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A Guide To Eating Healthy, Lose Weight And Stop The Dieting

I must admit that I use to be terrible at eating healthy. When the kids went straight to bed, I usually would bring out that tub of ice cream and eat at least half of the container in one sitting! Oh and let's not forget while I was pregnant I'd eat ice cream every night plus some of those good ol' Chick Filet Fries with the honey mustard sauce and let's not forget the frosted lemonade.

Oh I'm sure I'm not the only pregnant women whose eaten that much in one sitting either. If you have pulling out that gallon of ice cream in the middle of the night, or pull out those bad carbs when you know you should be grabbing an apple. Or snacking on potato chips all day. If you are wanting to change your eating habits...pregnant or not...this post is for you!

Now that I am done having kids, I find it easier to focus on healthy eating. The main goal for me when I first started out was eating nutritious foods and starting my day with healthy carbs for breakfast.

Yes, it might be easier said than done, but to help get you started I've listed a few helpful tips:

Reflect On Your Eating Habits

When you are wanting to change up your eating habits, taking a good look at what you eat during a normal day is very beneficial. I like to use Myfitnesspal. This app is really amazing because you just log your food and it tells you the amount of protein, carbs, fats and more.

When you log your food, you become more aware of what and how much you are putting into your body. Sometimes, it is a good awaking for some because they realize how much soda they are drinking...or how much fat they are eating.

It's also good to note the mood that you are in (happy, sad, bored or any other emotion). Sometimes, we may tend to over eat on comfort foods when we are stressed or bored. If you log your emotions when you start to grab that candy bar, you will be more aware of it next time it happens.

There are also many other habits that cause us to over eat and gain weight. This can include:

  • Eating too fast

  • Always cleaning your plate

  • Eating when not hungry

  • eating mindlessly or eating too quickly

  • Always eating dessert

  • Skipping meals

It's also important to be able to pay attention to the cues that influence your food intake. For example, do you always reach for the bowl of ice cream while watching a certain tv show? Do you always grab a piece of candy when you walk by the candy dish? Do you order take out when you didn't plan for dinner? Or do you hit up the drive thru before work and grab that 600 calorie latte and a muffin? - These are all questions we should be asking ourselves in order to figure out what causes our triggers for unhealthy eating so we can be prepared to make some changes.


Why Is Healthy Eating So Important?

You might be asking yourself 'Why is healthy eating important? why do I need to change my eating habits?" I hear you. I've had to ask myself that same question multiple times a day a few years ago.

My cousin was 35 when he died of a heart attack. I had received a phone call from my dad who had told me about his passing. Honestly, a lot of our family were not very surprised because he had a lot of health issues due to his weight. He couldn't hardly walk 5 feet, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. He would eat out 3 times a day. He did not make healthy food choices growing up either. He basically ate whatever he wanted. Even when he went through weight loss surgery. He had lost a lot of weight. While his doctor had told him to change his eating habits and focus on living a healthy lifestyle. He choose not to. He went right back to eating fast food, loading up on sugar and salt. Never really touched a green vegetable or a piece of fruit. It really was an unfortunate tragedy that could have been prevented.

I share that story with you to show you that we are what we eat...and what we put into our body has effects on our health. It is because of my cousin's death that inspired me to be the best version of myself and really try to watch what kinds of foods I eat.

I must admit, that occasionally I do go overboard on ice cream or chocolate...but I always feel guilty about it and I try to do better the next day.

Making healthy food choices can:

Help Prevent Disease

Studies have shown by eating a healthy diet and adding exercise to your daily routine can help reduce the chance of getting heart disease, diabetes and any other chronic diseases.

Improve Your Mental Health

Yes! Food Choices really do improve your mental health. When you eat healthy, you are consuming a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals which can lower the risk of Mental Health disorders such as anxiety, depression and even ADHD.

Lose Weight

We all know if you eat healthy, there is a chance you will lose weight because you are getting rid of the extra calories such as sugar and processed high calorie dense food. It's so important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Eat at a moderate pace so you can become more mindful of how much you are eating.

Why Should I Strive for a Healthy Lifestyle?

The benefits of healthy eating is really the most important investment that you can make for your body. When you stick to a healthy eating diet, you can see the changes overtime, while also lowering the risk of disease, obesity, anxiety and depression.

