As we move into the New Year, many of our clients want to know how they could eat healthier. They know they can do better, but they aren’t sure where to start. We’ve all had our not-so-healthy eating moments, so we put together a few tips to help you start eating to feel better and have more energy.
These tips are not about which foods to eat—we assume you know real, whole, fresh foods are best, and food from a box is not. These tips are about your mindset and your attitude toward yourself and your eating habits.
Be careful here (we say tongue-in-cheek), because you might lose weight as you follow these steps!
Know what you’re eating now.
When it comes to changing your eating, keeping a journal of your current diet will give you a starting point. Record everything you eat and drink for two weeks. Note the time you eat, how much you take in, and how you feel at the time. Sit down and study your food journal. You’ll see patterns in the amount and type of food and drink you take in.
Decide what you want to change.
This plan needs to be something you can do long term, even if you want to lose only a few pounds. Don’t look at this as something you’ll do for a few months and then go back to your old ways. When you look at your food journal, decide what you can live with and what you can’t. For example, in an ideal world, you would eliminate all refined carbohydrates and unnatural ingredients.
However, that’s probably not sustainable in real life, so decide what you can realistically do. If you truly enjoy your girls’ nights out twice a month, don’t give them up. If you like to buy a bottle of wine on payday, keep doing that… but you’ll need to make adjustments in the rest of your eating and drinking.
Come up with three eating habits you’d like to keep and three new, healthy habits you want to add. Once those three habits are in place, you can add more, or perhaps you’ll decide to get rid of another old habit.
Don’t try to do too much at once.
One reason people don’t stick to a healthy eating plan or sensible weight-loss plan is that they make drastic changes too soon. As we said, this is for life, so take your time. Of course, you want to improve your health today, but taking small steps is often more effective.
For example, start drinking more water one week. The next week, cut your sugar consumption in half. Stay there for a week or two, and then add one more step. As you get used to eating in healthy ways and create new habits, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
If you slip, don’t allow that to derail your entire day. Get back on the healthy eating horse, and keep going. Don’t allow yourself to be negative about what’s happened; slips are normal and to be expected. If you cut yourself down or make fun of yourself, you’ll have a harder time staying on your plan.
Remember, one day at a time.
You will stray outside your new routine occasionally. Remember, this is just one day of your life, and tomorrow is a new day.
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