Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to make a ton of unrealistic changes or strict dietary changes. Instead, you want to focus on your long term efforts by making changes that are going to be easy to stick too. Most of those quick fix solutions or dieting only work for your short term goals. Once you go back to your normal eating habits , most people find that they put the weight back on and sometimes even more.
I wanted to make it easy for you to start eating healthy and with these 8 easy ways you can start eating healthy now. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow or next week. Start implementing these changes today!
Plan your Meals
I found that planning my meals made it so much easier for me when it came time to pick what we would have for dinner. The great thing about meal planning is that you aren’t restricted to what you can eat. When you plan what you want to eat, you can make a detailed shopping list of things to pick up at the store. As you are planning your meals, don’t forget to account for busy evenings when you need a quick meal so that you aren’t stopping by the drive through on your way home from work.
Don’t forget to include items that you can pack for lunch too! Skip the frozen foods, they are misleading.
Cook More Meals at Home
Cooking meals allows you to have more control over the foods that you are preparing. Food that is prepared at home can be prepared in various ways or by making healthier options of your favorite recipes. Plus, you know exactly what you are eating when you take the time to prepare your own food.
Make the Right Changes to Your Diet
Many people often make the mistake of avoiding certain foods when they start making healthy changes. Instead of giving up your favorite guilty pleasure, you should come up with a healthy alternative to take its place. For example, instead of eating ice cream opt for low-fat yogurt. Start with simple changes that will accept your overall health.
Learn Proper Portion Sizes
Portion control is a constant struggle for many people. Did you know that your typical meal at a restaurant contains anywhere from 800 to 2,000 calories depending on what you order? Your typical restaurant meal is more than what the USDA recommends and most entrees don’t have foods for all of the food groups. Check out this useful portion control chart to learn about the proper portion sizes to help you reduce your portions.
If you do happen to eat out, you can either split a meal or immediately ask for a doggie bag so that can put half of your meal in it to go. Spliting or making a doggie bag immediately keeps you from over eating or consuming too many calories.
At home, I often will use a smaller plate to trick my mind into thinking I am eating a ton of food. A half empty plate will make you think that you aren’t getting enough to eat or it will cause you to go over the recommended serving size.
Make Simple Changes
Many people often focus on counting calories or points when they should focus on simplifying their food choices. You should pick a diet that is colorful (pick plenty of fruits and vegetables) and whole foods. Try to picture where the food source came from and try to determine if it was grown. If it is grown, it is better for you. Learn to skip the processed foods including fruits and vegetables (ie canned foods) and choose better options. For example, instead of eating pasta you could opt for zoodles (zucchini noodles) or find whole wheat pasta.
If you find that your produce is going bad before you get a chance to consume it, you can purchase fruit and vegetables from your freezer section. These are much healthier than purchasing canned goods.
Snacking can easily add several hundred calories to your diet. I often find that I snack when I am bored or when I am really thirsty. Check out these ideas on how to reduce snacking throughout the day.
Read the Labels
I am guilty of not reading labels especially on foods that the manufacture has marketed as healthy. Most manufacture’s often use long complicated words to hide sugar, salt, and preservatives in the food that your eating. Experts recommend that if you can’t pronounce the word that you should avoid it. You can easily replace most of these foods with healthy alternatives.
Don’t Forget to Drink Plenty of Water
Instead of reaching for that glass of soda, juice, alcohol, or other calorie filled drinks, opt for a glass of ice water. Often times are body is signaling to our brain that it needs hydration but we mistake it for hunger. If you struggle with drinking enough water, try adding lemon, lime, oranges, strawberries, or other fruits and vegetables. Plus, water helps flush out toxins and other waste products.
I hope that you find these 8 easy ways you can start eating healthy now simple and easy to follow. Just remember that you don’t have to put off making these changes, you can start implementing them today. Don’t forget if you slip up and have a bad day, that your next meal or tomorrow is a new day to start over.
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos
What is your biggest hurdle when it comes to eating healthy?