I've experienced this first hand when I eliminated all of the processed food in my diet. I could honestly say that I felt lighter, leaner and stronger than I ever have. The key is to add a vegetable at every meal and make sure you have protein as well, that way it can help keep you full so you won't be mindlessly snacking on anything and everything.

When you develop a healthy eating routine, you are not only going to lower your risk of disease, but you will also have more energy, feel better and have a better quality of life.

It's so important to focus on eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and high quality protein.

How to Improve and Change Your Eating Habits

I know first hand that it is so hard to change your eating habits. When I first did decided to give up processed sugar and junk food I struggled. There were times where I would think this is impossible because I would have a setback and just tell myself I'd do it tomorrow.

Yes, that will happen. And it's totally okay. Don't be so hard on yourself. Adjusting to a new diet can be hard at first, but if you make small changes throughout your day, you will feel like it is possible. Here I've listed some tips to help you how to get started:

1. Make a Plan for Your New Healthy Diet

One of the first steps to develop a healthy eating routine is a plan. IF possible, plan out your meals throughout the week before you go shopping. This is important because if you have the healthy foods in your fridge, you are more likely to grab a healthy snack, rather than eating take out, or running to the coffee stand because you don't know what to eat for breakfast. Not only will your body thank you, but your wallet will too.

2. Save Your Lunch Money

I feel like this is something that really adds up overtime. If you are one who buys lunch at work or school, save your money and bring your lunch. A simple lunch with fruit, protein and a carb, such as rice or sweet potato will work just fine. Or if you are one to eat left overs, pack last night's dinner in a container. It's a super easy way to save money and cut out those extra calories.

3. Keep Unhealthy Foods Out of Sight

I had to do this when I went on my healthy eating journey. Before I went shopping for the week of my healthy eating, I went through the fridge, pantry and cabinets and threw away all of the unhealthy food. Yes, that's right. No more cookies, chips or pudding. When I did this, my entire family had changed their eating habits too! They no longer were asking me for chips or cookies. Instead, they were asking for apples, rice cakes and peanut butter. I even had a request for carrots and ranch dressing!

5. Take Baby Steps

When you are starting a journey towards healthy eating, you might want to set small goals. Don't go too hard on yourself at first and give yourself some grace. You might be craving those chocolate chip cookies that were sitting up high in your pantry (but not there anymore). It's okay to give yourself permission to adjust. You can also substitute your sugar cravings with healthier alternatives. For example, when my sugar craving kicked in, I would slice up a banana, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar free chocolate chips. This would trick my brain into thinking I had a dessert.

You could also just start by swapping foods. For example, if you usually have fries with dinner, swap it out for a sweet potato. If you have dressing on your salad, use lemon juice instead. It's really these small swaps for food that make the biggest difference.

6. Start a Journal to Monitor Food Choices

Starting a food journal is a great way help monitor your food intake. This is not to count calories, or carbs or anything else, it's simply a way to be able to track and understand your eating habits.

When you are able to recognize that you tend to snack on unhealthy food while when you come home from work, or eating mindlessly in front of the tv, you are able to help yourself.

What Are Some Healthy Foods to Eat Every Day?

I love this question because there are so many foods that you can eat throughout the day. There is really no such thing as bad healthy food. You can eat such a variety in order to suite your tastes and liking.

For example, I love zuchinni so I come up with ways to add it into my meals for a healthy boost. Some people don't like it so much, such as my husband, so he adds in aspargus to swap zuchinni.

As long as you are consuming healthy foods into your meals, there's no need to worry about eating 'the right kind' of healthy food. Here are a few indisputably healthy foods to incorporate into your meals and snacks:

  • Fruits: Berries, bananas, citrus, mango, kiwi, apples, melons

  • Vegetables Leafy greens like kale, arugula, and collard greens; peppers; carrots; sweet potatoes; mushroom; squash

  • Legumes Beans, lentils, dried peas, hummus

  • Whole grains Brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain bread, quinoa, amaranth, millet, bulgur

  • Nuts and seeds Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin seeds

Key Takeaways on Eating Healthy

It's so important to be able to fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein. Not only will you feel better, but you also help your body against disease, obesity and diabetes. Also, it's important to stay away from fad diets that are unsustainable.

What tips have you done in order to develop healthy eating habits? Comment and Share Your Story Below!

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