Do you struggle with eating healthy? If so, you’re not alone. Eating healthier is a challenge in today’s world. Convenient, high-calorie, and tasty food is available for most of us anytime we want it. Each day we are bombarded by expensive (and effective) marketing makes these highly processed and unhealthy foods even more appealing.
Yet, there is a price to pay for these foods. It doesn’t mean you can’t have them at all, just that to meet your optimal health and healthy weight goals, you will have to find the right balance between real and highly processed food that fits you.
Here are the ten most useful tips for finding a nutrition plan that helps you achieve your goals:
1. Get knowledgeable.
Between the food industry marketing the health benefits of their processed foods and “experts” with convincing (but flawed) data to support the latest diet craze, it’s no wonder many people are confused about what eating healthy means anymore. Eat more foods that promote good health, eat fewer foods that promote poor health and weight gain.
2. Eat at home.
Most restaurants make eating healthy difficult. Besides not knowing what is in the food, it is often highly processed (especially fast food), and the portions are enormous. Getting in the habit of eating at home more often can do wonders for your health and your healthy weight goals.
3. Have go-to meals that you love.
Find a few easy to make, healthy meals you can get on the table in less than 20 minutes, and that you always have the ingredients on hand. Whole grain pasta with a good quality bottled sauce, natural peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich on whole-grain bread and burrito bowls, stir fry and salads are just some ideas.
Plan for the times when you are most likely to slip. Getting home late, and you’re starving? Have the ingredients for your “go-to meal” always available. Are you eating fast food for lunch? Bring leftovers from your healthy dinner.
5.Don’t go hungry.
Skipping meals or starving yourself may seem like a good idea at the time, but long term it doesn’t work. Concentrate instead on eating healthy food and NOT going hungry!6.Make your first meal of the day count.
Making your first meal of the day an automatic win makes the rest of the day’s decisions that much easier.
7.Depriving yourself won’t work long-term.
Optimal Health and lasting weight loss occur when you find the diet you LIKE that promotes your health and weight goals. If broccoli is your least favorite food, promising yourself that you will force it down “because it’s good for me” is not going to last. Besides, it’s miserable. There are many paths to a healthy and delicious diet. Find one that best suits you.
8. Small steps.
You don’t have to make drastic changes in the beginning; in fact, it’s usually better not to. Start small with simple changes that you can live with. Little steps, consistently applied, lead to big changes in time.
9. Minimize or avoid highly-processed food.
In a sentence, this is an underlying principle of all healthy diets.
10. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Knowing up front that you will have setbacks and make mistakes can help you recover from a lapse. You will have lapses. Don’t let it derail your healthy weight goal.