We all know we need to eat healthier? Pretty easy right? NOT…
Updated 6 August 2020
Your body WILL thank you!
We all know that we should eat right. But the best way to know just how bad your eating habits are is to keep track of what you eat. Healthy eating is not easy when you don’t know where to start.
I thought I could just start by cutting out the junk, drinking more water, and eating more veggies. Yeah sure, that helped…but it wasn’t sustainable without a PLAN.
Unhealthy eating is a HABIT that is harder than most to kick to the curb. However, it can be broken, changed, and improved. It’s not a one-day miracle or 5-minute change.
There’s no quick fix, trust me. It’s a lifetime journey of getting it right and maintaining the good. So, this guide will help you take that first step. To eat healthier doesn’t mean bland food and unrealistic fitness goals.
From food studies and unsustainable fad diets, numerous factors make healthy eating seem complicated. But it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
Healthy tips to keep you on track
Have a variety of delicious healthy meals. Plan your meals so you are not tempted to eat just anything, especially when going out.
Choose to eat foods you love. Just make sure you eat healthier choices.
- At work, keep healthy snack options like nuts and dried berries on your desk or top drawer.
- Keep healthy food readily available. When you get hungry, you’re more likely to eat the first thing you see on the counter or in the cupboard.
- Put some fruits in a basket on the kitchen counter, healthy snacks in your pantry and stock up your fridge with small batches of cooked whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t stuff or starve yourself. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed. On the other hand, if you starve yourself, you’ll lose muscle, get unhealthy and end up falling off the diet eventually.
- Fill yourself up with fruit and veggies.
- Think nutrients, not calories. If you want to improve the quality of your diet, focus on the nutrients in your food instead of calories. Calories are not all the same. It is the quality of the calorie that has the most impact on health, not necessarily the quantity.
- Bright colours in fruits and vegetables usually mean concentrated nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.), which in turn, are very good for you. The more different colours you eat, the more diverse the range of nutrients you’re getting.
Eat nutritious food
Often, food cannot be merely categorized into calories and portions. This is where mindful eating plays a role in helping us listen to our bodies instead of basing all our choices off a number. When we focus on nutritional value instead of calories, we make smarter, healthier choices.
Don’t cut out any food group. Your body needs all the nutrients and vitamins found in various food groups. When you cut out a certain type of food, you need to replace it with foods that have the same nutrient density and fortifying vitamins.
Your body needs healthy carbohydrates, natural sugars and fats.
Keep a Food Journal
A food journal will help you keep track of the food items you eat, especially if you want to be conscious about what you put inside your body. If you’ve planned to go on a diet, you can try out a few journal templates or app which can help you. A food journal is your next BFF to help you eat healthier.
My turning point was journaling what I ate. EVERYTHING. From that first sip or bite to a piece of gum and everything in between. Trust me when I say you don’t realize just how bad your eating habits are until it’s in black and white.
Eating can be emotional. It helps to jot down how you feel or felt when eating certain foods. This kind of insight is invaluable because triggers and patterns are often unconscious.
Keeping a journal allows you to identify the whys of your choices and work on forming new habits and find non-food ways to cope with emotions. Therefore, the point of a food journal isn’t to judge yourself, or even to grade yourself; its to learn about yourself, which is the first step toward adopting healthy habits that stick!
It’s important to know how to strike a balance when you change your eating patterns.
Oh and don’t forget the WATER. Try to drink between 6-8 glasses of water daily. Our bodies are primarily made up of water. Water is essential for all major bodily functions.
Water has great benefits for your health. It’s good for your skin, flushing out toxins, weight loss, and digestion among other great benefits.
It’s also a great energy booster!
Moderation is key. Your stomach isn’t as big as you think. It’s about the size of your fist. The stomach stretches due to constant overeating. This does not automatically mean weight gain, but it can lead to other health issues.
Eat smaller portions in the right proportions. Use a smaller plate and make sure half your plate is vegetables. When you eat wholesome foods, you will eat less and stay fuller for longer.
Don’t eat directly from the packet or container. This leads to over eating.
Don’t quit…keep at it
Quitting the junk altogether, cold turkey style does not work long term. Your body needs to adjust and be realigned to new inputs. As a result, introduce healthier food options in manageable chunks, so that you won’t fizzle out.
There are no shortcuts to a healthy lifestyle. It may be simple but definitely not easy. It takes a lot mentally, physically, and emotionally to start and keep a healthy eating lifestyle.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Your body regulates itself and will alert you when something is off. Don’t burden yourself. Make this journey fun, that way it will be ingrained in you and will become second nature.
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