One of the most common questions I am asked is “how can I eat healthier?” I come across people who love meat but don’t know which vegetables they like and often complain about the cost of eating healthy. Many want to lead a healthier lifestyle to lose weight (or even maintain it) but want to jump right into a diet which really is only a temporary solution. Like I’ve said time and time again (and nutritionists, health & wellness guru’s will back me up on this) DIETS DO NOT WORK. Temporary solutions only lead to temporary results.
The first step in trying to live a healthier lifestyle isn’t cutting out the bad foods, it is slowly eliminating them by adding in healthier alternatives. Just a little reality check, yes, french fries are made from potatoes but NO that does not count as you eating vegetables. Before jumping into the healthy lane (and if you’re going veggie, this is also important- slowly stop eating meat and increase your vegetable consumption and substitute different forms of protein) introduce more fresh vegetables (none of that canned stuff), fruit and non-processed foods.
One thing I really recommend is finding a farmers market, hitting the produce section of your grocery store and getting to know the vegetables. Yes, I said get to know your vegetables. By getting to know your vegetables and the healthy alternatives you like, you can plan meals. By planning meals and making a list (super important!) you can make smart meal choices that are affordable. Experiment. Try new things. You really can’t get enough vegetables in your diet.
As you slowly introduce more healthy goods into your life, you can decide what works for your body and doesn’t. I don’t believe in eliminating things. I’m more of a pro-moderation person. If you are craving something, for example, I try to identify what exactly I’m craving. Is it something sweet, crunchy or salty? Whatever it may be I try to find a healthier alternative to satisfy that craving.
The second step to leading a healthy lifestyle is getting up and getting moving. Sure, you can eat healthy and still look great but being active goes hand in hand with this lifestyle. The two must not be separate! Eat well, move that body and you will feel amazing (trust me). No, you don’t have to jump into Insanity right this second but grab a friend and go for a walk.
There’s no need to be afraid or even hesitant to start this new lifestyle. You don’t have to completely eliminate the things you like, just crowd them out with the good stuff.
Take baby steps when starting this new way of life. Your body, mind, soul and of course, your health will thank you.
Peace, love and no beef!