I get this question a lot, “April, I want to start eating healthier, what do I do?” Now that is a huge question that usually prompts other questions for me about goals, lifestyle, likes/dislikes, etc. We can get pretty down, dirty and specific when you’re ready, but if you want to get started and then take a deep dive – this is what I would recommend.
1. Stick to whole foods
Aim for 75% of your diet to be whole foods. This means unprocessed and as close to their original form as possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense – they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than processed foods. If it’s made in a factory and you cannot pronounce many of the ingredients or there’s a million and one ingredients? You can be sure it’s not a whole food. Less is more.
2. Avoid added sugar
Check the labels. Sugar is okay in moderation, but you really don’t want added/processed sugar. Packaging can be deceiving at times so take a peek at the ingredents for yourself
3. Limit alcohol
It’s midnight, you’ve had a few and you’re STARVING. Do you really think you’re going to grab a salad or bowl full of fruit? Probably not. My go to was always pizza, peanut butter, cheetos and ice cream. Sometimes all at once! And then what happens…I wake up full of guilt because I know I just put all kinds of garbage in my body. Alcohol lies to you – you really do not need that bowl full of mint chip ice cream with a side of oreos.
4. Set yourself up for success
Keep the garbage out of the house and DO NOT buy any more. If there’s others in the household (insert the husband for me); that want the crap then there’s a couple things you can do. One, have a serious conversation as to why you want to eat more healthfully – don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Two. Have ah-mazing will power which is hard. Something I do is if it comes in the house and it’s something I really like I put it WAY up high in our pantry. You see I’m short and sometimes lazy, so I have to be REALLY hard up to pull out a stool and climb the shelves.
5. Ditch emotional eating
All of us do it. We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we even eat when we’re angry! Find something other than food to handle your emotions. Journal, buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, go for a walk, call up or text a friend, and my favorite…play with your pets!
6. It is not about perfection; it’s about consistency
Giver yourself some grace. It’s okay to have an ice cream cone with your kids. It’s okay to try that new pizza place. The world is not over! The option to be healthy is not ruined! Tomorrow is a new day. And actually NOT being so restrictive can work in your favor. For many – the more we restrict the more we want it and when we do cave – we cave hard and it’s tough to get back on track.
7. Eat if you are hungry!
You’re eating better, maybe you’ve added in exercise and sometimes you just never feel full! Well you know what. EAT! The key is making good, whole food choices. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want – just avoid grabbing the bag of chips or M&Ms
Go ahead now – make your shopping list , reorganize your pantry and get yourself in a healthy mindset.
Looking for more guidance, suggestions, motivation to get started? Someone to tell your why to, to help keep you accountable? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.
with health and happiness – April 😘