I know I have done this before, have you? I am going to start eating healthy tomorrow and so today I am going to eat whatever I like. Then tomorrow comes. Oops, what happened to starting to eat healthy? I know, I know…something came up. You did not have enough time to get something prepared so you ended up with a big ole burger and fries. Maybe you can blame it on your kids because you forgot they had so many activities that you had to buy dinner out at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Whatever the reason, something stops you from starting that healthy eating thing everyone is talking about.
I know that there are fears around changing the way you eat. One of them is that you won’t be able to eat what you want so it is going to be torture. I can’t deprive my kids of their favorite foods and how will I not eat the same thing they are eating? I want to go eat out with my friends and family, but how will I eat healthy in a restaurant? I have a few parties and events to go to in the next couple of weeks, it does not make sense to start now so I might as well wait. All of these roadblocks are going to be the reasons that you never start eating healthy because there will always be something going on and you will probably always be busy.
What Benefits Will You Get if You Healthy Anyway?
- The Ongoing Benefits: The list of benefits is long. Basically, if you eat healthy, you are providing better fuel for your body, thus allowing you to think clearer, move more, have more energy, get rid of aches and pains and feel better all over. You will lose weight, get into those skinny jeans and your triple chin may reduce to a double chin or even just a single chin which I am sure most people prefer. People have seen improvements or even elimination of diabetes. How about lowering your cholesterol or even blood pressure? Eating healthy can even help people with depression. The sum of this is that healthier foods contain the nutrients your body needs to function well. The benefits really warrant a whole article in itself because there are so many things you can improve by eating healthy.
- Endless List of New Recipes: You get to try new foods and recipes and think of unique ways to make your favorite dishes. You will also find new foods that you have never tried before and since your taste buds will change there will be foods that you did not like before that will now taste great. Vegetables will even taste better after you stop eating a lot of processed foods.
- The Gift of Sharing: As you become more educated on healthy eating, you can share this new found knowledge with your friends and family. Invite your friends over for a healthy meal. Talk about what you did to change the recipes to make them healthy. Get your friends involved by creating a “healthy get-together” and rotate where the get together is hosted. Getting together will have new meaning when you are supporting each other to eat healthy.
Tips on Starting Today
- Tell a Friend: Tell a friend that you are starting to eat healthy and you could really use their support. Tell people at your work place so they know that when they want to go out for lunch, they keep in mind that pizza might not be the best choice.
- Go Shopping: Before you go shopping, pick out some healthy recipes and put the ingredients on your shopping list. Shopping is an educational field trip. Read the labels of everything you buy. If the ingredient list is really long, then it probably has many chemicals, preservatives and ingredients you really don’t need. Simple is better. Buying basic proteins, vegetables, fruits and legumes is best and you can spice them up on your own. When you purchase packaged foods, you are sure to get some stuff that you really don’t want.
- Gradual Change: Start out with two to three meals the first week. You don’t have to go full out the first day. Start integrating a healthy side dish and increase the swaps of unhealthy sides for a healthy side at each meal.
- Clean it Out: The best way to start a new way of eating is by cleaning out the old way of eating. Go through all of your cabinets and your pantry and get rid of the products that support unhealthy eating. If you live with others and don’t have control over all the kitchen space, then set aside a space for just you and make sure that area only contains healthy foods.
- Get More Support: There are groups all over the place that you could join to get support for a healthy eating lifestyle. Search on Meetup.com for healthy lifestyle, weight loss or healthy cooking groups.
When it comes down to changing the way you eat, you need to just start. Not tomorrow…now! Start in any way you can and be consistent and evolve each week in making better choices. There are so many fast, easy and healthy recipes out there that taste great too. Trust me, you will notice the difference.
Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady