Eating healthy is eating healthy. But if you want 10 great ways to kick-start your healthy eating program, here they are:
- Don’t drink your calories. Most people aren’t usually very aware of just how many calories they are consuming each day through liquids. AKA stop drinking sodas and fruit juices. Both are loaded with sugar and really aren’t good for you. Fruit juices also aren’t the same as eating a piece of fruit – they don’t have near the nutritional value of actual fruit. I also find that I feel way more satisfied when I’ve chewed my calories instead of drinking them.
- Cut out gluten. So this is obviously my Primal bias, but if you cut out gluten you will be amazed by the changes in your body. You will lose fat ESPECIALLY stubborn belly fat. Plus if you cut out gluten, you can add in way more nutritionally dense calories like fruits and veggies. Gluten has also been linked to inflammation, which causes a whole host of health problems!
- Eat more veggies. Uhm hello!?! More vitamins and minerals AND few calories? They are just screaming out, “EAT ME!”
- Drink more water. I’m not saying you have to get exactly 8 glasses of water a day. I’m just saying that you should make sure you get enough water to stay well hydrated. Sometimes you can think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. I also find that most of my clients munch when they are bored. Having a bottle of water there keeps them from munching but still gives them something to do.
- Keep a food journal. Most people really aren’t fully aware of what they are consuming. Keeping a food journal can help you realize when and where you are struggling with your diet. It can also help you make sure you are taking in enough (but not too many) calories as well as sufficient vitamins and minerals!
- Plan out your meals. I find that most people get into trouble when they don’t know what they are going to eat and let themselves get super hungry before they decide. When you are super hungry, you usually have less self-control and are more likely to eat something you’ll regret later. So plan out your meals. If I know I’m going to a restaurant but don’t want to cheat, I even look at the menu before I go so that I know what my options are. Planning makes committing to the diet so much easier!
- Don’t wait till you’re starving to go searching for food. I rarely get to the point any more where I’m starving and can’t control myself (mostly thanks to IF), but when I do reach that point, I’m going to grab the first thing that looks good, which usually isn’t good for me. I’m also way more tempted by simple carbs when I’m starving. Most people make poor decisions when they are starving so plan ahead. Bring small healthy snacks just in case. Celery, carrots…veggies in general are a great snack option!
- Enforce the 80/20 rule. If I don’t allow myself little treats, I find that I eventually lose all self-control. Knowing that each week I get a little “Primal cheat” helps me be good 80% of the time. Perfection is very hard to reach, but being good 80% of the time is totally manageable! Plus if you are “perfect” one week, you can be proud of yourself instead of feeling like you ruined a week if you had one little cheat during it!
- Plan to cheat. If there is a food you love, don’t just indefinitely deny yourself of it. Planning in cheats can help you stay more committed because you KNOW there is a time when you will get the cheat foods you enjoy!
- Eat more fat! Fat makes you feel full. It is also SUPER GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! Having a good omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is essential to optimal health and reducing inflammation. Take fish oils. Eat grass-fed butter. Avoid processed vegetable oils! Your energy level will be great AND so will your health!