Most people fall of the healthy eating wagon because they go all or nothing. If you really want to have better health long-term, and lose the weight for GOOD, start small and form a habit. Instead of trying to change everything at once, which is almost a guarantee for failure, start building good habits one at a time.
Here are my top tips:
A. Begin with just one meal each day to eat healthy. Breakfast or snacks are usually the easiest to start with. Make ahead a large batch of oatmeal, separate into pyrex storage containers and freeze if needed. Pull out and into the fridge the night before and in the morning you will have a quick “grab and go” breakfast. Top with raw nuts, fresh fruit, you can even stir in protein powder for a filling boost! Or, replace a sugary breakfast bar or sugary toaster strudel with a protein smoothie! They are extremely simple to whip up and you can store extras in mason jars to grab and drink as you head out the door.
Don’t worry about lunch or dinner until you’ve got breakfast down.
B. Eat healthy just one day each week. Pick one day each week you can stick to a healthy meal plan for the entire day. Maybe the weekend is easier for you if you work during the week or your kids have school activities. Make preparing your healthy meals for that day a family affair! Get the kids involved. Nothing gets kids interested in trying new foods better than the pride of having cooked it all by themselves!
After a few weeks, once you have that one day down, add an additional “clean eating” day. Before you know it, you will have developed clean eating and cooking habits, like cooking in bulk for a few days of meals.
C. Don’t give up your favorite foods, simply swap ingredients. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods in order to eat healthy. There are plenty of ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into a meal, or swap unhealthy ingredients for healthy ingredients. Utilize the power of Pinterest and Google to learn new ways of enjoying your favorite foods. Do you love spaghetti? Try quinoa noodles with fresh homemade tomato sauce, topped with fresh parsley! Do you love cookies? Swap the butter, sugar and refined white flour for quick oats, apple sauce or mashed bananas and raisins!
You can even alter an unhealthy meal by incorporating more of the “healthy” ingredients in the meal. For example, if you enjoy alfredo, make a fresh, home made sauce from white beans, lemon juice, salt, pepper & garlic. Then have a large portion of mixed vegetables, with a small serving of noodles and sauce on the side.
You don’t have to make the change all at once. You are more likely to make permanent changes by incorporating small change until it becomes a habit.
Now, let’s turn words into action!