I love to eat. I rather eat two slices of home made pizza on Sunday and work out extra hard, than chew on carrots. You do have to indulge every now and then. …with emphasis on “every now and then“. The older you get, the more discipline it will require for you to keep in shape and feel energized. I used to eat half a rotisserie chicken all by myself 15 years ago. This doesn’t fly any more with my system. I had to start watching my portions more carefully and maintain a workout schedule as I stepped into my thirties. Body maintenance does take more effort, but if you set your mind to it and stick to new habits it will pay off.
best tips to adopt healthy eating habits
train your brain
Eating healthy does require a change in your mindset and changing some bad habits. Eating a fat free, zero calorie muffin or ice cream sounds like a short cut and it certainly is not healthy! I always wondered how they can produce fat free cheese, when cheese is all about fat? When I read “fat free” or “zero calorie” on cheese, chocolate or ice cream, the first thing that I inevitably think of is all those unnatural additives and flavor enhancers that go into those products. You can only maintain a healthy diet on a long term if you make a change in the type of food and portion that goes into your body. There is no way around it. Train yourself for a healthy menu Monday through Saturday and allow yourself to indulge on Sundays. New habits will become second nature over time.
control your portions
A good thing to try at first is to make a note of everything you eat to realize how much you actually consume in a day. This may shock you at first, when you start adding up those empty calories that come from your favorite iced coffee. I cut out flavored drinks (minus the iced coffee) a long time ago for the sake of being able to eat more. Eating out makes it hard to control your portions as most restaurants serve you a lot more food than what you actually need. It’s hard to stop eating something scrumptious until you’re stuffed. The key is though to stop eating before you feel full. This is especially important during your work week. Your energy level is at your lowest between 1:00PM and 3:00PM. A full tummy ready for a nap really doesn’t need to add to it.
Snacking is KEY! You can’t go from your breakfast at 6:30 – 7:00AM all the way until noon or later without any food in between. Those syrup-y granola bars taste good, but they are not really good for you. They give you a quick energy boost that drops as fast as it came. Keep fresh fruit, unsalted nuts or dark chocolate covered almonds with you for a quick snack in between to keep your energy level up.
have an open mind with your food choices
Changing your eating habits means that you can’t have mac & cheese every other day. You want the variety and flavor, which means to experiment with more veggies. Start eating more farro or quiona instead of potatoes or pasta. There are awesome vegetable side dish recipes out there that will keep your tummy full and satisfied.
My husband is an old fashioned, meat, potatoes and pasta kind of guy, so I know how challenging it can be to try foods that you never heard of. Especially when on top of it the food looks like something birds would eat. Give yourself time to transition. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually you will get there! I have some easy and yummy recipes HERE to get you started.
Big one! Drink lots of water to keep hydrated as this contributes to your energy level. Water transports the nutrients in your body, it helps you feel full, it keeps your skin hydrated, it flushes out toxins, it prevents constipation, it fights infection and the list goes on. Keep a bottle of water at your desk at all times and make sure to drink it all up!
Photo by Rick Robillard