Eating healthy is different for everyone. You need to find what works for you and stay consistent with it. Here are a few tips for making those very first lifestyle changes to reach your healthy eating goals.
1: Prep, prep and prep
Prepping is one of the top tips I find that keeps me on track. There are a few different things I do in terms of prepping my food for the week. On Sunday’s I will make my lunches for the week and have them in 5 different reusable containers in my fridge. This means I can stay on track, and it is much more time effective. A big issue for not eating healthy, is that sometimes you just might not feel like you have enough time to make a healthy meal for yourself, so you just make a sandwich and grab some crisps and chocolate that are in the cupboard, along with anything else you can find.
Another thing I do is plan my dinner’s for the week. I have 7 dinners planned, which I buy food for and make sure I stick to this. Not only is this a top tip to stay healthy and on track, it also is a smart budgeting tip as you are only buying what you need for the week. Sometimes I change the day’s around, based on what I fancy that evening, but they are all healthy, nutritious meals, so it’s absolutely fine! I also prep my snacks. I make sure that there is only enough healthy snacks for me to snack on. This means that when I’m hungry, instead of quickly grabbing the odd biscuit to snack on, I’ll go for some sliced apple and peanut butter.
Once you start to create these habits, it’s easy to stay consistent and stay on track with eating healthy – you’ll feel much better about it too and it will put your mind at ease!
2: Find an alternative
Craving a chocolate bar? Grab yourself some chocolate fudge fibre one bars, or break a couple squares off it, rather than eating the whole bar. Craving a Chinese takeaway? Make yourself a Chinese fake away. Healthy eating doesn’t mean eating salads and only salads for the rest of your life. It just means eating a bit more smarter than you already do. Finding alternative’s is a fun way to get on track with your healthy eating. Spend some time finding some new recipes you want to try. Find a fake away for all of your favourite takeaways. You’ll be surprised how much you learn just by doing a little research, and it’s fun trying out new food! Just be patient with yourself and trust the process to become consistent.
3: Ditch the jars
Have you ever sat and read what is in your pasta sauce? You’ll be surprised at how much extra ingredients are added, and it’s just not needed. Making sauces from fresh ingredients not only taste so much nicer, but it’s also so much healthier for you and might be why you’re not seeing the results you want. There are so many websites out there now that give you free recipes to try out. I use Pinch of Nom and they have a selection of low calorie, healthy options that you can use. You’ll also notice they don’t cost much and are really simple to make! If you struggle with finding time to do all of this, batch making is a life saver. Make a bit extra and split them into reusable containers. This way you can freeze the, and take them out when you need them.
4: Tracking your calories
There are lots of apps out there where you can easily track your calories. MyFitnessPal has been the best one I have used to do this. It takes a few days to get used to, but once you get the hang of it – it’s second nature. You can simply scan the food you’re eating and it does the rest for you.
The app tells you how much you should be eating once you add your personal data in such as your measurements, how active you are, and your fitness goal. For example, if you are looking to lose some weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. If you are looking to just maintain weight, you just need to make sure you are not over eating and staying regularly active. Tracking this is such an easy way in becoming more educated about this and reaching your fitness goals while staying healthy.
5: Don’t restrict yourself
Now, when I say don’t restrict yourself, that doesn’t mean to constantly always eat unhealthy food and fall into the trap of eating this when you want. It simply means don’t let ‘dieting’ control your life. Have that doughnut on the weekend, treat yourself to that takeaway to celebrate that good news you just got, get that ice cream on your summer walk with your friends. Don’t restrict yourself to the point where you won’t enjoy life. You’ll hit a point where you feel like giving up and binge and then feel bad about yourself after. Just be reasonable with yourself and remember that to be consistent you need to enjoy this healthy eating journey. It will boost your mood and your body will thank you for it, so you won’t want to stop!
These are just a few tips to get you started. What you need to remember, is that healthy eating is a lifestyle you will live for yourself, and I promise, you won’t look back once you do.