So, you’ve decided that this year you want to eat healthier, but you don’t know where to start. You may have already cut some of your favorite things out of your diet and realized, it’s going to be a lot harder than you thought. This happens all too commonly and can mostly be attributed to going about the lifestyle change, the wrong way so here’s some advice.
- Make realistic goals for your diet. If you eat a diet high in fat and sugar, and eat fast food 5 times a week, don’t expect yourself to go to eating salads, baked chicken and drinking smoothies 24/7 without your brain (in regards to cravings!) kicking and screaming. It just won’t happen! You’ll find yourself “cheating” on the second or third day and starting all over.
- Start slow. Make the change gradually. Add or remove certain foods 1 week at a time. This will greatly increase your chance of sticking with your new eating regimen because it will go from a temporary diet change to a lifestyle change.
- Increase your veggie intake. By doing this simply alone can produce great changes. Whether you eat them raw, steamed, baked, or slightly sautéed (watch the butter!), try to include more vegetables into your diet and eat those second on your plate (protein first). Vegetables are good complex carbohydrates so they will fill you up just as much as the bad stuff. The great thing about this is that you’ll be too full of the good stuff, to eat the bad stuff.
- Eat whole foods and cook more. These two go hand in hand to me because if you’re eating more whole foods, chances are you have to cook them yourself, and if your eating them more often, then you’re cooking more often. Increasing your whole food intake ensures that you’re getting the nutrients you need from your food, and cooking them yourself, allows you to know what exactly you’re eating so you can better control and track your nutrient intake and maintain a healthier diet.