In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to start eating healthy. So sit back and relax as I take you through tips that will transform your eating habits. The key is sustainability for a lifelong health journey.
1. Understand Why You’re Doing This
Breaking a bad habit isn’t always easy. Do you know why? Because it took you years to adapt to that habit.
So, what do you do? Identify exactly why you want to start eating healthy and remind yourself of it.
Whatever your reason, write it down and place it where you can see it every day. Trust me, it helps! If your motivation comes from within, you’ll have a much greater chance of succeeding on this quest.
2. Go Easy on Yourself
If you want to build a sustainable lifestyle change, it’s going to take some time, so go easy on yourself. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. After all, you built your current habits over many years.
That’s why you should start small. Reduce the number of unhealthy foods in your diet. Replace them with healthier options.
3. Clear out the Sugary and Highly-Processed Foods
Sugar is a sweet poison…period. It can inflict a lot of harm including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. So, before you reach for your next bottle of soda or that big cup of ice cream, think twice.
One of the greatest sources of refined sugars is beverages. Think fruit drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic drinks, sweetened coffee, etc.
But asides from being sugar-laden, highly processed foods are bad.
So, what do you do? Clear out such foods from your fridge and pantry, because out of sight is out of mind.
But as I earlier stated, you may want to pace yourself. Do it gradually until there’s none left and resolve never to buy unhealthy foods again.
4. Introduce Clean Foods
Clearing out your pantry won’t make much difference in your health if you don’t stock up on healthy foods. But what are those, exactly?
Well think of it this way:
Any food that grows in the ground and spoils if not refrigerated is healthy. Unprocessed animal products, green leafy vegetables, some tubers, and low-sugar fruits are good examples.
Healthy foods have fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants.
Fill your kitchen and refrigerator with these kinds of foods. You’ll naturally eat more of them and develop a lasting taste for healthy diets.
Check out this article by Diet Doctor on what constitutes healthy foods.
5. Make Healthy Foods Available
If you’re serious about eating healthy, you need to surround yourself with healthy foods. This is because when you’re hungry, you’ll most likely eat the first thing you see. If that happens to be healthy foods, great. But if your cupboard is still loaded with bags of chips, then that’s what you’ll probably eat.
So, keep healthy foods anywhere you know you’ll look for food. On the kitchen cabinet, the cupboard, the refrigerator, on your desk at work… everywhere! Seeing these healthier food options can help to condition your mind to your new eating habit.
6. Eat on Smaller Plates
While it’s important to stock up on healthy foods, you still need to watch your portion sizes.
When you eat from large plates, you’re likely to eat more. Because it can trick your brain into thinking you haven’t had enough.
When you eat on smaller plates you’ll feel full more quickly.
7. Pay Attention to Labels
Before you buy any packaged product, look at what the food label says. If it contains too many artificial ingredients, then it’s probably not good for you, so drop it and look for another.
But how do you know if the ingredient is artificial? If the ingredient almost makes you bite off your tongue in an attempt to pronounce it. It’s probably artificial and you need to return it back to the shelf.
Always stick to products with all-natural ingredients and little or no sugars or artificial sweeteners.
I recommend not eating any products with a carbohydrate content of more than 5g/100g.
8. Drink Mostly Water
So far I’ve been discussing what to eat or not eat, but what you drink is just as important. And if there is one liquid you must constantly load up on, it’s water. You could never go wrong with this one.
So how much water should you drink? Quite easy, drink when thirsty. Do not force yourself to drink more than required to break your thirst
The Bottom Line
To start eating healthy isn’t as hard as most people would have you believe. All you need to do is start small and introduce at least one healthy food into your diet each day.
With those baby steps, you’ll eventually reach the point where every single meal you have on a daily basis is a healthy one.
Be sure to also keep yourself accountable by monitoring your progress. Remind yourself why you decided to make the change in the first place. It may seem daunting at the beginning, but as you keep at it, it’ll get easier, I promise.