Eating healthy is tough. There are so many options for food. The ones that are the easiest to obtain and cost the least are often the unhealthiest. When you’ve committed to strict diet, there are so many possible pitfalls – a sale on your favorite dessert, well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) friends and family who push you to “just try a little”, Girl Scout cookie season… Clever marketing makes us believe that if we aren’t eating perfectly, 100% of the time, we’re failures. That simply isn’t true. However, there are ways to improve your diet, and, in turn, your overall health. Here are the best healthy eating tips I know that won’t make you long for Thin Mints…too much!
One better choice
I once met a woman who worked as Spanx model. She told me that one of the most difficult parts of her job was that not only was she discouraged from putting on weight, she also wasn’t supposed to LOSE weight either! I was aghast – I think most women see their weight fluctuate a bit, especially during their menstrual cycle. She told me that the secret to her success was to always “make one better choice” with any meal. For example, if she was thinking about having a burger and fries, she’d have a burger and a salad instead. You have to be careful not to overindulge with this tip. It’s easy to think “Well, I really want to have ten scoops of ice cream, so I’ll just have five instead.” Overall though, it’s helped me.
I’m just getting into this style of eating. It says that you can, essentially, eat what you want as long as you eat it within an 8 hour window. Most people just skip breakfast and go on about their day. I would probably faint if I did that, so I just stop eating earlier in the day. I am only a few weeks in, so I might make adjustments as I go. So far, I like the results. Though I still try to make as many healthy choices as possible, it’s less stressful not obsessing over what I’m “allowed” to eat. I haven’t weighed myself, but I’m less bloated, and friends who’ve done it say it’s helped them drop extra pounds.
Don’t give up
So much of diet culture is built around this notion of failure. Whole30 insists that if you eat something that isn’t on the program within the 30 days you’re supposed to be on the diet, you MUST start all over and stamp yourself with the scarlet word FAIL. Okay, maybe I made that last bit up. Other times, I catch myself thinking “Well, I already screwed up and had the chocolate cake – guess having a second piece won’t hurt.” This is nonsense. You don’t have to give up just because you “weakened” and ate something you “shouldn’t”. I used quotes on those two words in that last sentence because I think that entire mentality is what often pushes people into an eating disorder. We obsess about forbidding ourselves from certain foods that it gets psychologically damaging. You’re worth eating healthfully, even when you don’t do it all the time.
Getting proper nourishment is hard enough in our fast-paced world. So, find ways to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Do you have any tips to share? Let us know what your best healthy eating tips are and maybe some that caused you to struggle. We’re all in this together. We can even make it through Girl Scout cookie season.