Practical Tips to Start (and Stick to) Your Healthy Eating Journey
A healthy meal Reduce your carb intake, cut out on (bad) fats, eat more protein and fibre – we all know the basics of healthy eating. But, we only wish it was as easy as it sounds. In a survey conducted by International Food Information Council Foundation (a few years back), 52% of the participants said it’s easier to do taxes than to figure out what they should and shouldn’t eat to improve their health.
We don’t really blame them for thinking this way!
The vast amount of conflicting nutritional advice, contradictory research findings, fad diets, and the misconceptions surrounding the concept have all unnecessarily complicated the idea of healthy eating. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Simple Tips to Make Your Healthy Eating Journey Easier
We know how difficult it can be for most people to suddenly give up on everything they love, in the name of healthy eating, and how short-lived such episodes usually are. Therefore, we have some simple and practical tips to help you get started with this long-awaited journey:
· Eliminate Sugary Drinks From Your Diet
They are not only one of the major sources of empty calories, but also increase the risk of certain health issues, like diabetes. Excessive consumption of sugar also contributes to obesity and premature aging. Choosing your drinks wisely can make a big difference in your diet and health.
You can save those empty calories and have something healthier and filling instead. Switch your soda with unsweetened beverages or lemon water and stop adding sugar to your tea or coffee (gradually reduce it if you can’t stop it altogether at once).
· Swap Processed and Frozen Foods with Unprocessed, Fresh Ones
Stop filling your trolley with those frozen food packets or packaged foods. We know, they come in handy during those busy weekdays when you’re in no mood for cooking. But, more often than not, they are packed with all things bad – saturated fats, refined carbs, excessive sodium or added sugar, and preservatives. Opt for unprocessed fresh foods instead.
Can’t give up on pasta? Have an everlasting love for pizza? Make them healthier by swapping regular pasta with whole wheat or chickpea pasta. Instead of buying frozen pizza or ready-made pizza dough, make your own cauliflower pizza. Add loads of fresh veggies to your pastas and pizzas.
There are several ways to make your favourite foods healthier. This, however, doesn’t mean you can have pizza every day. Remember the age-old rule – moderation is the key to health and happiness!
· Prep Your Meals on Weekend
Most of us have been through this – you promise yourself to not eat anything unhealthy all week and then treat yourself with a burger or pizza on the weekend. All goes well until you wake up late one day, with no time to make breakfast, and just grab a coffee and a donut from the nearby coffee shop while on your way to the office. Or you come home late someday, exhausted, so you just pop a frozen pizza into the microwave to fill up your growling stomach.
Lack of time and fatigue are among the primary reasons why many people fail to stick to their healthy eating routines and end up shoving bad things into their mouths. There are two key ways to deal with this problem:
- Do not keep unhealthy foods at home or office.
- Prep your meals on the weekend.
You can half-prep some of the meals and cook others completely. Soups and stews stay well in the fridge for a few days and can even be frozen for weeks, so you can make them in large batches and then store them in smaller containers for use over the weeks.
Take Baby Steps and Keep Things Simple
Healthy eating isn’t a short-term project; it’s a life-long journey. To make it lasting, you should gradually bring in changes in your lifestyle to allow your body and mind to get used to it. You may be highly motivated to bring drastic changes in your diet when you are beginning this new journey, but most people lose that motivation after a few days or weeks. Don’t make the same mistake!
Take small steps and bring changes gradually. Give yourself time to adjust and adapt. Also, do not make things complicated by falling prey to those strict diet plans. Your goal is to eat healthy and balanced meals. Don’t just follow what everyone else is doing. Instead, take inspiration from them, educate yourself, and then carve your path. You’ll be surprised to see that eating healthy isn’t as difficult as people have made it appear.