Three Easy Ways to Kickstart a Healthy Diet
Original Content by Training Amigo
1.Plan your meals ahead of time. I know. We’re all very busy. We have jobs. Some of us have children. We have errands to run, emails to answer, reports to write, meetings to attend. We have bills to pay, dogs to walk. Start small. Baby steps. Choose one meal you enjoy cooking. Maybe it’s couscous with vegetables and chicken. Maybe it’s vegetarian chili, or something as simple as a Caesar salad with grilled chicken. Find your favorite recipe online, double the measurements. Make a list of what you need at the grocery store. Set aside two hours at home where you can leisurely cook it up. Because you’ve doubled the recipe, you have enough left-overs for two or three meals. Once you’re in the habit of cooking one meal, add another. Before you know it, you will have an amazing repertoire of healthy meals.
2. Keep a food journal logging when and what you eat. Believe it or not, this really works. It creates an accurate record that allows you, at the end of the day, to reflect upon your eating habits. So, how to start? Keep the log digitally or buy a small notebook. Write everything down– all the iced coffees, the protein bars, the bagel on the run, the candy bar after work. Going out for brunch? Write it down. Most people, knowing they will be held accountable (if only to themselves), begin to make healthier choices. They choose the fruit plate, not the Eggs Benedict, or the blueberry pancakes. For a snack, they might choose the apple, not the bag of *healthy popcorn.* Again, baby steps. If you find your energy flagging in the afternoon, and that your usual choice is a cookie– you might decide to swap it out for some raw carrots. The bacon, egg and cheese on a roll becomes, instead, an egg white wrap with turkey. You get the picture. And remember, don’t try to change everything all at once!
3. Have nutrient rich snacks with you.
The seemingly healthy bran or corn muffin can have as many as 400 calories. In many instances, it’s akin to eating a piece of cake! If instead, you have a ziploc bag of raisins and raw cashews, it’s much easier to make the healthier choice. While you may think an energy or protein drink is smart, it may have as many as 500 calories.Just because it’s *green* doesn’t mean it’s good! Read the label carefully; note serving size. Many of these drinks offer a calorie count for half the bottle. Again, if you have planned ahead (see no. 1), you can snack on cherry tomatoes, and hummus, pita bread, and low fat cheese, a big red apple. Many people buy nuts and dried fruit in bulk, and create their own to-go snacks. Finally, watch out for energy or protein bars. If your favorite has 300 calories, try to find one that has 250. And remember, like corn and bran muffins, a protein bar, in terms of sugar content, is often the same as eating a candy bar. In the end, it’s easier and healthier, not to mention cheaper, to pack your own snacks.