Many of us deem healthy eating incredibly hard. It can be quite daunting in the beginning, but once you create good habits it will come natural to you. You don’t want to just jump in all or nothing if you are used to eating out several times a week and haven’t worked out since PE in high school. That will set you on the fast track to failure. I have the tendency to have an ‘all or nothing’ mindset to any goals I want to reach. When in reality the best approach is to have balance. Think of it as your job. We all have to take time off to recover so that we can be better at our tasks at hand. I finally learned that just because I eat one cookie doesn’t mean I failed at dieting and eating right. It just means I craved a cookie and ate one and got it out of my system. What got me to finally stick to it and not throw in the towel was creating that balance for myself. Once or twice a week I will indulge in whatever I was craving the prior few days and then move on. I am definitely not perfect and there are times where I end up doing it more like three or four times but you know what that is okay! Your body can handle it as long as you don’t make that a habit.
How do I create my own balance? I would start tracking what you eat in a journal or food log app. Just for a few days see where you fall at when you are eating. It is good to have a gauge at around how many calories you are consuming so you know where to go from there. Many women have this idea that 1200 calories is what they have to diet on and for most women it just is way too low. After you get the hang of tracking what you are eating then I suggest starting to read nutrition labels. See what it is you are eating. Are you getting the micro-nutrients that your body needs to thrive? Most of us aren’t, especially if we eat out for most of our meals. Fast food is very high in calories and have very little to offer your body as far as nutrients go. Once you start learning what food contains then start doing some smart swaps. For instance I opt for whole grain bread that contains fiber and usually cut a bit thinner so it is less calories. Take your favorite meals and swap some of the ingredients for lower calorie versions. I love pizza, I mean who doesn’t? So if I need it during the week I will usually take lavash bread and add a lower calorie marinara, two percent milk mozzarella, which saves a ton of calories, then add my toppings! I opt for high protein options such as turkey pepperoni and Canadian bacon! Pop it in the oven set at three hundred and fifty degrees until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted which is around nine to ten minutes. You can do this for any of your favorite meals! Will it taste as good as your favorite take-out? Probably not at first but once you get used to eating better you will like it more and more.
Finding balance doesn’t have to be a race, just make small changes week by week and eventually it will come more natural to you reach for an apple instead of chips. Another concept I find that has helped me succeed is I don’t eat something if I don’t like it and I am not going to finish it just because it taste really good even though I am full. Listen to your body and eat things that actually make you feel good and give you energy. It is okay to enjoy food with friends and family especially during any holidays and traditions. Afterwards make your next meal something more nutritious. It takes time to find your own balance but you owe it to yourself and your health.