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Today's Podcast Episode

Hi and welcome to today's podcast episode where I'm going to be chatting to you about the number one mistake I see people make when it comes to their nutrition. How are you doing today? Are you keeping well? I'm still over in sunny Spain. I'm enjoying myself.

We relocated here last week for the month and it's been absolutely life changing already. Lots of reading books, lots of thinking time, lots of down time, which I'm really, really enjoying as I get to think, think a little bit more than I normally do when I'm at home because of the routine, the routine of school and all that stuff isn't on. So it's really, really lovely and it's nice to get out of my routine and get a change of scene. I always find that changes me so much.

Gives me a whole new brand new perspective um, on what's going well for me and what I want to improve on. I've just recorded a podcast episode on, is it time to do a life audit? And I share with you the nine categories that um I love to look at every couple of months to make sure that I'm on the right track with myself and that all the things that I'm doing, I'm happy with. So you're going to be, I think listening to that on Thursday. Um But today I wanted to chat to you about your nutrition. I love our nutrition chats. I always get a lot of response on our nutrition chats.

And I think that's because there's so much fucked up bullshit out there when it comes to the food that if you're a woman over 40 listening to this, even if you're not over 40 you're going to have come into contact with a lot of bullshit out there when it comes to food, when it comes to your nutrition. Um, from a young kid, I'm guessing most of us have been so it's nice to unpick that a little bit and remind ourselves what's important to get the most out of our fitness and our health and the most important things to focus on when it comes to your nutrition.

Definitely, nutrition is the one area of health that I see people get bogged down on the most and it's the one area that I see people tie themselves up in knots with. Um, it's really frustrating as well because I meet so many people, you know, so many new clients start with me over the years and they might have been doing really well with, with the exercise really well with the mindset stuff. And they just feel so bad about themselves because they feel that the food isn't right.

And you know, we, we have, we, we place such importance on nutrition way too much importance and we sometimes it can cloud our judgment and I believe that we can get way too over focused on it. Sometimes that we, we decide whether we're healthy or not based on our nutrition action steps. And that's just not, that's just simply not true. You can be healthy in other areas of your life and struggle with your nutrition. However, if you keep up the other healthy areas of your life, the nutrition will eventually follow if you stick with it and just don't give, give up. But so many people give up on the other action steps which kills me. I feel so sorry, bad for them. Um because their food isn't in place and I can relate to that.

I spent years like that years of, of, of judging myself on how I was eating on, I was healthy. If I was eating healthy, I was unhealthy if I wasn't eating healthy. And even when I got healthier in other areas of my life and I was exercising and had different other routines, like bedtime morning, all the other stuff. That was good. I was still basing a lot of my health on my food and stuff. So let's just unpick that a little bit. And the biggest mistake that I see people make now when it comes to their nutrition is that they're way too focused on their healthy food and not focused enough on their unhealthy food.

So if you are listening to this right now and you're really struggling with your nutrition, maybe you're overweight, your clothes are tight. This episode is for you. I want to chat to you about that about the number one reason the number one mistake that people make when it comes to their nutrition and what you can do to get back on the right track and start getting back to feeling really good again. And that number one mistake is that, um, I see the majority of people getting way too obsessed with healthy food and not thinking too much about the unhealthy food choices that they're making.

For example, this was me for many years. An example of my week would be that I would be super restrictive on a Monday. I would be very, very rigid and what I would eat for breakfast. It would probably normally have been maybe two eggs. Then I would be super, super religious at lunch time. I would be checking the different types of bread to have or else I would have no bread. I would be making my decisions based on which was better rye bread or spelt bread or I would go out for a salad and make sure that the dressing wasn't on the salad. So I would just have a dry salad. Um, I would make sure that there was lots of protein in there. No carbs and then I would have nothing until dinner and dinner. I would have, no carbs, carb free completely.

I would have some fish or some chicken with some vegetables and that would be my Monday 100%. I would be only delighted with myself going to bed on Monday, Tuesday. Pretty much the same Wednesday, the same. Um, however, on Wednesday nights I would normally comfort eat on the couch. I would have like five packets of crisps packet of biscuits or I might have like two scones with jam and cream.

Or I would have like, oh, that's what I have. I have loads of stuff. I'd have like whatever desserts, cakes, biscuits. It would have to be five packets of crisps. I think I might have sometimes have had 33, maybe between three and five. Thursday. Super restrictive, especially in the morning to make up for the crisps or the biscuits I would have had on Wednesday night, Thursday night would have bled into the weekend. So back when I drank alcohol, um, oh, no, it was pretty good on Thursday night actually.

