that I also need more calories, but back then, I didn't get it.
I wanted my “lean me” back by tomorrow. But it doesn't work like this; patience is key here.
Check in with yourself to see where you've possibly gone overboard, then make adjustments that help you to get back on track.
Right now, I know that I need to keep my eye on my portion control and eat slower and more mindfully. I have also been snacking more than usually, which has left me a bit bloated.
Practicing better eating habits can be tough, but I really like how Georgie Fear puts it: Because we eat multiple times a day, we also have multiple opportunities every day to practice better eating habits.
Your next chance to make better choices is only a few hours away when you have your next meal.