When I first started in 2015 to make the transition to a healthy diet, I am not ashamed to say that I didn't know the first thing about healthy eating. After years of hopping from one fad diet to another to maintain what I thought was a "healthy weight" in my mind, healthy eating meant eating foods that promoted weight loss.
What didn't occur to me at the time was that my ability to make healthy food choices for my body had NOTHING to do with the weight that was on the scale.
In fact, for years I maintained a "healthy weight," but my eating habits were crap. Most of my daily diet consisted of fast food, microwave meals, candy, and energy drinks. Very little of my daily diet included real, whole, minimally processed foods.
So, no shade if your daily diet is looking like mine used to be.
When we KNOW better, we DO better!
At the time, I like you, didn't know that the foods that I was eating weren't healthy. Because I was more concerned "if it fit my macros" then if the foods I was eating was actually providing me the vitamins and minerals that my body needed to get through the day.
(Un)lucky for me, I developed more than a few food intolerances and I was forced to start caring about how the food I was eating was impacting my body.
But, let's be clear the road to creating healthy eating habits wasn't easy.
After years of eating whatever I wanted, I need to change not only the way I ate but the habits that I had maintained that were making it more difficult for me to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
if you're been struggling to do the same then this is the post for you.
In this post, I share how to permanently ditch your unhealthy eating habits so that you can get started with healthy eating even if you've tried and failed before!
It might seem super obvious, but you would be surprised that one of the number one reasons people don't maintain healthy eating habits is because they don't actually enjoy the taste of "healthy" food. That's why one of the things I highly recommend for clients is starting by creating the habits of preparing meals you actually enjoy. What that means is, in the beginning, the foods you're preparing might not be the healthiest option. However, as you become more comfortable with the habit of meal preparation, you can slowly start swapping out ingredients or trying new styles of cooking. For instance instead of bolognese sauce with pasta noodles, maybe you’ll swap out the pasta noodles for zucchini noodles. Or, instead of southern fried chicken maybe you try some oven “fried” chicken. The point is that by focusing on building the habit FIRST, it becomes easier to make healthier habits.
I must confess that this tip is going to be a gamechanger for anyone that has ever struggled with overindulgence. The reason is that for those who use food as a coping mechanism, having "snacks" readily available can be "dangerous" when you're not in the mood to cope with your problems, issues, or frustrations. That's why, stocking your kitchen with healthy "temptations" such as smoothies, fruit, or iced tea can help you make healthier food choices. However, my general rule of thumb is that if my "snack" is starting to feel like a meal, I need to pause, drink water, and access if I'm actually hungry enough to eat an actual meal. Or, am I simply tired, ready for bed, and just eating snacks to stay awake. If it's the former, it's time to sit down for "fourth" meal and if it's the lather it's time to head to bed.
Now I know that meal planning isn't the sexiest topic on the planet, but I'm going to put a stake in the ground and say that it is hands-down THE most important thing you can do to permanently ditch unhealthy eating habits. The reason is that having ready-to-eat meals and snacks on hands is crucial for those with an extremely busy lifestyle. As much as you might want to eat healthily, but time isn't on your side prepping your meals as you go is a recipe for unhealthy eating habits. Especially now with so many meal delivery services available to us today, let's not create any more room for us to choose fast food over healthy meals prepared in your kitchen.