Think the best way to get your dream body is a complete overhaul when eating healthier? We are constantly subjected to the message that big changes are necessary for big long term results.
Take the show The Biggest Loser for instance. We watch on as the contestants make these dramatic lifestyle changes and lose 30, 50, even 100 pounds by the time the show is done.
If they can do it, surely I can too!? …. Is what you may be thinking.
But if you stop for a moment and really look at what happens when the cameras and lights are turned off, it’s not a pretty picture.
In fact, the vast majority of the people who go on these grand weight loss shows actually regain the weight that they lost while on the show, and sometimes even put on more weight!
Clearly, this approach is not working. They are finding out that the lifestyle changes are too hard to maintain and they come off the show feeling so restricted that they quickly resort back to their previous bad habits.
They never really made permanent changes to their lifestyle but instead, simply did what was necessary for the time being.
If you want to reach your goal weight and stay there for good, you want a different approach. You want the tortoise and the hare approach to eating healthier – that is, the slow and steady approach!
Let’s look at some of the best tips to ease your way into eating healthier
Remove One Problematic Food at a Time
The first thing you’ll want to do is focus on removing one problematic food at a time. Don’t attempt a complete diet overhaul where you remove every single food you enjoy eating.
That will only result in cravings and shortly after, a food binge. Instead, pick one food that you know you shouldn’t eat. Focus on removing it from your menu. Once you no longer even think about that food anymore (and don’t have any food cravings for it), focus on removing a second.
Start with the worst foods you’re eating and slowly work your way through until you have no unhealthy foods remaining. Yes, this may take weeks or even months to do, but if you keep at it, you will get to that finish line sooner than you realize.
Find Healthier Food Substitutes
Another key to eating heatlhier is to focus on finding healthier food substitutions. Rather than giving up your favorite foods entirely, think of how you can either lighten that dish or find another food that will work just about as well in its place.
For example, if you crave ice cream, try some Greek yogurt with berries. If you crave pasta, try preparing some spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce.
While they won’t be exactly like the real thing, they’ll be close enough that you can still feel satisfied without breaking your diet plan.
Schedule in Treat Meals
It’s also essential as you are making these changes that you schedule in some treat meals. Allow yourself to indulge from time to time. A part of eating healthier is realizing that there’s nothing wrong with a treat here and there as long as for most of the time, you are eating healthy.
These treat meals will also make sticking with the changes that you are making that much easier. As long as you can get right back on track after you eat them, they really shouldn’t pose any threat to your diet progress.
Experiment With New Healthy Foods
Finally, consider experimenting with new healthy foods as well. Don’t succumb to eating the same handful of foods week after week or you will get bored and just give up. Make sure that you are focusing on getting plenty of variety into your diet.
Try a new fruit or vegetable as there are so many different varieties that you’ve likely yet to try. Considering experimenting with new grains such as quinoa or barley if you normally just eat rice. And, try some new protein sources. Instead of salmon, consider mackerel.
If you mix up your diet a bit, it’ll keep your healthy eating fun and exciting. You may not even miss eating the unhealthy foods with all these new items on your plate.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you in eating healthier and finding an eating plan that works for you! Always remember that dramatic changes rarely ever work. Slow and steady should be the name of your game if you want to create lasting changes that stick.
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