I frequently get asked how to get started with weight loss and how to stay motivated to eat healthy. From what I can tell, even the most health conscious people struggle with eating healthy one hundred percent of the time – myself included. That said, I do have some tips for jumping on the healthy eating bandwagon (or hayride this time of year!)…
- Set small, measurable goals that will help you get to your overall large goal. For instance – I will eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, incorporate leafy green veggies into 3 meals a day, drink at least 68 ounces of water daily, etc.
- Keep a food and exercise journal. This is extremely helpful to track how much you’re eating – sometimes you don’t realize how many small bites here and there add up. You can do a hand-written journal or go digital and log your food/fitness from the computer or your smartphone. MyFitnessPal is a great resource for this.
- Crowd processed junk food out of your diet by adding in nutritious whole foods.
- Skip the pantry and head to the fridge. No one really keeps a lot of processed foods in their fridge because they’re usually self-stable. When looking for an afternoon snack I tend to stick with something from the fridge (non-fat greek yogurt, fruit, veggies with hummus, edmamae, etc.)
- Try new foods. Eating steamed broccoli and baked tofu every night can get old. Look for new healthy recipes online, in cookbooks or magazines so you don’t get bored with eating healthy. I know a good place for recipes.
- Enlist support from your friends and family. Whenever I realize I need to get back to my roots and clean up my eats the first person I tell is Isaac because he then knows not to offer me sips of beer and chips.
- Team up with a friend and hold each other accountable for eating healthy.
- Eat something every 2-3 hours. This keeps your metabolism running and also makes sure you don’t get ravenous and end up eating whatever is in sight when you get home from work.
- Keep nutritious foods on hand and ready to eat. Preparation is the key to eating healthy! Having fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, healthy fats and smart carbs each week is super helpful for staying on track. I like to make big batches of roasted veggies and brown rice or quinoa at the beginning of the week so I have healthy foods in the fridge ready to go for quick lunches.
- Keep tempting foods that trigger you to overeat out of the house. For me this is cereal, packaged trail mix, granola and other packaged foods. If the tempting foods are already in your house because someone else bought them, I’ve found that putting them away in a (high) cabinet is helpful. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Always bring a healthy snack with you when you leave the house for more than a couple hours. Apples, bananas, fruit and nut bars, homemade trail mix and carrots are super portable. And healthy bars like Larabar are always good in a pinch.
- Eat and enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. Deprivation tends to backfire so if you really want a treat, then eat and enjoy it.
- When going out to eat, look the at the menu for the restaurant online. Deciding beforehand what healthy option you’re going to get can be helpful so you’re not tempted by unhealthy options once you’re there.
- Don’t let one set-back keep you from working toward your goal. Don’t get down on yourself if you slip-up -just make sure your next meal is a healthy one!
Hopefully this little list helps give you some ideas on how to stay motivated to eat healthy. Like I said, everyone has off days and may not eat healthy ALL of the time, but it’s what you do 80-90% of the time that counts. Let me know in the comment section what tips you use to stay motivated to eat healthy. And if you liked this post, I will do another one with tips on how to stay motivated to workout!
PS- Happy Modern Family Day – my second favorite day of the week! I’m already excited for 9:00PM.