Have you been wanting to eat healthier but you don’t have the time to make it happen? Eating healthy can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be.
Making healthier choices when it comes to food doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. A few changes in your everyday life can make eating healthier a simple habit for you. Now that doesn’t sound so difficult, does it?
To make the task of eating healthier easy for you, check out these tips to start your healthy eating journey.
17 Tips to Get Started on Your Healthy Eating Journey
Meal plan each week.
Schedule a time each week where you plan on sitting down to meal plan. Pick a day that works for you and plan your meals out for the following week. Remember it doesn’t have to be on a weekend if that’s not when your week starts.
I always feel like I have to wait until Sunday to meal plan and prep. But the day doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually do it.
Make sure to plan for all of your meals. Include breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. So there is nothing left up to chance.
Meal planning may not be quick. But it will save you lots of time in the long run. It will also make it easier and quicker for you to make healthier food choices.
When you first get started, plan your grocery shopping list according to what you have at home. Shop your cupboards first. This way when you go to the store, you won’t be tempted by things that are not on your list.
Prep What You Can
We’ve all been there. You come home after a busy day, exhausted and hungry. You want to eat what is quick and easy. But so many times that means ordering pizza or heating up a frozen dinner in the microwave.
To avoid this scenario, prepare healthy options for yourself ahead of time. Being prepared is key to your healthy eating success.
Eating healthier is easier when you have food on hand. Sometimes, we don’t have the time or energy to chop veggies for a salad. Or boil eggs for an easy breakfast. Take time at least once a week to meal prep so you can make quick healthy decisions during the busy week.
Practice Portion Control
Sometimes, to eat healthier you have to start eating less rather than eating different foods altogether. Portion control is a great way to ensure you aren’t overeating and that you are taking in the right amount of calories each day.
Divide snacks out into serving sizes rather than eating mindlessly from the box or bag. Smaller plates can also help you eat the right portions.
Plan Your Food for the Day
If you’re finding that it’s not enough to meal plan for the entire week, take it a step further. Plan out what you are going to have at each meal time during the day.
Make it a part of your nighttime routine. Take 10 minutes to plan your meals for the following day. This way you won’t get off track with your calorie intake and you’ll always know what healthy foods you’re eating.
Here’s a quick example for planning out your meals:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts.
Lunch: Leftover salad from last night’s dinner. Add in some shredded chicken and avocado.
Dinner: Turkey chili and a side of roasted vegetables.
Read the Ingredients
Take a look at the foods you like to eat on a regular basis. Read through the ingredients. If there are too many ingredients you can’t pronounce, consider removing them from your diet. Make the switch to foods with fewer and healthier ingredients to eat better.
Chose Whole Before Processed Foods When Eating Healthier
Fresh whole foods are always better than something out of a box or package. When shopping, stay in the outside perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible. This is where the healthiest whole foods are located.
Sticking to the perimeter of the store will help you stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Meats and dairy are also usually located in the outside perimeter of the store. Make these foods your first priority before walking down the aisles.
Try a New Fruit or Vegetable Often
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a healthy choice, but it can also be fun. Your diet is boring without variety. Fruits and veggies are essential for good health. But some people can get stuck in a rut of eating the same ones all the time.
Try adding new fruits or vegetables to change up your meals. If you’re stuck trying to figure out which new veggie or fruit to try check out what’s in season here.
Start Your Day with a Glass of Water
Start your hydration before you begin eating each day. A glass of water with fresh lemon offers a number of healthy benefits. Check out this post for more ideas on how to infuse water.
Infused water can also help with weight loss. It has fat-burning capabilities by helping to speed up metabolism. It also eliminates excess fat cells from the body.
Staying hydrated is the best way to treat your body right. Hydration is important. Because it provides better transportation of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. And helps to keep your skin and hair healthy.
Drink Water When You Feel Hungry
Our brains can sometimes mistake hunger for thirst. When you are feeling like you want to snack, try drinking some water first. You may find that your craving goes away. And you don’t consume any unnecessary calories!
Don’t Skip Meals to Eat Healthier
You may be tempted to skip breakfast or another meal as a way of eating healthier. When you skip meals, it’s more likely that the rest of your day will be spent with unhealthy and unsatisfying choices.
However, you aren’t doing your body any favors by not giving it the fuel it needs. Make sure you are eating at least three solid meals and 1-2 snacks each day to keep your metabolism working for you.
If mornings are too busy to make time for a sit-down breakfast in the morning, opt for something quick like an egg sandwich on whole wheat toast or oatmeal with berries and yogurt.
Bring Your Lunch From Home
Nothing can kill your healthy eating commitment more than not having a healthy lunch ready for you. Ditch the urge to eat unhealthy by packing a good lunch for every workday.
Have an Appetizer Before Dinner
Dinner is generally the largest meal of the day. Meaning it’s the meal where we could possibly eat too much. Consider having a small plate of veggies or a small salad before you sit down at the dinner table each evening. It can take 15 minutes or so for your stomach to realize you are eating. So, this healthy appetizer gets everything on the right track before you start your meal.
Along with a healthy pre-meal snack, be sure to keep a glass of water at the table with you. Staying hydrated also helps keep hunger tamed.
Slow it Down
Eating quickly can cause you to eat too much food at one time. Take your time and enjoy your meal. Take a bite of your food then set down your fork or spoon while you chew.
Also, sip water throughout the meal to lengthen the eating process. Taking longer to eat lets your stomach determine if you are full. Before you have eaten more than you should.
Have Healthy Snacks Ready
Having a well-stocked supply of delicious and healthy snacks always available keeps the urge of bad snacking at bay. Put a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter for you to grab when hunger strikes. Keep a portioned baggie of almonds in your purse or car for on-the-go snacking.
Ditch the Junk Food
It seems obvious that if it’s out of sight you won’t eat it. However, so many people think if they hide it in the back of the pantry, they can stay away from it. Some can fight the urge but most of us cannot. Getting rid of unhealthy foods can stop the urge you get to raid the fridge or cabinets looking for them.
If you’re a late-night snacker, swap those chips out for healthier crunchy alternatives like celery sticks with laughing cow cheese or nut butter. Or carrot sticks and dip them in salsa.
Eat Less Sweets
Many people’s biggest downfall to eating healthy is sweets. Cutting back on sugary snacks can help with your healthy eating journey. Avoiding sugar does make a difference in how you feel.
Eat healthier by cutting back on how much sugar you consume. A simple way to do this is by tracking how many sugary snacks you eat each day. Then begin to cut back on those snacks until you only have one sugary treat a day or once a week. Fruit can be a good substitution when your sugar craving hits.
Find Healthy Alternatives
Maybe you love ice cream and don’t want to give it up even if you are trying to eat healthier. Substitute your favorites for a healthier version. Try making a smoothie with frozen fruit and almond milk.
To make it creamy and to add protein use non-fat plain greek yogurt. Finding healthier substitutions for the unhealthy foods we love is a great way to eat better.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Eating Healthier
Eating better doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. It’s more about being mindful of what you consume every day. Making a decision to eat healthy goes a long way. Once you commit to your decision you’ll start to notice the changes becoming everyday habits in your life.
Maybe you have been wanting to eat healthier, but you don’t think you have the time to make it happen. The good news is, you don’t have to spend a lot of time just to eat better.
Introducing a few new tips into your everyday life can make healthy eating a simple habit for you. What tips do you have to make healthier eating choices? Let me know in the comments:)