With today’s “on-the-go” mindset, it’s so easy to give in and grab a bite to eat from the drive thru or reach for the junk/processed food. In fact, not only do many find it easier, but they also find it cheaper than eating healthy, quality meals. However, with a little planning and organization, you too can eat healthy…easily and on a budget.
9 Tips on finding and keeping the motivation to eat healthy
(1) Make-over the kitchen – It sometimes is easier to grab a bag of chips for a snack instead of the apple hidden in the fruit drawer. Why? I bet it’s because the chips are visible and at arm’s reach while the fruit is hidden in a drawer and requires washing. But what happens if it was the reverse? Let’s say the apple was all ready for you to eat and the chips were hidden on the top shelf of the pantry, requiring a ladder or chair to reach. Which would you eat now? I bet you’ll probably grab the apple. Why? Because it was easier. So what’s the point of this?
Clean out the kitchen…get rid of the junk/processed food or at least don’t keep it at easy access.
Take the fruits and veggies out of the drawers in the fridge and make them visible on shelves of the fridge.
Pull out the blender for quick and easy shakes and smoothies.
Pull out the slow cooker for no fuss healthy meals.
Organize what you have (i.e. spices) so you don’t have to double buy something you already own.
Pull out the cookbooks. Sunday mornings (or a day of your choosing) look through the grocery store ads and see what’s on sale. For instance, let’s say chicken breasts are on sale. Then look through the cookbook (or online) and come up with a few different recipes using chicken (that way you can get your money’s worth).
(2) Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time – Try planning and preparing a week’s worth of meals in advance. You can freeze them for storing and package them in ziplock bags for your own pre-packaged goodies on-the-go.
(3) Keep the healthy accessible – To remind yourself to eat healthy, have the food easily available. For instance, if you find yourself reaching for doughnuts at work in the morning or as you go drop off your kids at school, try keeping oatmeal at your desk or on your kitchen counter with all the fixings. It only takes 2 minutes to make so you can eat right away. Later, to avoid running to the vending machine or rummaging the cabinets and fridge for a midday snack, keep fruits on your desk or in your bag.
(4) Head to the fridge, not the pantry – When hunger strikes, head to the fridge as opposed to the pantry. Since processed/packaged foods are usually kept in the pantry, it’ll be a safer to bet to grab something fresh and healthy out of the fridge.
(5) Schedule in the meals – To keep your metabolism up, you should be eating about every 3 hours to prevent your body from going into starvation mode. Therefore, set a reminder on your phone for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-day snack, dinner, and even an evening snack.
(6) Don’t eliminate your favorite foods – There are a ton of recipes online. So whatever your favorite food may be…pizza, pasta, burgers and fries…research online for a healthier alternative. And in moderation, continue to enjoy the foods you can’t live without (i.e. cheesecake). Deprivation tends to backfire.
(7) Look-up restaurants ahead of time – When going out to eat, ahead of time, look-up the restaurant’s menu online. Find out how many calories are in the meal and what’s in it. Figure out if you’re going to ask for substitute ingredients, if you should split it and only eat half, etc. Be prepared ahead of time so you can comfortably make a healthy decision before you get there.
(8) Journal it – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Journal in what you’re eating. The problem with not keeping track of how much you’re eating is that you end up eating more than you should. More food=More calories=More weight.
(9) Enjoy leftovers – There’s nothing wrong to make a little extra to have leftovers. They can be reheated the next day for a tasty lunch, maybe a side-dish, or even transformed into a new meal.
Nothing happens until you truly want it. Eating healthy shouldn’t be a diet program. It should be a lifestyle, one that you enjoy to maintain! One built of motivational habits, psyching you up every day. Remember, the hardest part is deciding to stay committed to make it happen.