Most of us see healthy eating as a chore, but it doesn't have to be. Healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with these simple tips, and you'll be on a path to healthy eating in no time!
1. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Not only does this save you a few dimes on every dollar, but also you can reduce food spoilage by purchasing frozen fruit to add to smoothies or stir into your yogurt. Frozen veggies make a healthy side ready in no time to go alongside your main entrée. Having healthy foods available ahead of time is one of the best tips we can give on how to eat well without even trying.
2. Go to the Grocery Store for Lunch
Ordering off of a menu can be a challenge. Some restaurants add butter, oil, and salt that can hide in plain sight, upping your calories and your waistline at the same time. However, it's easy to create lunch by circling the perimeter of your grocery store. You'll find deli meats, fresh veggies like carrots and celery that you can dip into delicious hummus. Fresh fruit and cheese cubes can make a tasty snack. Most grocery stores have small grab-and-go areas where you can have your lunch ordered in a snap, which allows you to eat well without even really trying.
3. Add in Healthy Foods, Instead of Taking Away Unhealthy Ones
Don't constantly be focusing on all the foods you shouldn't be eating - you'll most likely begin to feel deprived of favorite foods. Instead, find healthy foods that you enjoy eating, and add those into your day. Adding in healthy foods-for example, a banana with peanut butter for a snack-will help automatically displace unhealthier snack items like candy bars and chips.
4. Choose Pre-Portioned Items
Most of us don't always measure out an exact tablespoon of peanut butter - what a trial it always becomes to wash out your measuring spoon every day to measure out a single serving. Instead, choose a pre-packaged peanut butter containers that take the guesswork out of portion control. Most stores offer smaller portions of items like hummus, string cheese, dips and dressings. Create your own pre-portioned items by counting out groups of 15 almonds and 1 tsp dried cranberries and placing them into snack baggies for an easy-to-grab snack. Cube up some of your favorite low fat cheese and place these in a baggie with 2 triscuit-style crackers for a delicious side for lunch.
5. Never Underestimate the Power of a Smoothie
Whether you order from Smoothie King or blend up smoothies from your kitchen, these blended beverages are the perfect chance to test your creativity. Try adding greek yogurt to your next smoothie to bump up hunger-slaying protein, or grab some granola to add a 'cookie-type' flavor. If you have some leftover, freeze it into ice cube trays to pop into your next smoothie in place of ice which can often water your smoothie down.
6. Eat Slowly and Chew Your Food
This can be quite difficult for some people in the beginning. If you attempt to chew your food about 20 times before swallowing, you automatically increase your digestion and absorption of these foods, compared to wolfing them down. Once you start eating, it takes about 20 minutes for satiety hormones -or hormones that tell your brain you are full-to reach your brain after eating. So if you take a little extra time with eating your meals, you will allow your satiety hormones a head start to turn off your hunger before you've eaten everything on your plate.
7. Eat The Rainbow: Choose Colorful Foods
This is easy - colorful foods are almost always healthier foods. Picture ripe, red tomatoes, orange tangerines, yellow bananas, green avocados, blueberries and purple grapes. If you start to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, you'll find that you are automatically eating well without really trying. Try to choose one food with each of the colors of the rainbow every day, and make a competition out of each color with friends and family.
8. Find Healthy Friends
In order to eat well without even trying, it's important to surround yourself with people and foods that are healthy for you. If your job is stressful, packing a lunch each day can help ensure you skip any stress-eating. If you have certain friends who always want to order dessert, spend more time with people who are willing to support your efforts to be healthier, or people who prefer healthier foods. You'll start to change your thoughts on what foods are important to you by osmosis from individuals who are already doing it.