Simple Ways to Make Healthy Eating a Habit

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A while back, our guest blogger Annija wrote about 4 ways to make exercise a habit. While I know this is something many people struggle with, creating a healthy eating habit can be just as hard, if not harder. We are constantly bombarded with less than healthy options. Just when you think you prepared well for the day and you bring your own food, you find someone’s offering pizza in the office. If you travel a lot healthy eating might seem even harder. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling is something I’ve treated in a previous post, so if you need more, you can check it out here.

The question I want to address today is this: is it actually possible to make healthy eating a habit? How can you get to the point of choosing healthy options easily, because that’s what you actually want to eat?

Find foods you enjoy

Healthy eating can be great. There’s this misconception out there that healthy food is tasteless, plain and always the same. This is so wrong! Eating healthy can be tasty, you have almost endless options and the plate can be very beautiful. If you always eat some plain grilled chicken with steamed broccoli, you’re gonna hate it eventually if not immediately! I dread that meal only writing about it. If on the contrary I take that same chicken breast and eat it with a colorful salad containing things like cucumber, pineapple, beets, carrots and some sweet potatoes things start looking better already.

The key is indeed simplicity. Choose whole foods and cook them as simple as possible. But that doesn’t mean food can’t be varied. Spices are also amazing. Experiment with food and until you find foods you enjoy. If you find healthy meals you truly love, it will be much easier to choose those over junk food.

In the same manner, find fruit salad combos you love, so the next time you crave something sweet you’ll pick that instead of cake. If you need some help, here are some of my favorite books with easy and quick healthy recipes.

Incorporate healthy eating one meal at a time

As you’re just starting out on this journey, it can feel extremely restrictive to eat healthy at all meals. Especially if you go out either for lunch or for dinner, making healthy choices might feel hard. Sometimes, with our rushed and busy lives, we just gotta go with the flow.

The aim is of course to get to the point where healthy choices come naturally. But till then it might take a bit of effort. Start by eating healthy at one meal per day. Choose the one that’s easiest for you, the one that you eat at home and prepare yourself. For me, that’s dinner. I love to pick a recipe from Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less by Ellie Krieger or from Easy and Healthy Weeknight Meals for Two by Ivan Grant. 

Maybe for you it’s breakfast, or maybe you it’s lunch. It doesn’t matter. Choose the one and make it healthy.

Healthy eating one day at a time

Now that you’ve mastered the one meal at a time, you can move on to one day at a time. Some people find it easier to eat healthy during the week because the work routine makes it easy to incorporate a healthy eating routine. My week days are actually a bit unpredictable, I prefer weekends as most of the time I eat at home. Or, if I do eat out I’m not in a hurry to pick the first thing on the menu, so I can make healthy choices.

Once you master this, well, I’m sure you know where we’re going. Add another day, than another day and so on.

Be patient

Forming a habit takes time. If it’s been a week and you still don’t feel like choosing the salad over the pizza, it’s probably because it’s been only one week. If on the contrary, you’ve been trying for two months and this still feels very difficult, re-think the way you are doing things. Are you really enjoying the healthy options? Are you eating enough? Do you feel deprived? If you feel deprived and are always hungry, you’re brain will inevitably associate healthy foods with starvation. The result? You’ll hate it and you’ll always want to go for the unhealthy option.

Don’t cut out every gram of sugar. Go slowly on the elimination and eat lots of fruits to make it easier. Don’t cut out all fat! Especially if you are a woman, you need healthy fats in your diet. Also, eat enough. As you transition to whole foods, you’ll see you need to eat more quantity wise than you were before. And that’s OK, it’s normal. Whole foods are less dense in calories. So if you replace a portion of fries with one of veggies, you’ll definitely need a lot more veggies on your plate than you had fries.

In time you will start craving healthier foods. Eventually, with patience and practice this can become a habit. For more tips on finding what feels good in terms of eating, check out this article I wrote a while back. Also, see the bottom of the article for more cookbook recommendations.

I hope you found some helpful tips in this blog post. If you did, please help us by subscribing to our newsletter. Or if you’re not the e-mail type, follow us on any of our social media channels, or leave us a comment below.

Simple ways to make healthy eating a habit; Eat healthy effortlessly

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Anna nuttall

    Thank you for these suggestion. I must pick up The SkinnyTaste Cookbook. xx

    Reply

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    Lisa McLachlan

    What a very interesting and helpful post. It’s such a good idea to take things one step at a time, first a meal, then a day, then build up. And I didn’t realise that whole foods are less dense in calories. Which is probably why I always feel hungry when I try to eat healthily, I’m not putting enough on my plate! Great tips, thank you so much for sharing!

    Lisa | http://www.lisasanotebook.com

    Reply

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    Caitlin

    Thank you for the tips, I am priding myself on eating and living healthily this 2018 and is a daily goal!

    Reply

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    Lindsey

    This is all SO true. Building habits takes time and it is important to not completely deprive yourself of things. All things in moderation. 🙂

    Reply

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    Content for your website

    Hello
    I was hoping you could provide some more information about your request for content for your website. Just wanted to verify that you are 1,
    still wanting and accepting content, and 2
    is there any particular topic you would prefer to receive over others?
    Some of our writers are heavily into the health and fitness niche, and we would love to prioritize & customize a piece of content for your site.
    Let me know.
    Thanks!
    Stacy

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Laura

      Hi Stacy!

      Thank you for your message. Yes, I’m still accepting content. I’m not limiting the topics, but Health & Fitness are great, I’d be happy to have your content here 🙂

      Reply

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