We have all started this journey to a healthier us at one point or another and felt bombarded with all sorts of information- it seems everyone has an opinion of what’s right and what’s not. It can get a tad frustrating which sometimes leads to giving up all together. In this article, we will show you a few steps that may make that first step to your journey seem achievable.
We don’t underestimate that the decision to eating healthy can be somewhat daunting, diets are stressful and most require you give up one thing or another which can cause a different kind of mental stress. Most of these diets are exactly what they say “a quick fix” which is why sometimes whilst on a diet, all the good work accomplished gets undone as soon as one goes back to their old way of eating. It is possible to achieve ones long term body goals and keep a healthy relationship with food with the right mindset, correct information and a good daily routine.
Here are our recommended tips.
It all starts with the mind. A lot of people overlook the importance of the mind when it comes to making changes. The mind controls how conscious we are in regards to change and a lot of people fail because they don’t do the mindset work and prepare themselves for the change ahead. One of the ways you can achieve this is to write down some reasons why you want to make a change to a healthier you. It should not be limited to weight loss, it could be anything from, wanting to be more active with the children, to wanting to feel good about your body. It’s important to recognize that you are not punishing your body for what you have consumed in the past. You are recognizing the love you have for your body and introducing it a healthier way.
Don’t underestimate the impact stress can have on what we eat. Be conscious about the ways in which you manage stress and emotional situations. Particularly in this current climate, with the way in which the way we live has changed, a lot of us are dealing with new situations which can be stressful and it’s important that you are aware of this and mindful of the way you manage these new situations. Don’t forget to have some time for you, to take care of your mind, it’s a very important aspect when it comes to changing to a healthier lifestyle.
2. Clear your pantry / cupboards and fridge of temptations
Simply put, if it’s not there to tempt you, you won’t feel tempted. Go out and get healthy snacks and surround yourself with healthy food. There are so many variations of healthy options in terms of snacks which can be absolutely delicious as well, some of these include nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables like celery that you can bite on, which tastes amazing with cheese.
3. Small Changes
We have all gone on one of those fad diets that require we change something massive in our lives and I am sure some have seen very quick results. Some of these changes are just not sustainable and what we tend to see is people going back to their old ways and feeling even more lost than before. Small changes are more achievable and sustainable in the long run. For instance, it’s not advisable to change to being a vegetarian in a day, and there are lots of scientific research around meat and how harmful they may be, but being a vegetarian versus a meat eater does not necessarily mean you’re healthier.
Some healthy eating alternatives we suggest include:
- Plain yogurt with fresh fruit instead of flavored yogurt – Pre-flavored yogurts are packed with extra, artificial sugars. To avoid the extra sugars but keep the taste, add fresh fruit or honey to plain yogurt.
- Brown rice over white rice- When rice is processed, the outermost layer of the grain is removed and this leaves brown rice. In order to produce white rice, the next bran layers are then stripped away and this cuts out essential nutrients like fiber. Opt for brown rice for a healthier meal.
- Natural sugar over processed sugars- dates are a great source of natural sugars, they are complex carbohydrates and the sugar is absorbed slowly as they have fiber. They are also loaded with other nutrients including anti-oxidants as opposed to added sugars which are just calories and have no nutritional benefit.
4. Plan ahead
Planning what you will eat ahead of time and going a step further and prepping the food so it’s readily available when you need it goes a long way to keep you focused to those healthy options. You can also keep track of what you’re buying in terms of groceries and you will be surprised how much money and produce you could save by planning ahead.
5. Portion Control and Eating Slowly
Did you know that if you pace yourself through your eating you are likely to eat less? As Ashley our registered dietician nutritionist says “eat proper portions and remember that it takes 20 minutes for our stomach to connect to our brain and say its full. Most people eat in 7 minutes or less….no wonder we are overeating and consuming larger portions than our bodies need. Try a mindful eating exercise and you may be shocked at how satisfied you are after 20 minutes”. A step towards healthier eating involves being conscious about the portions of food on your plate. Be sure to follow us and watch for Ashley’s post on proper portions, mindful and intuitive eating information and exercises across our social media platforms next month. In the meantime, go to our nutritionist page and scroll down to the tips and see what our plates should look like at each meal to ensure you are consuming proper portions and a balanced diet.
We hope that you find these steps simple and achievable for your journey ahead, but remember it starts with you making the first step. You are reading this article which means you’ve already made that first step to your journey for a healthier lifestyle, well done! Keep up and you will love how you feel in a matter of weeks.