So that would have been a treat night. That would have been like maybe desserts and then Friday super restrictive in the day, loads and loads, loads of alcohol. Friday night, wine o'clock just like, beat it into myself. Probably would have maybe a takeaway on a Friday night. Wake up Saturday, super restrictive during the day. Be really analyzing the lettuce leaves and the chicken. I was eating dinner would be treat night or a takeaway actually, because I'd be that kind of Saturday night hungover, mixed with anticipating my next drink. So yeah, takeaway would probably be then or else I would do if I was feeling particularly overweight, I would wait until I got drunk to order my takeaway. So I wasn't really making the conscious decision. I was kind of just, oh, well, look, it's just here. I'm just eating it. Oh my God.

Oh, it sounds so crazy now. But that was me. Sunday hungover, depressed, felt really bad. So I would have normal breakfast and then I would have my normal lunch and then I would have like, I'd go to Tesco and get the samosas and bad because I was hungover and I'd eat them as a snack on top of my snacks. Then I would have dinner and I wouldn't have any junk food that night because I would be trying to be so super healthy to be in anticipation for my Monday.

And that was me for years and years and years. No wonder I was up and down like a yo yo with my weight. No wonder I was weight loss crazy. No wonder I thought weight loss was this big secret that only thin people knew about it, this big secret that people must have been taking a pill or a, a shake or any of those things that no wonder I fed into all the crap out there on social media. And because that's a completely messed up week, it's so unhealthy. I was so obsessed with focusing on really restrictive food to overcompensate for all the unhealthy stuff and all I had to do.

All I had to do was focus on my unhealthy habits and address those and the rest would have followed. But I didn't address my unhealthy habits for a long time. And that makes complete sense to me. I can really relate if you're listening to this and this is you. Now, I can really relate to that. It makes sense at the time to be really like thinking the micro tiny decisions you're making about having dressing with the salad or not. Are the decisions that are making you overweight or not? I promise you they're not. It's the other things that you're doing. Like, what are your weekends?

Like, what are, what's, how much treats are you having? How much alcohol are you drinking? How many takeaways are you eating? I promise you if you start to hone in and get really honest with your unhealthy stuff, then you will get into really great shape and you will feel really good in your clothes with, with this part of health, with the nutrition side of things. I think there's a few reasons why we tend not to look at the unhealthy side of our nutrition. One is that we don't want to change and that's fair enough. But I think sometimes we don't know that we don't want to change. We think we do, we want to be trimmer, but we don't want to look at our unhealthy action steps because it's a big thing to do that. And I can really respect that and understand that and have huge empathy for you if you're like that right now.

That makes complete sense to me. I was like that for years. So an idea for you might be to then acknowledge that it's not, you're not ready to change. However, it's not that you've tried everything and no nutrition plans aren't working. It's that you're not ready to address the unhealthy action steps you're taking in your life. And that's ok and say that rather than be giving out to yourself that nothing's working. And why are your clothes tight? Just maybe think. Well, actually, you know what? They're probably tight because I'm probably overeating or drinking too much at the weekend. It's probably just that extra take away all the wine I'm having that night and the treats on that night.

I'm not going to give them up. I'm not in the right head space for it, but that's the reason. So I'm gonna just stop being hard on myself and beating myself on a stick and jumping up and down on the weighing scales because why on earth would I jump up and down the weighing scales when I'm still doing all those unhealthy action steps. And anyway, the weighing scales don't work. Um So if you are ready to address your unhealthy action steps and you do decide to maybe get rid of the takeaways, which are really bad for us and you decide to eat less treats and you have two treat nights, the rest over time is going to fall into place.

And it might be difficult to see that now, but if you've been having like a lot of junk food at night time or comfort eating after dinner at night time or just eating after dinner, and you're in that kind of loop that you wake up in the morning and you, you, you feel that breakfast makes you feel sick and that you don't want to have breakfast. And I hear that a lot from a lot of you that you don't like having breakfast, you don't feel hungry at that time. It's a complete game changer. When you don't eat s**t late at night, you're gonna wake up absolutely starving and ready for your breakfast. And I promise you nine times out of 10 for most of you that you'll notice that, that when you get rid of your unhealthy habits, your healthy habits will start to naturally follow. You will start to want breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So just like I always tell you about the one healthy habits, start with the one healthy habit of exercise and that will change your life when it comes to your nutrition. If you focus on getting rid of the unhealthy action steps, the healthy habits around your food will follow, they will follow and you know, the calorie counting and the diet plans and people telling you what to eat and the amount of calories to have. I don't buy into that at all. I just think it's absolutely crazy. I think anything that takes you away from your own decision making when it comes to your food. And I think anything that takes you away from being intuitive with yourself, I think isn't going to work like calorie counting. I really don't like, I feel that and I've done it for years. I just feel that you're focused on a certain number to achieve every day or to eat out every day and it's taking you away from what is 100% working for you and hear me out for a second. If you're, if you're focused on, on getting rid of your unhealthy action steps and you say, ok, I'm drinking too much, I'm eating too much takeaways and I'm eating too much sugar during the week and, and let's say you, you work on that and you fix that and you're sorted, you've only got your healthy food left.

