Let’s incorporate healthy habits into our lives. I would be doing you an injustice if I ignored the facts regarding actual good health. Remember, everything happens at the perfect time. There is a reason you found my blog.
Here are some ideas:
Please don’t feel you have to do all of these right this minute. Remember slow and steady. Pay attention to how you feel as you read my suggestions. If you feel excited or at least somewhat happy, that’s a good indication it’s a good place to start. If the idea of giving up artificial sugary coffee creamer makes you want to cringe that’s a good indication it’s not a good idea right now. Doesn’t mean it won’t be later.
Remember, if you try to make too many changes at once you might feel overwhelmed and give up. You have time. Take it easy, love yourself and be patient. Sometimes we need to restructure certain aspects of our life to prioritize our health.
For example, say you eat lunch out every day. In order to eat out less, you’ll need to figure out the logistics of bringing your lunch and allotting time to prepare it. There are social impacts of that decision too. Maybe you love going out to lunch with co-workers and the thought of losing that time with your work friends sounds unappealing. Maybe you compromise, by bringing lunch three days a week and eating out the other two days, that way you still get to enjoy eating lunch out.
You have to feel good about the changes you are making for them to be sustainable.
Eating is one of the most pleasurable aspects of life. So many people don’t enjoy eating. They deny themselves the pleasure. Denying yourself the pleasure of eating isn’t going to make you skinny much less happy. Conversely, it will lead you to eat more food because you’re disconnected. The “dieting cycle” has so many people stressed out and completely mixed up about food. As you clear out the negative, misleading diet noise, eating will become enjoyable again.
Lose the all or nothing mentality
It doesn’t work for food or much else in life.
I’ll start my diet Monday, so this weekend I’ll eat and drink all I want, sound familiar?
If you consistently eat what you crave, in smaller portions, you’ll never have to diet again.
I don’t want you to eliminate foods that make you happy. Our goal is to eat everything we want in moderation, enjoying all food!
Learn to listen and trust your body
You don’t need diets telling you what to eat, your body knows best! You just gotta get that communication line between yourself and your body open again
Diets have been telling us what to eat for years, and that hasn’t worked out very well.
The “dieting cycle” has gotten many people away from listening to their body.
Diets have conditioned us to believe that the diet has all the answers and consequently the power.
You have the power! You just have to get in-tune with your body again.
Journaling, daily inspiration, and a can-do attitude is a good start.
Fruit is good for you!!! All types!!! Many diets have vilified fruit, especially bananas. The benefits, of the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients found in fruit, far outweigh the sugar.
Eat plenty of vegetables
Vegetables are good for you!!! Eat up!! Even potatoes! Same reasoning as mentioned above in the banana example.
*Add in at least 1 fruit or vegetable at every meal. Fruit and vegetables make great snacks too. Aim for 5 to 8 servings a day. If you’re not used to eating any fruits or vegetables, remember any addition of whole, natural food from the earth, is a step in the right direction.
Food that comes from the earth with little to no processing, is good for you to eat
You’ve all heard it before drink plenty of water. Any improvement is great! Find ways to make drinking water fun, like cute glasses, adding lemon, cucumber, etc. You’ll actually get addicted to drinking water once your body gets used to it. You won’t feel right when you haven’t had enough water.
Eat out less
Prepare more meals at home. Don’t let cooking intimidate you. If you’re new to cooking, start off slow. Don’t feel like you have to cook perfectly. I’ve found that cooking, like everything else in life, evolves, you’ll get better in time. Find ways to enjoy preparing and cooking food. Cooking doesn’t have to be a big production, simple food prepared at home is what we’re aiming for. I will go over specific ideas in future blog posts.
Eat very little processed foods
Do the majority of your grocery shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store where the fresh food is and less down the center aisles where processed foods are.
A good way to think about processed food is this; if a food product can last a long time in your pantry, it’s probably not very good for you.
Take cookies, for example, homemade cookies are better than packaged store-bought cookies. The reason being most store bought cookies contain, hydrogenated oils that allow the product to have a long shelf-life, compared to shorter shelf life homemade cookies made with real butter.
Easy trick: When buying pre-made foods, get ones’ that you can pronounce the ingredients of, preferably with a short ingredient list
Eliminate fat-free foods
Fat-free foods are over-processed. Many fat-free foods have added sugars and fillers, particularly starches, to replace fat. We want to move away from processed foods and move towards foods in their original state.
It is better to eat a smaller portion of a full-fat food than to eat a larger portion of a fat-free food. Full-fat foods are more satisfying than fat-free versions, so you’ll most likely eat less, if not now, in time you will.
Full-fat foods are more satisfying than fat-free versions, so you’ll most likely eat less, if not now, in time you will.
Reduce or eliminate fast food
Traveling or in a time crunch, fast food from time to time can be okay. Maybe you craving a burger and don’t want to make it. There are times fast food is the answer. Fast food just doesn’t need to be a daily occurrence. Fast food is full of questionable ingredients that make it “fast food.”
Don’t eat foods or drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup
Don’t eat foods containing Hydrogenated Oils
Reduce or eliminate all soda consumption
Including diet soda
Reducing soda consumption is a great place to start. No need to go, cold turkey, on your soda habit, any improvement is great; you can gradually wean yourself off!
Don’t eat foods containing artificial sweeteners
Common types are Aspartame, Splenda, Equal, Stevia, Sweet-N-Low, NutraSweet, and Sugar Alcohols (found in many sugar-free foods, like popsicles).
We are training our taste buds to crave healthier foods. Consuming artificial sweeteners trains your taste buds to crave sweets. Plus, artificial sweeteners are not good for your body.
Eat slowly and chew all your food thoroughly
A great habit is to place your fork and knife down while you chew; when you are finished chewing make another bite. Don’t let “fast eaters” you are dining with set YOUR pace.
Avoid distractions while eating
Do not watch TV, read, or use the computer/phone. As you get better at eating intuitively, you most likely be able to add that in from time to time.
Never eat to the point of fullness
Eating to the point of fullness stretches your stomach and is uncomfortable. Even healthy foods, you do not want to eat to the point of fullness. Eating to the point of fullness creates a habit, a habit you’ll use when eating less healthy foods too. We want to train ourselves to eat healthy portions of ALL types’ food. Eating slowly will allow you to realize you’re getting full before it’s too late.
Change the way you speak about food
Describe food as healthy or less healthy. Lose the terms “bad food” and “good food” they are too harsh. Don’t think I was “bad” today; I ate cheesecake, or I was “good” today, I had chicken breast and steamed vegetables.
You are a good person every day. What you eat does not determine who you are or what type of person you are
Try new foods/get out of your rut
Maybe you don’t hate broccoli or fish etc. I’ve found that many times people think they don’t like a particular food and when they try it again, they like it.