We’re all human, so it’s normal to get sidetracked when trying to eat healthy. In fact, during quarantine it’s a miracle if you didn’t indulge in some of your cravings to relieve the stress. But, falling off the wagon doesn’t have to mean you stay off. Here are some helpful tips to get you back to healthy eating:
1. Start Now – Not Tomorrow
Don’t wait for tomorrow, next Monday or next month to put your plan into action. Start with your next meal ! Even if you’ve indulged a bit today, that’s okay. Don’t let that stop you from making switching back to healthy eating. Taking it one meal at a time is the way to go, so try to make the healthy meal be your next one.
2. Plan Ahead To Keep Hunger At Bay.
Planning your meals for the week may sound like a hassle initially, but it will make it easier to make healthy choices. “The worst time to expect yourself to make a healthy choice is when you’re tired and hungry after a long day. Without planning, you become a victim of circumstance.” – says Anna Taylor – an expert in the field. Plus, it also saves money! With the intention set and your meal prep already done, you’ll be less likely to order in or eat impulsively.
Start by making a shopping list with healthy choices for your meals, and buy only what’s on the list. Then prep and store fruits and vegetables accordingly so you can include them in your recipes. Some healthy options for nutritional snacks can include dried fruits, fresh fruits, baby carrots, hummus, popcorn, trail mix, Greek yogurt, whole grain cereal etc.
3. Start Tracking What You Eat
Keeping a food log can keep you accountable and help you achieve long-term weight-loss goals. One major plus point is you’ll be able to discover your “bad” eating trends throughout the day. Whether that be an afternoon latte or a midnight dessert. You can go old school and dot it down in a journal or go digital with smart phone apps like Loseit and MyFitnessPal. These do more than track calories consumed. They can help achieve overall health goals such as weight loss, lowering cholesterol or meeting protein needs.
4. Put More Fruits/Vegetables On Your Plate
A simple way to lower the calories on your plate is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you already have on it. Put them on your plate first so that there will be less room for other things that are higher in calories. You will still get a variety of foods and food groups, but less calories overall. Using a smaller plate is another simple change that helps reduce the amount you eat.
5. Focus On Water
Did you know it’s often not pangs of hunger, but dehydration you’re feeling? When you stay hydrated throughout the day, you avoid mindless snacking. Staying hydrated is also amazing for flushing out toxins from the body and keeping bloat at bay. Oh, and the extra bathroom trips add to your daily exercise as-well!
6. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Cutting out all your favourite foods and going cold turkey is a sure-fire way to trigger feelings of deprivation which can lead to a binge. Instead, opt for smaller portions or try finding healthier alternatives instead. A bite sized candy will satisfy your cravings as well!
7. Intuitive Eating
It’s important to develop a healthy relationship with food. Don’t deprive your body of meals because this can kickstart a primal drive to overeat. Instead shift your mind to intuitive eating which will give you more power and control over yourself. This eating style promotes a healthy attitude towards food and body image. The idea is simple: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Though this should be an intuitive process, for many people it’s not. It’s all about checking in with yourself and trusting you can make the best possible choice for yourself.
8. Applaud Yourself
Every healthy decision you make, big or small, is worth celebrating. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you see yourself making better/healthier choices. Rewarding yourself is completely okay says Julia Zumpano. “Just don’t do it with food. Treat yourself to a massage. Or to new clothes. Or to some shiny new electronics.”
9. Don’t Stop Moving
Get creative with your physical activity. Forget the boring militant exercise and focus on just staying active! Keep reminding yourself of how great, fresh and energised you feel when you move more. That will keep you from hitting the snooze button every morning!