Nutrition has become very important to me. I started 2019 with a goal to commit myself to a healthy eating lifestyle. I started eating grain free and focusing on eating whole foods with real ingredients. And I’m so proud of myself because it is now April and I’m still sticking to my goal. I thought it would be helpful to share my journey on healthy eating and share some tips that I’ve learned along the way. But I do want to point out that I used to eat AWFUL lol so if I can learn to consistently eat healthy then you can too!
Going all the way back to high school – I was involved in a lot of sports. Practice would start a couple hours after school ended so my friends and I would hang out in between and go out to eat. We would literally have fast food all the time. It would vary between McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy’s, etc. It was so bad! Even though I never gained any weight (God bless my mother’s genes), I was super unhealthy in other ways. My cholesterol was so high and I had terrible acne.
When I started college, it wasn’t any better. There would be days where I wouldn’t have time to eat before class and I would get some snack like Cheesy Ritz Crackers or a Snickers from the vending machine. I also never drank water. I always wanted flavor in anything I drank. Coca Cola was my favorite. I absolutely loved soda.
Looking back, it’s crazy to think how bad I ate. It’s one of those moments where you wish you knew then what you knew now. But my journey to my healthy lifestyle was a loooooong one. I only started to become conscious about healthy eating around five years ago. It took a lot of baby steps.
One of the first things I remember doing is trying to drink more water. Back then, it would take me forever to finish a bottle of water – but give me a can of soda and I would gulp it down lol. Little by little, I would force myself to drink more water. I started replacing soda with water at meals and make a goal of finishing a bottle of water each day and increasing it little by little. After a while, I started getting used to drinking more water and eventually stopped drinking soda for good!
When I started my second job out of college, one of the perks was free lunch and dinner everyday. It was awesome, but it wasn’t always healthy. I knew I wanted to get better so I started seeing a nutritionist to help guide me in the right direction. We talked about what I ate everyday and she taught me about macros, portion sizes, and general tips on meal choices. After that, I was more conscious about the food I was eating.
Okay – so don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t this easy journey where I was like I’m giving up junk food and that’s that. It’s tough! It was always a constant cycle of eating healthy and then not being able to control my sweet cravings (this girl loves her dessert!). I would have days of eating salad for lunch and then come home and devour an entire row of Oreo cookies (guilty!). Change doesn’t happen overnight, but over time you do see progress. There are still days where I splurge and eat unhealthy, but my eating habits are a bazillion times better than five years ago. I learned a lot along the way and I want people to know that it is possible to start and keep a healthy eating lifestyle. Here are my three tips on eating healthy.
Change Your Mindset
I used to tell myself “I’m not going to eat any sweets all week.” By restricting myself of certain foods , it would make me want them more. If you say I can’t have chocolate, all I’m going to think about is chocolate lol. It would just make me crave it more and I would end up giving in and feel bad about myself. Then, I would give up and say “well I already had a cupcake, might as well eat whatever I want now and start again tomorrow.” LOL. Don’t go on all these diets and restrict yourself. Make choices that you can consistently stick with. And if you splurge, it’s okay! Just eat healthy for the next meal. Remember that you can still eat healthy and enjoy yourself. Balance is key.
Know Your Body
When I started eating clean, I started noticing how much better I felt. My skin cleared up and I became much more energetic. When you pay attention to ingredients and what you are eating, you start to realize what foods make you feel good. It makes it easier to stop eating or splurging on certain foods when you know it’s not going to make you feel great. Everybody is different so it’s important to pay attention to how your body processes different types of food.
It is so much easier to stick with eating healthy when you plan. On Sunday, my boyfriend and I always plan what we will be cooking for the week. We come up with our own recipes or search for fun ones to try. We always make sure that we have protein, veggies, and healthy fats for each meal. I still love my snacks and dessert so I love finding new snacks and dessert recipes that are healthy to make for the week. When you’re hungry, it’s easy to just go to a drive-thru for a quick and easy meal, but when you plan ahead it prevents you from making those choices. It helps you stick to your goals.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful or motivating to start eating healthy! I’d love to hear your feedback and if you want me to start posting more about health and fitness. 🙂