First, let’s define what healthy eating is. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, provides 5 dietary guidelines:
If you’re currently not eating a healthy diet, it can be difficult to start such a plan. However, healthy eating along with some exercise is very important for maintaining a good bodily function and goes a long way towards living a disease free life. If you struggle with healthy eating, then you know that breaking unhealthy habits can be the most difficult part of the process. Therefore, if you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, it is important to follow tips in order to start eating a more healthy diet.
A great first step when you want to start eating your way to a healthy lifestyle is to rid your home of all temptations that will distract you from following better eating habits. Ideally it would be a wise course to keep junk foods and beverages out of your house so as not be tempted to snack during the day.
If you’re worried about getting hungry, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole wheat crackers on hand. If you find that you just cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping something tiny on hand, peppermints or barley sugar. Eating a few, (emphasis on few) of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you crave.
Another great step to healthy eating, when you’re first starting the process, is to take a few moments to learn what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work within the body. To start eating healthily we must begin by thinking healthily. Most people understand that fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meats and dairy products are good for you, but few people understand why.
The key is learning about nutrients. When you understand how specific nutrients work and why you need them, it becomes more reasonable for you to make healthier choices for your body. Knowledge really is power!
Preparation is a major key in commencing a new healthy diet. You must take into consideration your schedule for meals. If you often eat in a rushed hurry at odd times of day, you are probably more inclined to grab a rushed meal which will probably do more harm than good. So plan ahead! Instead of grabbing a fast food lunch on the go, take a bagged lunch to work, complete with a healthy wrap and some fresh fruit and vegetables.
Remember not to forget your evening meal, a simple plan to have a meal ready before you get home would be perfect, but in our fast paced lifestyle, sometimes this just can’t be done. One way to solve this problem is to plan out your evening meals for the week, on your days off. Perhaps just before you do your weekly shopping.
Another warning: when going to the shops, do not venture there hungry because if you're anything like me, one or two chocolate bars won’t hurt! That becomes the first break in your healthy eating.
Doing all these changes alone can be daunting but what if you enlist a friend to follow the same path with you? Another option is to look for communities that promote a healthy lifestyle and use them as a support system to help you along your journey. This can be done on social media or in person. Platforms like Meetup.com can help you find people in your local area that are working towards the same goals as you.
If you would like to have professional help, you can hire a nutrition or health coach.
Working with a professional will likely speed up your progress and remove a lot of the guesswork. A coach will also help you with accountability which can be a powerful tool for consistency.
If you would like to know more about nutrition coaching services, book a call with Chris and check if you would be a good fit. You can also send me a message on Facebook using the Facebook chat at the bottom of the screen.
Initially many will find it very difficult to make those necessary changes to healthier eating. Along with the difficulty of change, you may not feel well for a short period of time. Usually this is normal as your body is adjusting to your new and improved lifestyle and is cleansing itself from the unhealthy toxins built up from poor eating habits. However if this feeling continues or you are worried a visit to your doctor would be the correct thing to do.
Start with baby steps. Even if you only replace one soft drink (soda) a day with a glass of water, you are really improving your calorie intake. If you eat fast food every day for lunch, try replacing that half of the time with better quality foods. When you start by taking small steps you aren’t cutting out all of the foods you love all at once.
By taking your time to learn about your eating habits and slowly replacing them with better meals, by taking the time to learn and understand why you should be doing that and making the necessary changes in an orderly fashion, you will feel much better within yourself physically, mentally and emotionally and well on the road to becoming as healthy as you can be.