So you want to start making healthier choices? With thousands of diets and “healthy lifestyles” out there these days it can be overwhelming. Eating does not have to be complicated to be healthy. There is no need to completely cut out food groups, unless you have an allergy of course, and there is no magic number of calories that you must eat. These are three, pretty simple, things that you can do to get on track to making healthier choices every day.
First off you should start the day with eating breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, sound familiar? Well if you are trying to figure out how to start making healthier choices eating breakfast may play a key role. Eating a healthy and filling breakfast in the morning sets us up to make choices throughout the entire day. Not only does breakfast provide you energy and increased cognitive function, but people who do not start their day with it, are more likely to overeat or grab more sugary/less nutrient dense foods over the course of the entire day.
Not hungry in the morning?
Just having something small, such as yogurt and granola or fruit and cheese can make a difference!
The next tip is to keep healthy, pre-portioned snacks with you at all times. For most people a big part of their day is spent on the go, which is why having snacks on hand is so important. When hunger strikes and you are tempted to stop at a fast food place you will have more nutritious options to turn to. Healthier choices can be made and money will be saved! Bonus!! Could you just wait till you got home to eat a real meal? For sure, however, waiting too long between meals can increase the chance of overeating at your next meal. Again, there is that chance of eating more than your body wants or needs, as well as less nutrient dense options.
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This last one may be surprising but the third tip is to eat the cookie and move on. How many times has a family member, friend, heck even yourself, complained about staying on track all week but it was ruined over the weekend? Scenarios like this happen way too often! One cookie or one piece of pizza will not hurt your progress. What might hurt is restricting and banning a food from your diet all week and then eating 10 cookies or 10 slices of pizza on Saturday night. Not only will that do more harm for your progress, but it makes us feel incredibly guilty and bad about ourselves. Having an intense craving for a cookie? Eat the cookie, then move on to more normal and healthy choices the rest of the day.
Start small, and those little choices can add up to make a big difference!