When you think about eating nutritiously, does the thought overwhelm you?
If so, it’s understandable. It can seem difficult to eat healthily when you have a busy life…and there are so many tempting options out there.
However, just like anything else, eating healthy can be broken down to make it easier. Check out these ten healthy eating tips that you can adopt to make your efforts fruitful! (Get it? Fruit-ful?)
How To Build Healthy Eating Habits
1. Only buy healthy foods…
This might sound obvious, but you should only purchase foods that are healthy for you. Why invite temptation into your kitchen? If you tend to binge on chips, don’t buy them. If ice cream is your weakness, just don’t add it to your shopping cart. There will be times when you go out to ice cream with the family or snack during a movie night with your friends – and you shouldn’t be eating these foods any more often than that.
Related Post: 5 Simple Steps to Healthy Eating
Bonus tip: before you go to the register, look at your cart. Is there anything unhealthy in there? If so, get rid of it, because you’ll be saving yourself money and calories.
2. …but only ones you like
Don’t make your healthy eating habits the bane of your existence. If you hate the taste of kale, don’t buy it just because your fit friend constantly talks about it. There are a ton of healthy options out there that all taste completely different – and there are bound to be options that you love. Buy those, and stop forcing yourself to choke down those lima beans!
3. Eat lots
People often equate eating healthier with eating less, when the opposite is true. You should certainly eat less chocolate cake – but feel free to add plentiful portions of veggies and fruits to your plates.
Related Post: 4 Reasons to Eat More Plant-Based Foods
If you try to eat as little as possible, you might initially lose weight, but the end results won’t be pretty. Not only does your body need food for basic processes, but your body will go into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism – the opposite of what you want! If what you’re eating is nutritious, go ahead and fill your plate with all the colors of the rainbow.
4. Try new things
For most of my life, I avoided sweet potatoes like the plague, assuming I wouldn’t like them—but I had never tried them. When I discovered how healthy they are, I decided to buy a couple, chop them up, and bake them in the oven with a bit of olive oil…and they’re now one of my favorite foods.
Related: Top Ten Healthiest Foods
Developing healthy eating habits doesn’t have to be a bland affair. Hop on Pinterest and find some great healthy recipes (follow us for some good ones!). Who knows – they might end up being a staple of your diet!
5. Keep a bottle of water on you
Proper nutrition also includes drinking (no, not that kind of drinking!). I’ve previously written an article on the importance of drinking plenty of water, and for good reason. Being dehydrated can lead to overeating, according to registered dietician Amy Margulies. The reason for this is that it’s quite common for people to confuse the sensation of being thirsty for being hungry.
You might be snacking extra because you’re thirsty—and since that food won’t satisfy you, you’ll just keep on doing it. Keep a BPA-free bottle of water on you to remedy this issue, and refill it often!
6. Cut out foods that are advertised
When grocery shopping, try this trick: when you see a food that’s been advertised, don’t buy it. This is more of a rule of thumb than a black-and-white rule, but it will help you avoid processed foods with a lot of junk in them in favor of whole, clean foods. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for an apple?
7. Get rid of the “low-fat” and “sugar-free” stuff
Don’t let yourself think that you should eat all of that “healthy” junk. And no, I don’t mean actual healthy food – but the dreaded “low-fat” and “sugar-free” stuff.
Just because that box of crackers is low-fat doesn’t mean they’re automatically good for you, and just because that soda is sugar-free doesn’t mean you should chug it like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, quite the opposite.
Often, “sugar-free” and “low-fat” means that they’ve taken out the sugar or fat—and replaced it with other junk that your body needs even less. Processed cookies will never be good for you, and soda should never be a staple in your diet.
8. Avoid artificial sweeteners
If you have any Splenda or any other artificial sweeteners in your home, get rid of them, now. Saccharin and aspartame may seem like a dream come true, but they’re actually a dieter’s worst nightmare. Research has suggested that they mess with your body’s natural ability to process sugar and can cause serious health issues.
Try replacing your artificial sweeteners with stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or honey for a healthier sugar fix.
9. Eat before you go grocery shopping
Here’s a big one to include to your healthy eating habits: eat before you shop! It’s going to be way more difficult to avoid the tempting junk food when your stomach is growling. Make sure you’re not hungry when you shop so you can think with your head instead of your stomach.
10. Don’t deprive yourself
If you’ve been good all week, and you’re out with your friends for your best friend’s birthday, go ahead and have a drink or a cheat meal. Healthy people eat healthy most of the time—but still allow themselves a little fun. Live a little – you only get one life!
Eating clean doesn’t have to be hard. By making these healthy eating habits a part of your daily routine, you can make eating nutritiously not only simple, but rewarding.
Photo by The Little Squirrel