Maintaining a healthy diet is often easier said than done in today’s fast-paced, dynamic world that most of us know. Just looking through the many healthy diets to figure out which one is best for you can be a challenge. Even after finding an eating pattern or meal plan, the hard part is maintaining your healthy diet day after day.
After you’ve chosen an eating pattern or meal plan, maintaining that healthy diet on a daily basis has its fair share of challenges. You start intending to eat better and lose weight, only to go back to your old habits within the next two weeks. Crash diets and deprivation don’t work, and you don’t want to give up your favorite foods. So how can you make your desire to eat healthy a lifestyle? There are numerous ways to make healthy eating more manageable; the good news is that most of them are free and simple. Here are some ways to make healthy eating a lifestyle.
Don’t feel the need to make drastic changes, like going to the gym daily or getting rid of food groups. Instead, try starting with small diet changes for a permanent effect. Going to extremes and changing everything at once will only set you up for failure. It would help you make small weekly goals of a healthy change you would like to develop.
For example, you can set a goal to drink a glass of water when you wake up, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, or add more vegetables to your lunch. Small changes can add up, helping you make healthy eating a way of life instead of relying on a short-term crash diet.
Don’t eliminate your favorite foods.
A major dieting red flag is cutting out your favorite foods. A small daily treat can help you stick to your diet and feel better about what you eat. Search from Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that eating a small treat a day doesn’t sabotage your weight loss efforts, meaning your favorite foods can fit into your diet.
You can have small portions of decadent foods like brownies. If you are a pasta lover, consider adding vegetables to increase the portion instead of eating more pasta. Don’t eat treats you’re not excited about, but don’t completely cut out foods you like. Your diet should mostly include healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, but make sure to save room for your favorite treats.
Eat foods that keep you full.
Sticking to a healthy eating plan will be difficult if you’re constantly hungry. Research implies that when you’re hungrier, you’re likely to eat your next meal too quickly. Eating too fast can force you to take in too many calories because your body doesn’t have time to register feeling full. Portion control is essential to losing weight and keeping it off, but your stomach shouldn’t growl all day long.
The three nutrients that help keep you full are fiber, fat, and protein. Good sources of protein include chicken breast, tuna, plain Greek yogurt, and almonds. It would help if you weren’t afraid of fat but realized it has a purpose. Fat allows certain nutrients to be absorbed and is super satisfying. Plus, it tastes good. Your best bet would be to try adding more healthy fats to your diet, such as nuts, nut butters, avocados, and olive oil. To add more fiber to your diet, snack on foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The product is high in fiber and usually low in calories.
Perfection is not your friend.
We often have big ideas about how we’re going to make new diet-like promises to ourselves, like never eating bread again, eliminating sugar from our diet, or always eating vegetables for dinner. Instead of aiming for perfection, try to be realistic with yourself and create an eating game that you’ll stick with for the long haul. Eating perfectly doesn’t make you lose weight, but eating well does. Set healthy goals for the week, like packing a healthy lunch for a couple of days, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you screw up. Eating treats is bound to happen; when they do, don’t give up.
Plan ahead to eat out.
Happy hour, breakfasts, and dinners are a highlight for some people, but can seem like another hurdle for those trying to stick to a healthy or new diet. Restaurant meals tend to have more fat, sugar, sodium and calories than home-cooked meals. They also have larger portions than home-cooked meals.
When we’re around other people, our food choices are heavily influenced by the preferences of the people we’re with, so it can be easy to overindulge when eating out, and sticking to a healthy diet can be very difficult. However, there are ways to alleviate these problems. Strategizing before you arrive at the meeting or restaurant can help you feel prepared and ease your mind when it comes to navigating eating out. Some tips for eating out include researching the menu before you go, snacking on fruit before you get there, staying hydrated during the meal, and eating slowly.
Get back on track if you falter.
If you eat too much one day, don’t beat yourself up; dust yourself off and try again. Remember that bad meal. Don’t give up or wait until Monday to reset the healthy habits you’ve created. If you have a slight setback, try to realize that it’s a small blip on the healthy eating radar. Go back to the foods that make you feel good and you’ll be back to long-term success.
Breaking old habits to make way for new ones isn’t easy, but it will be worth it in the long run when it comes to healthy eating. The biggest takeaway from making healthy eating a lifestyle is to not give up on yourself if you stumble. We all make mistakes, but you need to try again if you want your diet to stick.