In a busy world where fast food and processed snacks are around every corner, it's challenging to get on top of healthy eating and optimizing our nutrition. Even if you stick to a few days of healthy meals, you'll likely slide back to your old eating habits without a mindset shift and time to develop a new habit.
It may feel challenging to get on top of your nutrition, but the results are worthwhile. Studies show that making healthy eating a priority could add an extra ten years to your life. If you're ready to make healthy eating a way of life and reclaim control of your nutrition, here's what to do to stay on track.
Crowd Out Your Diet with Your Favorite Healthy Foods
Crowding out your diet is a simpler approach to eating healthy and alleviates the pressure of avoiding what you can't have. The idea is to get full with nutritious options first and then allow yourself some of what you really want. You can still eat chocolate, but expand your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-rich foods.
If you want to order fries a lunch, go for it. But eat a piece of fruit or a salad before heading out to lunch to satiate yourself faster. Over time, your appetite and cravings change and you'll probably decide to skip the fries and go for the roasted veggies.
Outsource Meal Time
Meal time is a source of stress when trying to make the change to healthy eating. You can meal prep in advance and learn the art of meal planning to get on top of dinnertime. Or opt for a healthy food meal delivery service instead.
FitTrax creates handcrafted, macro-friendly meals delivered to your door to accommodate your busy lifestyle. Choose from meat, vegetarian, vegan, and large meals nutritionally optimized for athletes. We offer a la carte and subscription box options that focus on balance and nutrition. Best of all, they taste great, making it easier to stick to your healthy eating and nutrition goals.
Make Small Changes You'll Hardly Notice
Supercharge your healthy eating plan and nutrition with small changes that are as sustainable as they are easy to do. For starters, switch to water or seltzer and add fresh lemon or cucumber to get away from sugary juices and sodas. Cutting down your portions slightly while increasing your fruits and veggies is usually unnoticeable.
Coffee is also a culprit for poor nutritional habits. Skip the iced coffee drinks filled with cream and sugar. Instead, opt for a plain or "skinny" version with a splash of cream. On the other hand, a decaf-ice coffee with a little sugar and your favorite flavoring can help kick your afternoon brownie or ice cream habit. Instead, pair your coffee with a small piece of dark chocolate packed with antioxidants.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Getting more protein into your diet boosts your metabolism and changes how quickly your body uses up calories. Over time, you'll notice a decrease in appetite, higher energy levels, and a reduction in cravings. You'll burn more in a day, even when you're resting, than when skimping on the protein intake.
Meat is a great source of protein, but it's not the only place to start. Eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts are all packed with healthy protein and amino acids.
Watch Out For Processed "Health" Food
Although the pre-packaged health food industry has evolved to include healthier options, processed food is usually filled with sugars, artificial flavors, and additives to keep its products fresh and tasting great.
Before you reach for a protein or health bar, turn it over and look at the list of ingredients. Look for natural flavor, low sugar, and few ingredients. But at the end of the day, your best bet for healthy snacks is fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of nuts or healthy fats, like avocado.
Choose Healthy Alternatives
There's a healthier alternative to just about any of your favorite foods, and it can taste even more satisfying as your palate adjusts. Homemade smoothies usually satisfy a sweet tooth, and baked chicken wings eliminates the need for greasy sauces and dressings. Or reach for homemade banana ice cream or Greek yogurt instead of frozen novelties.
Don't Grocery Shop Hungry
Grocery shopping on an empty stomach triggers cravings and inevitably leads to poor choices in your basket. Studies show that people purchase more high-calorie products when shopping while hungry, which impacts their waistline and wallet.
When you feel content at the grocery store, you buy less, can think clearly, and are more likely to throw a new fruit or veggie in your cart. You'll also avoid picking up so much processed food if you stick to the outer perimeter of the store, where fresh produce, meats, and essentials are usually stocked.
Experiment with Flavors
Healthy eating should be fun and a mindset shift to better nutritional and lifestyle choices. But it's challenging to get there if you're consuming food you don't enjoy and flavors that don't appeal to you.
Eating healthy is an excuse to experiment. Be bold! Try new and interesting fruits or whole foods you've never tried. You may discover a fig or frozen grapes are a satisfying treat.
Learning to eat healthily and incorporate more nutrition in your life doesn't happen overnight. Your goals need to be realistic to stick to them. Avoid a crash diet or "whole food only" meals seven days a week. Sure, the goal is to clean up your diet, but if you're so strict with yourself you can't think about anything but food, you're unlikely to succeed.
Don't Derail the Healthy Eating Wagon
It's normal to fall off the wagon once in a while and reach for the carton of ice cream you swore off. After you put the ice cream bowl away, shrug off any judgment or guilt and move on. What you don't want to do is decide your healthy eating plans are ruined, so you might as well completely derail your day.
Ready to Take Control Of Your Health and Nutrition
Get on top of healthy eating and nutrition with FitTrax's meal plans ranging from 7 to 21 meals at a time. Or you can create custom meals on your own through our A La Carte option with our bulk items to maximize your favorite flavors and nutrients. Get started today.