Have you tried to make healthy changes to your diet but find that true, long-term changes just aren’t happening like you’d hoped? It’s easy to dive in to a new routine quickly, but habit changes really do take time. My free Clean Eating 101 course begins today (psst….you can still join in!) and these 5 points are the first topics we discuss. If you want to join in, leave a comment and I’ll get you set up.
5 Keys to Lasting Success
1. Start Slow
If you try to change everything about your current diet in just a few days, you are setting yourself up for failure. You want to build a foundation for a healthy, nutritional way of life. Make small changes over a series of weeks. Don’t beat yourself up over setbacks. Think Lifestyle Change, not a “diet.”
2. Eat real food
Sounds easy enough, right? Your goal is to eventually cut out as much processed food as possible. This means no fast food, nothing from a can or box and limit restaurant meals. You are going to be cooking and prepping a lot of food. You have to get used to it! I promise it’s not hard or time consuming once you find your groove. Focus on fresh/frozen veggies and fruit, lean meats, some dairy, whole grains and nutrient-dense “super foods.” Find simple recipes you love and that are easy to prep/freeze/take to work. Find snacks that are portable and fun. You can do this. It just takes practice.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Drink 16 ounces of water upon waking. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. Hydrate with water and tea (sorry, soda and juices don’t really count.) Throw in lemon wedges, fruit or herbs to keep your water and tea interesting. But don’t overdo it–you, need to be properly hydrated but not diluted!
Don’t leave out a food group
While it is beneficial to reduce “bad” fats and simple carbohydrates from the diet, entire food groups should not be tossed out. Good fats and complex carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL to health and proper functioning of the body. If you do adhere to a certain restriction type of diet, make sure you have discussed it with your physician.
This is a great goal. I strive to eat healthy, clean, nutrient-dense food 80% of the time. It’s ok to have a slice of birthday cake at a party, an occasional milkshake with your kids or some chips and dip at social gathering. The key here is that it should be occasional (i.e. 20% of the time,) not the norm. Research has shown that even 60% adherence to a nutritional plan can give successful results over time. But I want you to be the best version of yourself, so let’s strive for 80%!