How to Eat Healthy In 6 Simple Steps
Eating healthy comes in ebbs and flows for most people. If you unlock your "why" you are going to start eating healthier, then you can more easily identify your motivation and set yourself up for long-term success.
Discover Your Personal "Why"
The first, and probably most important, simple step to eating healthy is to identify your motivation. Why have you chosen to eat healthier? What end goal are you trying to reach? Are you eating healthy for a little while to lose weight? Do you feel guilty after a time of indulgence, and are eating better to hush that guilt-ridden voice inside your head? Are you looking to avoid diseases and live healthier by making healthy eating a part of how you live your life?
Eating healthy comes in ebbs and flows for most people. If you can unlock your "why" you are going to start eating healthier, then you can more easily identify your motivation and set yourself up for long-term success. Once you unlock your motivation you can begin seeing yourself differently so that you won't jump off the health bandwagon after a few weeks. When your motivation is just to lose a little weight you are not likely to find that eating healthy is easy; instead it can seem like a lot of planning and work.
Re-Identify How You See Yourself
The moment you start thinking about yourself as someone who enjoys healthy foods is the moment you have begun the process of making eating healthier more automatic. Think of the people that you know who choose the whole grain bread or order a salad at a restaurant. This is not because they are on a diet, but because that is how they eat, and it's easy to determine if eating well is a part of how they identify themselves.
As someone who freely and electively chooses to consume nutritious, delicious foods you will most likely find that eating healthy can be quite simple, even automatic. Start telling yourself, "I am someone who enjoys fresh fruits, and I like having a veggie side with my meals," or, "I am craving some fresh mango right now," and a healthy eating mentality can start to become normal.
For people who have not had regular exercise all of their lives, which is certainly most of us in the United States, it's also possible to begin to re-identify yourself as an "exerciser". Tell yourself that you used to be someone who did not exercise as part of taking care of yourself, but now you do. Now you are an exerciser. Quoting the mantra "I am someone who exercises, and who chooses healthier foods most of the time" is a really simple step in how to eat healthy and live a life full of vitality.
Remember You Are Free
The freedom to eat healthy or not healthy is available and innate in all of us. Although it may seem like it, not one of us is doomed to live a life of fast food or freezer fare. We are free to spend our time however we like and so if we want to make healthy eating more simple and easy for ourselves, we absolutely can. Sometimes it just means taking a step back to plan ahead, going to the grocery store at the beginning of the week, and prepping food for ourselves ahead of time. This falls in line with our motivations as well. We are free to lose weight, and we are free to be individuals who love yogurt smoothies.
Consider How You Will Feel Afterward
Whatever dietary choice you make, healthy or not, ponder how you are going to feel after you eat a certain meal. You may know you will feel better emotionally after those cookies, but what about physically? Getting in touch with your physical being and listening to the signs and signals of your body can help you make the right choice in a pivotal moment. Pay attention to your fatigue, your need to de-stress, and your need to be active and get your blood pumping.
Love What You Get to Eat
Most people have a fresh fruit that they love. Start by having this purposefully each day. Relish it. Close your eyes, taste it, smile while you are eating it. Remind yourself how much you love these beautiful, juicy, sweet grapes. If you have a favorite vegetable, then do the same. There is a foodie inside all of us, and actively reminding yourself of how much you love foods that are healthy can help make eating healthier a joyful and delightful experience. Loving the foods you are eating, that nourish your body at the same time, will align your goals, your motivation, and your desire.
The moment you get locked inside the limitations of your 'routine' is the moment the rebel that lives inside all of us wants to break out. Trump the boredom and frustration that causes us to buck the routine by experimenting with flavor combinations. Open your Pinterest app or google an easy recipe that contains oregano or curry, and use it to spice up your usual chicken.
Other great combos include roasted red pepper flakes and onions added to your favorite ground beef or ground turkey. Try adding salsa to chopped chicken to really give it that extra ¡olè! Remember you need to enjoy the foods you are eating. Don't forget how easy it is to pick up steamed shrimp at your local grocery store, and wrap it in fresh lettuce and dip it into a Thai peanut sauce for an easy dinner or snack. You never know what your palate might consider a match made in heaven.
The more you explore 2-flavor combinations—we think you'll love ginger powder and lime—the simpler eating healthy becomes. Get experimental and venture outside your food box. You may find new food you fall in love with.