Let’s do this, In the Zone.
by Amy Jones
When the first of the year rolls around, the thought of self improvement inevitably rears it’s head. Often times the “improvement” surrounds the idea of health and wellness and most notably fat loss and rightly so! We start asking ourselves how to do it. I know I’ve asked myself “how to do it”? I have seen The Zone Diet method work time and time again for people of all manners ready to be their best version. So, how to be in the proverbial “zone” and make this eating lifestyle work for you?
Being “in the zone” is important for anyone who wants to excel at what they do. We aren’t talking about anything that extreme. And right now we are talking about food you are happy to eat in the right proportions for you! Being in the zone can simply mean being in the state of relaxation because you have the tools at hand to make the right choices for all the situations you encounter involving food. Being prepared is 80 percent of the battle when it comes to being in the zone. It is the hardest part because you have to put in all the work. But putting in the work up front can make the rest of the journey easy sailing.
Preparing correctly can involve several methods to increase success. I offer three ways to prepare.
Three Ways to Prepare Properly
1. Start in advance.
Just as if you are preparing for a test preparing is ideal. Preparing in this case is Meal Prep. Meal prep is everything from grocery lists to having the right size and shape of container to carry your meal. Do you have the right knives? Do you have spices? How much time do you need to make a set amount of meals. Knowing all this in advance takes the pressure off and allows for you to flow. “Meal Prep” can even be knowing the restaurants around your place of work and exactly what you can order there. Leave nothing to chance. Don’t get caught at the grocery store hungry and leave eating the “not too bad for me” bag of Gluten free gingersnaps, not cookies gingersnaps, darnit. And, by the way, that’s only happened to me once… or maybe twice. Be prepared!
The act of mentally going through the motions helps greatly in preparing to make the right choices. Athletes have been taught to visualize for quite awhile now but it is not used quite as much in day to day activity. Mental practice means rehearsing in your head the actions or steps of a certain activity. I have no problem going into cocktail hour not having a drink if I have mentally prepped. It can be the perfect game if you frame it right. You versus You.
The act of mentally rehearsing what you are going to do has been shown to increase proficiency and performance. As you are getting ready to go to that luncheon with your co-workers, mentally rehearse your techniques to stay on course with my ideal food choices. Know whether or not you will have that glass of wine or piece of bread. See yourself enjoying the foods and portions right for yourself.
3. Have a Routine.
Routines are important if you want to perform optimally while making changes to your life. Routines take guesswork away. It also saves energy by enabling you to save your brain power. The act of having to decide what to do drains your glucose levels and mental energy. The best athletes always have routines. Routine provides a sense of structure and familiarity. Know when you are going to grocery shop, make meals, and eat your meals. Structure is a way of organizing your life so that it makes sense to you. You wake up with a sense of ownership, order, and organization of your life. Routines serve as constants. It also serves as a trigger and precursor for getting ready to be “in the Zone, baby!”