When you’re trying to improve your diet to lose weight or simply to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s often our first instinct to drastically change our diet in order to see results quickly. This might result in rapid short-term weight loss, but it’s usually not sustainable. If you’re hoping to make a lasting change, you’ll need to establish new habits and keep things interesting.
Don’t Go to the Store While Hungry
If you’re planning to grocery shop after a long day at work, make sure to grab a snack first. When you’re surrounded by every food imaginable when you’re hungry, it’s too easy to stock up on a bunch of unhealthy food that you’ll regret later.
Find Healthy Alternatives
If you can’t stomach salad without dressing or you need to add mayo to your sandwich for it to be enjoyable, you don’t have to give them up. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy alternatives available. For example, hampton creekoffers sustainably produced dressings, condiments, and cookie dough to satisfy your cravings without the guilt. They’re plant based products that taste just as great as the traditional versions so you won’t be left feeling unsatisfied.
Shake Things Up
Eating the same few meals several times per week quickly gets boring. In order to stay motivated and on the right track, it’s important to branch out and try new things. One of the most important things you can do to stick to your goal of healthy eating is to look for new recipes. This way, you’ll have greater variety throughout the week, and you might find a new favorite ingredient that you’ll be able to incorporate into meals to make them more enjoyable. Something that you hated as a child (broccoli, for example) might taste great to you as an adult, as it’s true that our taste buds can change with age.
Use an App
Technology can make it much easier to stick to goals. If you’d like to try calorie counting, MyFitnessPal is a wonderful app that makes tracking easy. It’s important not to get too caught up in counting calories, though. Eating still needs to be enjoyable and stress-free. For a more relaxed and supportive approach, Lark is an app that “converses” with you about your activity level, and you can also upgrade and let it coach you through your eating habits.
If your significant other or a friend is also trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, team up with them so you can check in on each other about your progress. You can share recipes and be there for moral support, and try to get in some extra exercise by going for a walk a few times a week. If there’s no one close by with whom you’re comfortable sharing your journey with, there are great online communities completely dedicated to healthy lifestyles. You’re sure to find some inspiring stories, and you might even find a lifelong friend.
Prepare Food in Bulk
If you have a demanding schedule, it’s of the utmost importance to plan ahead. After a stressful day, it’s tempting to drive through a fast food restaurant if you don’t have anything easy to make at home. Try dedicating one day per week to cooking and preparing meals ahead of time. You’ll also save money by buying food in bulk when it’s in season, as you can prepare your favorite recipe and freeze several meals.
Bring Snacks to Work
If you work in an office with a vending machine or corner store close by, it’s natural to gravitate toward unhealthy food on your lunch break. Try to break this habit by packing plenty of healthy snacks to power yourself through the day. Foods with lots of fiber, like fresh berries and nuts, are delicious and they’ll keep you full for hours.
Making a permanent life change is no easy task, but there are several ways to help ease you towards your goals. Planning ahead is the biggest way to prevent mishaps. By setting aside time for meal planning and preparation, you’ll save money by being able to skip the fast food line. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can be difficult if you don’t have an adequate support system, so try to involve someone that you’re close to, or join an online forum to vent frustrations and share your recipes and inspirational stories. It’s much easier to stay on track when you’re surrounded by supportive people.