3 Reasons balanced eating feels harder for busy moms
Does your eating feel all over the place?
Do you feel stuck in a cycle of on-again, off-again healthy eating?
You feel like you're either doing great, on your game, preparing healthy meals on the regular... or you're subsiding off of Dino nugget tails and Annie's cheddar bunnies (you're honestly not even sure how you're still awake, but that's #momlife, right?!) You know if you ate well on the regular, you'd feel better- and whenever you've gone on one of those clean eating plans you felt great for a while, but they felt restrictive and you could never stick to them for long.
You know dieting doesn't work, but the alternative-- actually finding a balance, feels as impossible as getting a toddler to sit still without a lollipop and thirty seven episodes of Cocomelon (ask me how I know).
Balanced eating just feels harder when you're a busy mom. I know, because I am one-- and even though I've been in the health and wellness world for the better part of a decade, life still happens to me, too. The difference in where I used to be-- on-again, off-again dieting and binge eating on the weekends, feeling like I had zero self control and I either needed to ditch all the foods I loved and just eat clean 100% of the time or forget it and just eat whatever (because is it even worth the stress?!) is that I identified WHY it felt harder, as a busy mom-- and I made balanced eating work for ME, in MY life-- not by following a pre-set plan that never lasted for long, and I KNOW it's possible for you, too.
The difference in where I used to be-- on-again, off-again dieting and binge eating on the weekends, feeling like I had zero self control and I either needed to ditch all the foods I loved and just eat clean 100% of the time or forget it and just eat whatever (because is it even worth the stress?!) is that I identified WHY it felt harder, as a busy mom-- and I made balanced eating work for ME, in MY life, and I know it's possible for you, too.
So why does balance feel harder as a busy mom?
1) We're distracted by tiny humans and tuning into our body feels HARD.
We're told the only alternative to dieting is intuitive eating, which I am all for-- except eating ONLY on feeling feels nearly impossible when you're a busy mom. How do we tune in when everything around us is LOUD? The reality is, true balanced eating needs to combines both intuition and intention-- especially when you're a busy mom and you don't feel like you have the time to sit and eat a peaceful meal (let alone make constant decisions around food). Tuning in is important- but it's only part of the equation, and we don't need to let it bog us down or keep us from eating in a way that's balanced (instead of relying on short-term diets)
Eating ONLY on feeling feels nearly impossible when you're a busy mom.
2) We don't have a lot of time to prepare complicated meals like we did before kids- so convenience outweighs making choices that serve us more often then we'd like. Often we think eating balanced meals means preparing complicated meals from fancy cookbooks with beautifully plated bowls piled with plants-- and you all know, I love me some plants and I love a good recipe. But I'm a busy mom, too, and convenience is KEY. When we feel like balance is complicated, we give it up entirely. But balance means finding a middle ground- it means finding strategies that work to get meals on the table with ease AND learn simple steps to fuel our bodies well for balanced energy, mood (and less #hangrymom moments)- whether it means popping a frozen pizza in the oven or preparing a home cooked meal (balance is available for BOTH!)
When we feel like balance is complicated, we give it up entirely.
3) We're already overwhelmed by #allthethings, and we don't feel like we have the brainspace to learn something new. Intuitive Eating? Balanced meals? Please tell me where I'm going to find the time to learn a whole new way of eating- reading the instructions on the box of dino nuggets takes enough brainspace!
I get it, mama. Learning something new feels overwhelming- and it just feels easier to follow a plan. But plans don't know you or your life-- learning the skills to become a balanced eater is something you can embrace for LIFE, not something you'll learn and let go of, like most complicated and restrictive diet plans.
But plans don't know you or your life-- learning the skills to become a balanced eater is something you can embrace for LIFE, not something you'll learn and let go of.
Here's the truth mama: balance might feel harder as a busy mom now, but it doesn't have to be. Restrictive plans aren't the way to create the habits you need to live balanced for life-- the kind of ease (and energy) you need as a busy mom, and the kind of example you want to set for your kids comes from finding balance. So let's start to break it down. Let's make balanced eating EASY-- as it should be.
Here's three ways you can start embracing #balance as a busy mom:
1) Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset.
The on-again, off-again cycle is one I see far too often with mamas who want to live a balanced life, but only know how to do it when they're following a specific plan. Eating balanced doesn't mean we ditch all structure, but it DOES me we ditch diets in favor of a long-term approach. Take action: Have you ever felt like you're either 'on' or 'off' healthy living? How could you approach your healthy mama life as ONE meal at a time, instead of pass or fail?
2) Create more connection without complication.
Connecting to your body and your needs is essential to ditching the on-again, off-again, but it can be hard when you're focused on your kids. Let go of the idea it needs to be complicated, and try this one simple addition:
Take action: Bring intentional awareness to your eating. Starting NOW (yes, now) start recognizing when you're eating, and why. Are you hungry? Are you bored? Are you stressed? Often as moms, we eat when we're not hungry, and when we are hungry, we get over hungry and overeat- or we allow distraction to overtake our lives and we don't eat enough during the day and find ourselves in a pile of cookies at 8pm once the kids have gone to bed. The simplest place to start is simply recognizing WHEN and WHY you're eating.
3) Focus on satisfaction.
Often as moms, we're in survival mode, and eating food that actually satisfies is the last thing on our list. But satisfaction is more than just feeling full- it's enjoying our food, and even if we're not able to sit down with a candle and a gourmet meal, we can still focus on eating food we ENJOY-- which makes us FAR less likely to overeat, and far more likely to eat just enough, and not find ourselves mindlessly snacking all day long. So what do YOU like to eat-- not what your kids like, or what's available- what do YOU like, and how can you bring more of that into your life? We'll add in healthy additions, next, but satisfaction comes first.
Are you ready to create balance, without the stress? My brand new mini course, Balanced Eating Essentials is designed to show you how, with the 7 essential habits to becoming a balanced eater- for life.