5 Tips to Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits
Alright, so as many of us know life happens and unexpected curve balls can be thrown at any time which can derail your healthy eating habits if you aren’t careful. I know all too well the importance of being prepared to overcome any unexpected situation that could send you straight through the drive-thru to pick up your next meal. If you are anything like me, hearing the words “what’s for dinner?” can really send you over the edge after a long day if you don’t have a plan. So to save you from a meltdown and risking you sabotaging all of your healthy eating efforts, I’m sharing with you some tips that have helped me stay on track with my eating habits no matter what gets thrown my way.
1. Plan your meals– lack of planning is a sure way to fail. If you have a plan you will set yourself up for success and be more accountable to making healthy decisions when it comes to your meals. I have a set schedule and know I have limited time to grocery shop and cook due to long hours away from home, so I always use my day off to plan for the week. I will grocery shop, pick up my snacks for the week, refill my vitamin and supplement holders, and prep meals for lunch and dinner. I prefer to make 3 meals at once so that I can alternate them throughout the week for lunch and dinner and I’m not stuck with a bunch of left overs. The best part about being prepared is you have an answer for that dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?” and it ensures you wont have a meltdown. This will also free up time in the evening that you would be spending cooking and cleaning, so now you can focus on winding down and preparing for the next day. If you didn’t have time to make the grocery store a priority and have time to prepare anything make sure to know your options. If you have to depend on “take out” for your meals, do a little research and find out what’s available and look ahead at the menu online to determine the best choice for your goals. This will ensure when you go out or call in you don’t have to think about it or be tempted by others’ ordering choices, and you will stay committed to your goals.
2. Bring your own lunch– this can easily be done if you have a plan and have prepped your meals for the week ahead of time. However, if you didn’t then the temptation of skipping lunch can be greatly increased. Doing this is a sure way to overindulge later in the evening on convenient, unhealthy foods such as vending machine/fast food options, which will leave you feeling guilty and likely to sabotage the rest of the day by continuing to make bad choices.
3. Have healthy snacks on hand-in the event that you failed to have a plan for meals throughout the week and bring your own lunch, at least have a back up plan. I always carry healthy snacks in my office, car, and purse such as individual serving packets of almond butter, low sodium albacore tuna packets, nuts, protein powder, grass fed beef sticks, and occasionally a protein bar. If all else fails you can at least stick to those high protein and healthy fat options that will keep you feeling satisfied until you can get your next meal.
4. Don’t be tempted by the junk– When you have a plan and are prepared for anything, you are less likely to be tempted by junk food. However, one way to ensure that junk food will not be the “grim reaper” of your healthy eating habits is to not have it available. I have a terrible sweet tooth and if I have high sugar snacks in the house I cant say no. Instead I swap traditional junk food for healthier choices like natural flavored coconut butters, dark chocolate bars, chocolate avocado mousse, and flavored nuts.
5. Don’t let your friends and family sabotage your efforts– whenever attempting to live a healthier lifestyle, many clients complain they feel like they are depriving themselves of things they love and often feel like they have to give up friends, family, and social occasions to stay on track. This makes me sad because its defines the four letter word “diet” which is not sustainable and having this kind of mindset sets you up for failure. My advice on how to deal with the “nagging” or “sabotaging” friends or family members is to be honest with them about your goals. If you make your journey about health and wellness many people are much more accepting of your choices. When I was a bartender I saw this more often than not, no one ever wants to drink alone or indulge in the junk food by themselves because then they feel “gluttony” which is one of those so called deadly sins. It’s important to remind whoever you feel is threatening your healthy eating behaviors that you aren’t judging them for their choices, and you would appreciate respect for your efforts without the “guilt-trip” for attempting to be healthy.
I hope you find these tips helpful as you begin or continue your efforts at living a healthier lifestyle to achieve your health and wellness goals. Keep in mind, eating healthy is not a “diet”, it is a lifestyle that can be sustainable if you approach changing your behaviors with the right mindset which will set you up for success and obtaining a happier life. If you are interested in developing an individualized approach to changing your unhealthy behaviors, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.