Create Healthy Habits, Not Restrictions

It’s that time of year when you might consider being stricter with your diet to get better results. Before you think of all of the ways to make it even more difficult to stick to your plan, consider other ways of making healthy choices. 

Choosing a diet “plan” or following extensive guidelines have never worked for me so I can’t say I recommend them, but what I can recommend is trying to find out what aspects about certain diets or eating habits that you can adapt to and integrate different types of diets or habits. 

It is like customizing your own guidelines that you know you can enjoy and still see a positive impact on your health goals. But to get to that point you need to almost completely start over and move forward with a new mindset. It is important to think about a few factors right from the start like budget for groceries, time to cook or prep food, patience to try new recipes, and willingness to try new foods.

What I have found that makes it easy is to just take it as it goes with making healthier choices when buying food, ordering meals, and what foods to eat more regularly. You can’t take out too many options from your diet or try to eat all healthy/organic/clean if you haven’t tried it before or having selective eating habits. Start with thinking about what you want to add to your daily eating habits and figure out how to integrate them into what you already eat and then consider cutting out what you eat too much of that you body doesn’t use. 

Doing some quick research or a diet analysis if you have time helps give you starting point as well as just trying to do the basics like staying under or at the daily calorie count, cut back on fats and sugars, eat more fruits and veggies, and drink more water. 

Moving past that point of just making good choices requires branching out and taking some time to find what is the right choice when shopping. Think about ingredients and nutrients that are advertised. A few things I have tried doing is making sure foods with a good source grains are whole or multi so there’s more benefits from it as well as trying to eat fruits that help my immune and digestion system like raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, oranges, and blueberries. Another good choice that I have come to like is branching with the types of vegetables I eat and have the right variety while also chopping it all up small usually works for me. 

Meal prepping is the level of really diving into to creating a consistent healthy lifestyle of choices and eating habits. But luckily with some inspirations and motivation (and the convenience of Zip Lock and Pyrex containers), it is possible to do it. Find out what you like and just try to change up the combinations. I typically reference my meal prep board on Pinterest before going grocery shopping for the week.

https://www.pinterest.com/rach4132/snacks/

When it comes to cooking your own meal think about what’s in season or available fresh at the store or from a farm/country/local store. With the number of recipes, I have saved, I can probably make chicken 10 different ways and potatoes and veggies 5 using different types and pasta dishes for every week. It like a never-ending cookbook that also new seasonal recipes every year for holidays and entertaining.

https://www.pinterest.com/rach4132/entertaining/

Once you learn to enjoy the healthy choices and making it more routine it will be so much easier to make it a part of your life that is important but something that you also want to spend time on like improving your cooking skills, knowledge of ingredients, ways to find inspiration, reading blogs or Instagram post from everyday people like your friends and family, or showing others your relationship with food and the lifestyle you are creating.

https://www.pinterest.com/rach4132/whats-for-dinner/

It’s possible if you believe it will be beneficial in the long run. If you can just stick with it and trust the process it will start to work. You also have to be able to pick yourself back up when you might give in because of having no strict rules, but that part of understanding how fast you can make changes. Thinking about the positive impact that it will have is motivation to want to not only feel better, but actually improve your health or even relationship with food. You can do totally do it, just do it your own way on your own time, with your own self-discipline, and get to where you can want to be.