You've got your breakfast, lunch and dinner and your little snacks in the day. If you're hungry, your healthy snacks and let's say Monday to Friday, you're going ok. Right. I've had a month of, of, of my unhealthy habits being gone. I have treats at the weekend. Great. So now I'm going to have a month of eating a breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the only brief that I have is that it has to be healthy and then you spend a month doing that and you realize that because of all the unhealthy habits that you've gotten rid of that, you've dropped weight and your clothes are looser, but they're not where you want to be. Well, then the lovely thing about this is that you start tweaking, you start to say, ok, well, maybe it's actually the extra potatoes I'm having at dinner. So maybe I need to look at that or maybe it's the, I don't know the extra bread slice I'm having at my lunch. So maybe I'll address that or maybe actually I'm eating too many carbs.

You know what I've noticed that my 4 p.m. snack is like toast. Maybe I need to switch that, switch that to Greek yogurt with some berries and you get into this lovely awareness of your own food and you start to notice your clothes getting looser or tighter based on the tweaks that you're making. And I'm always saying this to my clients, we're always chatting about tweaking, like have your action steps and then at the end of the week tweak them. And I get a lot of, you know, DMs on Instagram from people, I don't know which I love and they are always, a lot of them are about are always food related, you know, what should I be eating? And my heart goes out because I used to be that person wanting somebody to just tell me what to eat. I want to promise you that that's an absolute trap. And I want you to take your power back and do it in steps. Just do what I suggested there. I promise you in the long term, you're going to become fit and healthy and you're going to feel really amazing in your clothes and it's going to be based on the foods you like.

And it's not going to be a diet plan because you, when somebody hasn't handed it to you and then when somebody hands you a food plan and tells you what to eat. You have no power. It's, it's, you want to be listening to your own body and what works for you. So, step one, work on your unhealthy habits. Don't move on to the healthy stuff when you're still consumed with unhealthy stuff. I can really relate to that. I know how it feels. But if you're eating too much shit, if you're overweight, if you're drinking too much alcohol, look at those areas, there's no point looking at taking the dressing off your salad, you, if you're really serious, you need to look at the unhealthy action steps, then focus on your healthy meals and spend time just having a brief of eating healthy and then see where your body is at.

Not by the weighing scales that's taking your power away and, and, and, and giving it to somebody else that's giving the power to your weighing skills. You take your power back, don't go by your weighing scales. Go buy your clothes are your size, whatever jeans getting looser since you've gotten rid of the unhealthy stuff or is there more there to go? Is there more there to go? Ok. Well, like, look at your dinner, you know, this stuff. Are you overeating at meal times? There's the next area to work on and don't move from that until you have that cracked. The biggest mistake I see people make is that they couldn't be arsed. They're like, well, I don't want to decrease my dinner portion.

So I'm going to get go back to this dressing on the salad. I'm just using that as an analogy. Often it's the things that are right in front of us that we need to address. We don't need more information. We need accountability and support accountability and support on reducing our stress and reducing our anxiety, which will lead to less comfort, eating less binge, drinking, less takeaways when we feel less anxious, when we feel less stressed, when we feel more in tune and happy and content, we're much more likely to eat healthy.

When we're eating healthy, we can tweak the foods there based on what works for us. Well, I hope you found this podcast episode helpful and if you did, I would love you to share it with a friend or if I could ask you a favor to please leave it a review. It is the one and only way that people are finding out about my podcast. And I would really, really appreciate that from you today. I hope you enjoyed this.

Remember that I have a brand new free resource for you. I made it just the other week before I headed over here and it is a tool kit and it is for you. If you want to become organized and have one area for your goals for your action plans, it's called your Ultimate Fitness and lifestyle goals planner and it's going to help you get organized, set clear goals and define your action plan. All you have to do is go to jessicacooke.ie/toolkit and you can get this free resource. I hope you find it helpful. Have a wonderful day. All my love. 

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About the author 

Jessica Cooke

I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to help women to get fit and break free from unhealthy habits holding them back. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

I’ve now supported over 6,779 women over 14 years in my Thrive Coaching Program get fit and break free from unhealthy habits!

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