Written by Molly O'Shea
Raise your hand if you’ve told yourself you were on a diet and 4 days later you found yourself binging on junk food?
If you’re anything like me you probably have both of your hands raised!
Getting back on track with eating foods that make you feel good can feel like an uphill battle. Today, I’m going to make your life easier by giving you my 5 tips for staying on track with healthy eating.
(1) Never leave your pantry empty
Let me start by breaking the not so fun news to you: healthy eating takes time and commitment. Are you okay? Still reading or have you given up on me already? Keep reading: I promise it gets better!
Healthy eating is easy IF you have a plan in place.
If you want to eat foods that nourish your body, you need to make sure you have the right steps in place in order to be successful. One of the most important steps is to make sure you always have healthy food at home or on hand.
A common mistake I find with clients (and myself) is that when we leave our pantry empty, healthy eating goes down the drain fast. We’ve all been in that situation when we come home from work, have nothing healthy at home and decide to order out.
Stocking your cabinets with nourishing, healthy foods is a vital step to make healthy eating easy.
(2) Meal prep
So you’ve got healthy foods at home, now what? Meal prep. It’s one of my least favorite things to do but it really makes life easier! If you don’t take the time to prepare what you’re going to eat for the week, or even the next few days, it can lead us to picking a quicker, unhealthier option.
In my opinion, meal prepping is daunting. My biggest tip is to start small. Pick ingredients that you can use for each meal. For example, tonight, I already know that I’m going to cook rice with some vegetables. Straight and simple meal prepping right there!
Now, if you want to go all out, go for it; more power to ya! I have friends that prepare their lunches on Sunday before the week starts. This is such a great way to relieve stress, save money and eat healthy.
(3) Try and drown out the outside noise
Eating foods that make you feel good isn’t rocket science but it can feel like it. There will always be new information coming out that x food is good for you or you should stop eating y foods.
Let’s look at eggs; when I was growing up, eggs were evil. A few years go by and eggs start to become a trend, but only the egg whites. A few more years go by and yolks become a thing and I’m like yesssss; eggs all day everyday. Two weeks ago I watched a documentary where they talked about how terrible eggs are and how we shouldn’t eat them. I don’t even know where we stand with eggs at this point!
But guess what? It doesn’t matter!
There are so many different ways of eating; vegan, vegetarian, high protein, low carb, plant based and so many more. It’s important to stay informed, but try not to let the outside noise cloud your judgement too much. Everyone has an opinion about food trends will always be evolving. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt and listen to how foods make your body feel.
(4) Stop looking at foods as “healthy” and “unhealthy”
Yes, I’ve been using the phrase “healthy food” in this blog, but the secret sauce to staying on track with healthy eating is to stop using phrases like “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods. When we label foods, we often tell ourselves we can’t eat something because it's unhealthy. Deeming something as “unhealthy”, usually leads us to restrict ourselves. When we restrict foods, our bodies start to crave it. I want that ice cream quickly turns into I need that ice cream.
You’re not helping yourself by saying you will never eat chocolate again. That’s a lie and you know it!
Instead of saying “I can’t” or “I won’”t, start saying “I CAN”.
Allow yourself the freedom to eat what your body needs (in moderation of course) and you will find that you won’t crave those “unhealthy” foods as much. Pizza isn’t as appealing when you have the freedom to eat it whenever you want!
(5) Listen to your body
My biggest, baddest tip in this blog is to listen to YOUR body. We all have a different genetic make which is special to us. What works for my body may not work for yours and vice versa.
Next time you eat, listen to your body 30 minutes later, an hour later and a few hours later. How do you feel? Are you feeling sluggish and tired? Then maybe that food isn’t the most optimal for YOUR body. Are you feeling energized and good in your skin? Maybe those ingredients help nourish YOUR body and light you up!
Our bodies have the answers, we just need to stop and listen.
Remember that eating foods that nourish your body is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s get out of that diet mentality and start to make this part of our daily lives.
Molly is a health and fitness advocate that has a passion for helping others. Her ultimate goal is to support clients as they strive to make positive change.