1. Write down your goals.
Although this list is in no particular order, I would recommend doing this step first. Do you want to lose weight? Increase your energy? Avoid future health problems? Writing these things down will give you the motivation you need to stick to your new plan. These goals will probably change over time, but make sure to always have them in the back of your mind to remember why it is you want to eat healthy. I’m sure you could just think about your goals, but I find that writing goals down turns them into more of a reality.
2. Find what works best for you.
I personally do not believe that there is one right way of eating for everyone. For some people, vegetarianism or veganism is the way to go. For others, it’s low carb, gluten free, sugar free, etc. Do some research and/or take a few days to experiment, and see which form of eating is best suited for your preferences and lifestyle. This might include all of the above or none of the above! I’m not at all saying that you have to label yourself as one thing or another. In fact, I personally would advise against that. But try to get an idea of how different ways of eating make you feel – both physically and emotionally.
3. Visit blogs.
Finding and following healthy living/food blogs was paramount in helping me take that next step when it comes eating healthily. You’ll find tons of great advice and recipes for healthy eats.
4. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
Sorry kids, there’s no way around this one. Whether you are a vegan, a rawist, a low carber, or a Weight Watcher – you haveto eat veggies! They are quite arguably the main component of any healthy diet. Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. If you’re not a fan of them, check out this article for easy ways to squeeze more fruits and veggies into your diet.
5. Eat what tastes good.
I think what makes people most hesitant when it comes to eating healthy is they think it means living on iceberg lettuce, celery sticks, or (in the blogging world) chia seeds. Just because something is considered healthy or even “trendy,” don’t eat it if you don’t like it! Find foods that you enjoy and look forward to eating. Once again, I’d suggest checking out as many healthy living blogs as you can to see that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean compromising taste.
6. Try new things.
With that being said, you have to be willing to try new foods and experiment with recipes. For example, a lot of people are hesitant to try Green Monsters. Don’t worry – I was too. But if you’d be willing to give it a try, you’d find that it tastes just like delicious a banana smoothie!
7. Learn the basics.
Take some time to learn basic nutritional facts regarding nutrients, calories, etc. I suggest checking out SparkPeople.com. The nutritionists over at SparkPeople have set up some great articles explaining the in’s and out’s of nutrition in simple terms. Not to mention there are active message boards where SP users and the nutritionists themselves will answer questions and provide advice. The more you know about what’s actually going on in your body, the more proud and motivated you’ll be to continue with a healthy lifestyle.
8. Take it one step bite at a time.
To some people, any form of change can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to an everyday task such as eating. If you think you have to completely transform your diet overnight, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Change one or two things at a time. For example, maybe decide to cut out soda and sugary drinks. Or even start by keeping your diet the way it is, but add more servings of veggies here and there. Eventually your new habits will stick, and you’ll be ready to move on to the next step.
9. Go easy on yourself.
To me, some of the main components of a healthy eating plan is balance and moderation. Newsflash: eating a doughnut, or even 2 doughnuts, is not going to kill you! Don’t get it in your mind that you’ll never be able to eat not-so-healthy foods again. Life is too short to deprive yourself! Instead, aim for healthy choices most of the time. Don’t think of food in terms of “good” or “bad/forbidden” because that will also set you up for failure. Instead, enjoy everything in moderation, and focus on the good, healthy choices you’re making for yourself.
10. Get Excited.
Hooray!! You’re in the process of making one of the best decisions of your life. Eating healthy will help you look and feel better as your get older, and in my opinion it greatly improves overall quality of life. That’s an exciting thought! Spread the news to your friends and family, and maybe you’ll inspire them to start eating more healthily as well. I truly believe that eating healthy should not cause any sort of stress in your life, rather it should be something that adds to your happiness and quality of life.
There ya have it! Hope you all enjoyed those tips =)