Sometimes when we’re trying to eat healthy it can be overwhelming. We think we have to change EVERYTHING all at once. Not true. In fact, taking small bite-sized action steps and changing only one or two things at a time will help you be way more successful than going cold turkey on everything. But where do you start? Well, it really depends on what you want to change – but we find these five things to be pretty standard with a lot of our clients wanting to clean up their eating.
Drink more water.
We can’t say it enough – water is everything. It gives you energy, helps your body function properly, helps flush out toxins, it hydrates you, helps control your appetite, and the list goes on and on. One thing we recommend is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Drink more if you sweat a lot, are sick, or have a hard workout. I know this seems like a lot, and it may take a few days or even weeks to get there, especially if you’re not used to drinking a lot of water. One thing we recommend is to have a glass of water by your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up in the morning. It’s a sure way to get at least 8oz in right away and jumpstart your hydration.
Eat the rainbow.
Each color of fruits and vegetables has different nutritional components all of which are great for your health. It’s important to try and get all these colors into your meals for optimal nutrition. Think red, green, orange, yellow, white, purple, and blue! When you look at your salad try and choose a variety of colors to optimize your nutrition. Yellow peppers, red tomatoes, green spinach, purple cabbage, white cauliflower, orange sweet potato – you get it. Here’s a great article talking about each color and its nutritional value!
Watch your portions.
You can still eat super healthy and still gain weight – the culprit – portions. It’s important to understand your portions, especially with carbohydrates, fats and proteins. As far as vegetables go, they’re not calorie dense so you don’t really have to worry too much about having too many vegetables, but with everything else, it’s important to understand what a proper portion is for your body and caloric needs. You don’t have to measure out all your food, but eyeballing and having an understanding of what your portions look like is key. Sometimes using everyday items like a deck of cards or the palm of your hand for protein is helpful. Here’s an article that shows a few examples!
Listen to your body.
Your body talks to you, you just have to listen. It tells you when it needs food, and when it doesn’t. A lot of the time we’re so busy doing other things that we don’t pay attention to these hunger and fullness cues leading us to either go way too long without eating (hello back-to-back meetings) or overeating (hello scrolling Instagram while eating). Other times we mistake our emotions for hunger such as boredom or anxiety. Pay attention to what hunger feels like vs. emotions and when you do eat, try to eat mindfully without distraction. Focus on your food, how it tastes, and how it makes you feel. You will digest better, probably eat a little less, and have more energy.
Take it meal by meal.
Instead of focusing on an entire week of meals or even a day of meals, try to focus on one meal at a time. How can I make this meal healthier? What can I swap out? Is it portioned properly? It may become less tedious and overwhelming if you focus on one meal at a time, and then soon enough it will become easier and easier to make healthy meals!
Give these small action steps a try and see how it helps you eat healthier, one meal at a time!