So your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier. Yay! But let’s be real, changing your eating habits can be difficult. But never fear because we are determined to help you make 2016 the year you stick to it! Here are 10 easy ways to follow through with your healthy eating resolution while also having a lot of fun along the way.
#1. Choose a method of eating healthy that is enjoyable, sustainable, and works with your lifestyle.
I can’t stress this enough: The reason why so many diets fail is because they aren’t enjoyable or sustainable. When we try quick fixes like restricting, juice cleanses, or eating cabbage soup all day, we just end up feeling hungry, tired, and deprived, which leads us back to the unhealthy habits we were trying to overcome in the first place. So how do we avoid this trap? Find a method of healthy eating that is sustainable and works for your lifestyle. For some people, this means following a framework like Paleo or clean eating. For others, it might mean skipping the diet label all together and just eating real food. There is no such thing as a magical one-size-fits-all diet and different methods work for different people. Just make sure that whatever approach you take is one you will actually enjoy and be able to maintain over time.
#2. Identify why and rise up to the challenge.
As I mentioned, changing eating habits can be really hard. Get over the hurdle by identifying why you feel the need to change your eating habits. Is it to have more energy? Clearer skin? More self-confidence? Whatever your reason may be, write it down and refer back to it when you feel like giving up. Accept the fact that yes, this is going to be a challenge. Commit to it wholeheartedly and remind yourself you are worth it.
#3. Educate yourself.
When we understand the way food impacts every aspect of our lives, it becomes a lot easier to make healthy choices. Check out books like Grain Brain and Salt Sugar Fat. Documentaries like Food Matters and GMO OMGare also a great way to learn.
#4. Meal Plan.
As the old saying goes, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Meal planning is a great way to set yourself up for success. Set aside an hour or two of time every week to plan your meals, grocery shop, and do some basic food prep. When you invest time and money into this plan, you are much more likely to be successful and stick to it!
#5. Make enough at dinner so you have leftovers for lunch.
This one goes hand-in-hand with meal planning. When mapping out dinners for the week, plan to make recipes that will create leftovers for lunch the next day. This will save you time in the kitchen and help you stay on track the next day too!
#6. Get rid of the junk.
Make your environment work for you, not against you. This means getting rid of all the junk food in your house that will only tempt you and derail your good intentions. See no junk, eat no junk!
#7. Find healthy food you actually love.
Eating healthy does not mean eating salad all day. It should and can be delicious! Focus on healthy foods that you actually enjoy. Some of my favorites are avocado toast with a poached egg, brown rice tortilla pizzas, and chocolate banana ice cream.
#8. Discover healthy restaurant options.
Many eateries are starting to focus on healthy options. Hallelujah! If you love the experience of dining out, explore healthy options in your neighborhood like vegan or farm-to-table restaurants.
#9. Try batch cooking.
Part of staying on track is planning ahead for those days you know you will be ridiculously busy with no time to cook. Make up a specific food like chicken breasts or a recipe like soup at the start of the week and then divide it into portions so you have meals ready to grab-and-go when life gets busy.
#10. Get friends and family on board.
Eating healthy becomes a lot easier when you have the support of friends and family, so invite them to join you on this journey. Create a recipe share, have a crock pot party, take turns making meals for each other, and have weekly check-ins to hold each other accountable.
Are you planning on eating healthier this year? What strategies do you plan on using to help keep yourself on track?
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