So many of us feel tired or sluggish and often wonder why. It has so much to do with what we are eating. Ready to change the way you eat? Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be drastic changes in order to make progress in your diet. There are so many different diets out there and it can all be overwhelming to select the right one for you. The health and wellness food market value worldwide is projected to be at 811.82 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. With that being said it can be challenging to zero in on what your diet should look like.
Where To Start?
A good place to start is to eat more “real food” and drop the processed foods. When you make small changes like skipping the vending machines and reaching for a bowl of fresh fruit. You will be setting yourself up for success.
The next thing you should do is to clean out your kitchen. Remove all the processed foods. Yes, even those “healthy” granola bars need to go. Look at labels closely, how many grams of sugar does it have? Or sodium? Read the list of ingredients. If you can not pronounce the words listed in the ingredients – do not eat it. Select foods that are in their natural form or as close as possible. When you come home with fresh produce. Rinse carefully and chop, dice and package your produce in single-serving sizes. That way you can grab and go. Leave no room for excuses. How many times have we forgotten to prepare a healthy salad for lunch the next day and wind up eating a fried chicken sandwich from the nearest fast food place instead? Again, set yourself up for success.
Need some help defining what a healthy eating plan looks like for you? Office On Women’s Health gives us some guidelines to follow here.
Keep It Simple
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Eat your fruits and vegetables, right? Maybe stop focusing on the calories, instead, think about it in a different way. Avoid packaged and processed foods – pick foods that are colorful and add a variety of color to your diet. Think fresh foods or when you are in a grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store. Most of the items in the center of the store are the processed foods. Create a good balance between different groups of foods. Make sure you have a mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You do not have to eliminate an entire category of food, rather select the healthiest from each category.
Moderation Is Key
Moderation is basically eating to where you feel satisfied, not stuffed and not eliminating anything from your diet. Because eliminating chocolate from your diet entirely is only going to make you end up wanting it even more. It also means not eating three slices of pizza – instead, try eating a slice of veggie flatbread pizza with some fruit on the side or a side salad. Think smaller portions. If you are ordering food out – share your entree or split it to make it into two servings. A good visual aid, think in terms of your protein to be similar in size to a deck of cards. Carbohydrates should be a portion size of ½ a cup. Another tip is to use smaller plates and bowls so your food fills the plate or bowl, it will look like there is more food compared to placing your food on a large plate and your food looking smaller than usual.
Savor your food
Do not rush to eat your food and do not try to multitask while you are eating either. Devote your time to eating, slow down and enjoy the food that you are eating. Think of your food as nourishment and try not to devour it on the go. Pay attention to your stomach as you are eating and stop eating before you start getting that full feeling. As often as possible, try to eat with someone. Sitting alone in front of the tv while you are eating, oftentimes leads to overeating.
One Way To Succeed While You Are On This Journey Of Eating Healthier Is By Meal Prepping
Meal Prepping Benefits
- You will save time.
- You will save money.
- You will be eating healthier.
- You will start feeling better.
Meal prepping doesn’t have to mean your entire Sunday is consumed by cooking and packing food. It can be a fun event. Turn on some music and break out some recipes you have been wanting to try. You can turn it into a family event – give each person a meal to manage and you can all have fun working together in the kitchen. Plus, you will love how it frees up your evenings during the week and you will also love how much better you will feel.
There are many ways to meal prep, for example, you can batch cook – meaning you can make big recipes all at once and freeze them to use later. Another way is to make up individually portioned meals where you portion out meals into containers – that you can grab and go. You also can prep out your ingredients and package them to be used in a recipe later in the week. Find which one works best for you. Learn more about meal prepping here.
Keep in mind that making even small steps, in the beginning, is still progress. No need to feel overwhelmed or get discouraged. If you have a slip-up, just get back on track with the next meal. Remember you are making these changes for you, for your future, and to help you feel better and have more energy. Do it for you – because you are worth it.