If you’re not currently following a healthy diet, it can be difficult to start – let’s be real here! That being said, you should start, because healthy eating is important for maintaining bodily function and living a healthy life. Now, if healthy eating is hard for you, then you know that breaking unhealthy habits can be the most difficult part of the process. So how do you start?
One of my favourite ways of going about this is to get rid of unhealthy foods from your home if possible. Of course, I live alone, so that’s easy, but it might be harder for some of you. What do you do if it’s not an option? Well, compartmentalise the unhealthy food so that you are aware of how much you are consuming each time. If you’re worried about getting hungry, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yoghurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand.
The other obvious thing to do is be educated. Now, this is going to take time and effort, but it will be worth it. Since you are visiting this blog, consider this a spruik for the Strategic Nutrition Guide. When you understand how specific nutrients work in the body, you will be more likely to make these healthy choices for your body. Knowledge really is power!
When preparing for a new healthy diet, you should also consider your eating schedule. This point is often overlooked, but it can be important. For example, if you take time to cook and bring your own lunch, you have more control over what you are eating than, say, if you grab a fast food style lunch. More mindfulness equals more health, or at least has that potential to.
Another thing is that you should start with small steps. For example, you can replace one soft drink each day with a glass of water. After a few days, you can ramp it up a notch. It is like the old adage that you can eat an elephant with one mouthful at a time, over time. The next thing you can do is to shop healthier.
The first thing I will advise you to do is make a list before shopping. Now, I’m a fan of lists in general, not just for shopping but also for work, but this is for good reason. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When you head to the grocery store, it is easy to pick up lots of foods that are bad for our bodies without even being aware of it. A list eliminates this.
The obvious other point is to think about what you put on the list. What I tend to do is look around my apartment first to see what I need. Things like eggs, cheese and toiletries that need replacing should be put first. After that I try to think about what I want to eat for the next week or two. Naturally, the ingredients go on the list. I cover this in a lot more detail in the Strategic Nutrition Guide, which you should get.
Next up – never shop while hungry. Hunger is one of those primitive drives that can take our sense of logic away, making us succumb to impulse buys that are often unhealthy and calorie-laden. Another tip to go along with it is to not shop too often – because each shopping trip comes with a temptation for an impulse buy!
Speaking of which, another strategy which I use, and you can too, is to grab a basket instead of a trolley. Since you have limited space, you might not end up buying too much junk. Of course, this might not work if you have a family. But you get what I mean, right? Furthermore, the discomfort of carrying a heavy basket will make you want to finish shopping as soon as you can.
Another one of my favourites is to buy the generic brand product where possible. One way to decide is whether the product is important to you. For example, if you are really a cheese lover, then perhaps forego the generic brand cheese, but stick to them for every other item.
Alright, that was quite a handful of tips, wasn’t it? And if you came shopping with me, you will see that I personally observe quite a lot of them. Happy food shopping!
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