It can often feel like an impossible task, but you’ve already taken the difficult first step of acknowledging that eating healthier is what you need to live an improved life. Let the following 5 steps help you along the way.
Step 1: Outline Your Goals
To eat healthier is, in itself, a worthwhile goal. However, to really tailor your diet, you need to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve so that you can always make sure your recipes have what you need.
- Are you trying to lose weight? And if so, how much weight?
- Are you trying to build muscle?
- Are you at your desired weight, but simply want to eat more healthily?
- Are you trying to get more of a specific food type you’ve been neglecting, such as vegetables or fish?
Goals will help you to stay focused.
Step 2: Cook Smaller Portions
A lot of people cook large portions of their meals, which is easily done when you’re making a batch of something, such as pasta. Having a large portion in front of you on your plate can lead to you overeating even if you are full, simply because the food is there, and it can feel like a waste.
Learn to understand portions better so that you can only ever cook the right portion size for your needs, based on goals and calorie count.
Step 3: Pay Attention to Unhealthy Patterns
Healthy eating can be challenging for a lot of people. It takes a lot of commitment and effort to stick to a healthy eating plan, and this can be a shock to the system for those used to eating whatever they like and living off fast or instant meals.
Slipping from your diet every now and again is expected, but if the difficulty in sticking to healthy eating becomes severe or feels out of your control, this could be a sign that something else is going on. Certain health conditions and mental health issues can affect your eating patterns, through no fault of your own. If you are unable to stop eating a large quantity of food, on a binge-eating level, for example, then you mustn’t ignore the signs. There is help available, such as edentreatment.com.
Step 4: It’s Not Just About the Calories
Eating healthier isn’t about eating less. In fact, it’s not encouraged to eat less for weight loss because this means weight gain can easily happen when you return to a normal number of calories.
Instead, focus on the nutrients and ingredients of your portions, rather than simply starving yourself of food. Healthy eating is about what you’re taking in, and the right nutrients and vitamins in your diet. So instead of eating less of what you already were (such as processed foods), switch to the right portions of healthier options, like wholegrain and vegetables.
Step 5: Be Mindful Throughout the Day
Eating healthier isn’t just about your main mealtimes. You need to take active steps for the rest of the day, too. Your snacks should be healthy options, and you should avoid sugary drinks or an excess of unhealthy food and drink outside of your main mealtimes.