I’ve totally been MIA lately due to sickness and lack of time! But I’m back and have some great posts lined up. In the meantime, enjoy these 10 healthy eating tips that make it simpler than you think to consume a clean diet:
1. Make it EASY to eat healthy.
One of the reasons why we eat unhealthfully is because it’s so dang easy to! Our society is basically built to make us fat. Short on time? Go through the drive through. Don’t’ have a lot of cash on hand? Fast food and packaged, processed foods are usually cheaper. Don’t feel like cooking? Get take-out. Have to go run errands? Drive in you car and park right near the door. These are just a FEW of the many, many reasons why our society is built against us when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, it’s just so dang easy to be UNhealthy! Work against this in a variety of ways:
- Don’t keep junk in the house. If it’s not readily and easily available when a craving or hunger hits, it won’t be there for you to eat it.
- Keep healthy snacks in your car for when you are hungry and tempted to go through the drive through. Granola bars, low-sugar, high-fiber cereal, raw almonds or other nuts, etc are great for car snacks.
- Learn how to cook your favorite unhealthy foods at home in a healthier way. Example: buy chicken breasts and roll them in olive oil + whole grain bread crumbs then bake them for a healthier version of “fried” chicken. Dip in a little ketchup for a similar taste but without all the fat and sodium!
- Keep healthy foods easily visible and ready to eat. Have fresh apples, bananas, grapes, baby carrots, already cut celery, etc on hand so you can grab a healthy snack in 5 seconds. The more visible healthy foods are in your kitchen and fridge, the more likely you are to eat them.
- Make a grocery list and STICK to it. Don’t go to the store without a plan in action or else you will fall to temptation and get the chips, candy, bacon, etc that all are calling your name….and there goes your budget AND your healthy eating! Make a set list to take with you to the grocery store with only the necessary (and healthy) items on it and stick to it! (also don’t go to the store hungry…#beentheredonethat #didn’tmeantogetallthatchocolate)
2. Plan ahead.
If this works for you, plan your meals and snacks in advance. For instance, during a school day, bring your lunch and snack from home! It will ensure you that you a. eat healthfully and b. don’t overspend on foods out that probably won’t be as healthy as the meals you planned
- Also, plan your post-workout snacks or meals. After getting home from the gym or a long run, you hunger will probably spike and it will make it easier for you to grab ANYTHING to eat. Time your workouts around your schedule so you workout before a meal, that way you can plan what you will be eating for breakfast//lunch//dinner and you can meal prep in advance to have it ready! I love to make a ton of food when I’m cooking so I have plenty of leftovers in the fridge for the week. That way once I’m done with a hard workout and want to go home and eat dinner, I can just grab some healthy leftover veggies, rice, or chicken and heat it up for a QUICK and healthy dinner. Hello, healthy version of fast food!
3. Don’t drink your calories!
Yes, we’ve allll heard this one. Pretty simple, right? Drink more water, limit the sugary drinks/soda/sweet tea/alcohol/coffee drinks/etc. BUT, it’s not always so easy to follow for those that are used to consuming other beverages often. Why? Because sugar is addictive. So, my recommendation is to slowly decrease your amount of other beverages. DON’T just quit cold turkey (unless that works for you). Quitting cold turkey can sometimes lead you to be so restricted that you crave it even more, which can lead to a binge. Used to 2 sodas a day? Cut down to just 1 for a week or more and then work on cutting it down to every other day leading to eventually give it up. Your taste buds need to adjust to less and less sugar.
- As for the alcohol, let’s get real peeps. If you are really trying to lose weight, you’re gonna have to cut back on the booze. If you are just trying to avoid the drunk munchies and the large pizza you order after a night out, just cut back and go for lower calories drinks like: champagne, vodka water/vodka club soda with lime, gin and club soda, rum and diet coke, etc. NO sugary mixed drinks, margaritas, heavy beers, etc!! However, if you only go out for a crazy night of drinking every once in a while, your body will balance itself out. Just like one healthy meal won’t make you skinny, one indulgent pizza and night of drinking won’t automatically make you fat. It’s what you do on a consistent basis that counts.
4. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Water, water, water! It’s what you hear all the time; drink more water! Do whatever makes you actually succeed in this whether it be to set alarms on your phone every hour or two, to filling a gallon of water and drinking it until its empty by the end of the day, or simply by flavoring it with fruit and carrying a water bottle around with you. Whatever will help you drink more water, do it. For me personally, I find that I have to have a cup of ICE COLD water on my desk all day to drink enough. If it’s not nearby and available, it’s outta sight outta mind and I won’t remember. As our bodies are 70% water, this is the most important thing you can do for your health!! It will not only improve your energy levels, but it will also help your complexion, your digestion, and your hair and nails. If our whole body is basically made of water, when you start drinking enough your whole body just simply WORKS better! For someone who weighs around 140 pounds, they should ideally be drinking 70 ounces of water every day! If water doesn’t taste good to you, flavor it with a few drops of juice or fresh fruit/veggies/herbs (orange slices, strawberries, mint, lemon, cucumber, etc.)
5. Keep junk food out of the house.
‘Nuff said. Save your money and keep healthy foods in your house rather than junk. If you buy it, you’re probably gonna eat it!
6. Learn proper portions.
Read food labels and see what an actual serving size is, rather than eating foods straight from the bag. Portion out chips, crackers and nuts, as it is pretty easy to eat more than you should! Here’s an easy graphic to see what proper portions should look like:
7. Eat whole foods and cook at home more.
Buy more whole foods, what I like to call “quiet foods”. These are the fresh fruits and veggies, the plain oats, raw nuts and seeds, that don’t have labels and don’t have marketing claims on their boxes screaming at you to buy them. Buy as much produce as possible, and cook more at home and you will guaranteed see the results in your body, mind, skin, vibrancy, energy, moods, etc. Eat more plant-based foods that are grown from the earth, not manufactured in a lab. Learn simple easy recipes that you can make often like simple steamed veggies, baked sweet potato, stir fries, etc.
8. On a Budget? Buy these cheap healthy foods.
- brown rice
- frozen veggies
- frozen chicken in bulk
- whole grain bread
- nut butters
9. Cut back on saturated fats: red meat, cheese, milk, fried foods, butter, etc.
Cutting back on animal fats can help you be leaner and healthier. High dairy consumption often leads to bad skin and digestive problems, and high meat consumption has been linked to several different cancers. Eat more plant-proteins while indulging in animal foods less frequently. When you do eat animal products, go for grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and full fat cheese and yogurt. It’ll help fill you up on less and makes it more satisfying to indulge in if you are doing so only sometimes. Wouldn’t you rather have the best cheese and beef there is a select few times per month than less quality and lower fat cheese more regularly? Yep, I thought so.
10. Don’t count calories, count colors!
The more colorful your diet is, the healthier it is. Go for vibrant reds in foods like tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries, dig into greens like spinach, kale, and celery, munch on orange foods like sweet potatoes, clementines, and carrots, and pair em with dark purples like eggplant and berries. Ever notice how unhealthy fried foods like tater tots, fries, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, nachos, etc are all an ugly brownish yellowish color? That’s because they lack NUTRITION. Colorful foods have cancer-fighting properties, an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and keep your body healthy. Eat the rainbow!