How To Start a Healthy Eating Plan
Eating healthy foods can be challenging at first. Especially if you live at home with family or other members that may not want to eat the foods that you do.
In order to prepare to start a healthier eating plan, you have to take some extra steps to plan out your meals.
Eat Healthy For Yourself
In order to be successful with any new habit, you have to know your “why” and to be consistent. Your “why” is your purpose for doing something. In this case, maybe you want to eat healthy because you want to have more energy, get off a certain medication, or control your blood pressure.
Once you have your “why” then it’s up to you to put in the work to be consistent. Nobody can eat healthy for you.
Related: Find Your Why
Be a Role Model for Your Family. Not a Dictator
Your family may be the reason or motivation for why you want to eat healthier. It could be because you want to have more energy when you’re around them or you’ve noticed how hard it’s becoming to keep up with your daily routines.
Whatever the reason, your family is an important part of your life. Even if they aren’t currently supportive of your healthy journey. But that doesn’t mean that you have to force them into your journey.
They may be your inspiration but they are not your hostages. If you want to see your family have lasting results, then you have to be willing to let them choose.
If you are the sole provider in your household or the main cook in the family, that doesn’t mean you have to create entirely different dishes for you and for your family. There are ways to make easy swaps to get the best of both worlds.
For example, when making pasta or spaghetti, don’t mix the pasta noodles right away. Instead, you can opt for zucchini or squash noodles for yourself and keep the regular kind for your family.
Know When To Talk About Your Health Goals
Communication is key, but timing is EVERYTHING.
You don’t want to bring up your current diet or how much weight you want to lose while you’re sitting down for dinner. Pick a time to have a family discussion when they will have your full attention.
Have you ever heard the saying: it’s not what you say, but how you say it? Try to be very specific on what your goals are with your food journey and what kind of support you need from your family.
Know Your Food Triggers
Practice Self Control
Are there certain foods that you know you can’t just have one of? Do you typically eat your meals in front of the TV? Do you eat chips straight out of the bag or do you pour them on a plate?
Knowing your habits will help you determine where you can make improvements. For me, I am an “out of sight, out of mind” person.
So I don’t keep food out on my countertops unless they are healthier options such as fruits or nuts. That way I’m not tempted to mindlessly grab other foods.
If you know you tend to eat a whole bag of chips, try pouring some into a plate or bowl and then putting the chip bag back into the cabinet or pantry.
Or if you know that you tend to overeat when you have a night out with your friends, then you can try to eat before you go out and drink plenty of water. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it also saves you some money.
It’s O.K to Have Cheat Meals
If you love to eat a certain food, then enjoy it! For any diet/health plan to stick, it has to be realistic.
So if you want cake, eat a slice of cake.
You just have to be mindful of how much you eat. This goes back to self control that I mentioned earlier.
Try smaller portion sizes, pick a day where you’ll have your favorite dessert, or decide ahead of time when you will go out for a meal.
The goal is to have a balanced eating plan. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods or feel guilty when you do decide to eat them.
Eating Healthy is a Marathon not a Sprint
Learn How To Meal Prep
Meal prepping will save you so much time and will help take out the guess work in what you will be eating every day. There are plenty of ways that you can do your meal prep.
For beginners, I recommend picking one meal of the day that you struggle with the most.
For example, if you are someone that eats out for lunch every day, then try finding simple recipes that you can create in bulk for the week. If you’re someone that doesn’t like eating the same thing every day, you can get creative with the base of your meals.
This can be done by cooking enough protein for a few days and choosing different grains or vegetables to pair it with. You could buy greens for a salad, sweet potatoes, or rice to switch things up.
Plan Your Meals and Activities Ahead of Time
Planning your meals and activities goes hand in hand with meal prepping. If you know you will have a girls night out or go to a restaurant, then plan your meals around those activities.
Try having an extra serving of vegetables the day of. Check out the menu in advance to decide what you will eat. Bring your own snacks if you will be at an outdoor event.
There are plenty of ways to still enjoy your time with family and friends while staying track on your goals. You just have to prepare in advance so that you can make the best decisions possible.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be that person bringing your own food to a party or restaurant. You also don’t need to spend the next week “cleansing” because you had fried foods or other less healthy food options.
Plan your week in advance and you will reach your goals. Being healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
Live a Balanced Life
Everything is about balance! Being healthy is not about eating salads and loading up on protein everyday. In order to truly become healthy, you have to achieve some kind of balance in your life.
You can have fast food, desserts, or anything you crave. The goal is to have more of the healthier options so that you can indulge in your favorite treats without feeling guilty.
Final Thoughts On How to Start Eating Healthy
Once you decide that you want to start eating healthier, you have to be committed to the journey. It won’t be easy at first, but once you start planning out your days you will get better at finding ways to fit healthier foods into your daily routine.