How to Eat Healthy: Beginners Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle
I get it. Eating clean can be overwhelming. It’s just so much easier to go out and buy fast foods for such a cheap price. Aaahh, the convenience of modern days. Take note though, that it comes with a price–YOUR HEALTH. Read on to learn how to eat healthy.
How to Eat Healthy: Beginners Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle
What is Clean Eating
Like workouts, there are a lot of debate between groups of people with different sets of beliefs in terms of nutrition. Just throughout the fitness industry in general, people are divided on what’s the most effective way to lose weight, gain muscles, or lean out.
To me, clean eating is consumption of wholesome foods. Food that are available in its “realest” form, without preservatives and additional processes applied.
There are multiple types of eating methods like paleo, vegetarian, vegan, ketogenic, flexible dieting, and a lot more. That’s a whole different topic of its kind, and I’m not in the position to discuss it. My point is, the industry has numerous ways to approach health and just like anything else, do what works for you!
There’s no cookie cutter method for achieving each individual’s goals due to having different body types, metabolism, and lifestyle.
There’s just too many variables involved to pinpoint what works for the whole population. The important thing is be consistent and aim to eat, although not perfect, as clean as you can.
How to Get Started
If you’re new to healthy eating and is clueless on how to eat healthy, start easy and slowly incorporate healthy food into your diet. Remember, treat this as a lifestyle–a habit you need to ingrain in your mind and body–and you will see long lasting results.
- Clean out your pantry and refrigerator from all the “junk” food and start with a blank slate. No more canned goods, hot cheetos, and dingdongs.
- Keep water and healthy snacks on your kitchen counter because you tend to reach for food that are visible and readily availlable.
At the Groceries
Make a shopping list consisting of wholesome foods and stick to it. Do your groceries from perimeter of the grocery store. The inner you get through the isles, the more processed the food are.
1. Stock up on the basics:
- Whole grains
- Unprocessed meat
2. Read nutrition labels
Know what goes into your food. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it’s probably not good for you.
I’m not a huge fan of calorie counting, and I’m more into intuitive eating. I listen to my body and nourish it with what it needs and when it needs it. But if calorie counting is part of your fitness routine, check the nutritional label and make sure you take into account the number of servings per container.
TIP: Zero calories doesn’t mean zero/none/nada calories. If it’s less than 5 calories, food manufacturers are allowed to post it as “0” on the label.
Watch out for sodium, trans fat, and sugar intake. We all know what an excess of that does. And make sure you eat before going to the groceries. You will grab anything that looks good if your stomach is empty and growling.
1. Grocery List. Plan your meals a week ahead and write down your grocery list. Having a grocery list handy will help you stick to it and avoid unnecessary junk foods.
Remember, things written down are more likely bound to happen. It keeps your main focus solid.
2. Meal Prep. When done with your grocery shopping, prepare your meals ahead of time. Make them in batches so you can take your meals on the go. This will lessen your frequent trips to Jack in the Box.
3. Food Log. Go a step further (you extra you) and log your food. I’m all about tracking everything so you can see your progress. If you write your food intake, you’d be able to see how bad your eating habits are and be more intentional the next time you grab a snack.
Save Money. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in life, who doesn’t want to save up? Eating healthy can get expensive, and we could all use some budget-friendly meals. Keep in mind to
- Keep it simple using minimal and convenient ingredients.
- Plan your meals to reduce waste
- Have fun shopping at your local farmer’s market
- Save leftovers for later consumption
- Drink lots of water (LINK). It’s free and will keep you fuller.
- Lessen eating out
Here are some budget-friendly meals that are the easiest to make.
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 Tbsp. almond milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
Mash banana in a bowl. Add egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in the bowl and mix in with the mashed banana. Slowly add protein powder into the mix and mix well until smooth. Lightly spray your skillet with cooking spray, preheat, and slowly pour in batter. Wait for bubbles to form and carefully flip your pancake to cook the other side. Serve with your favorite fruit or almond butter. Drizzle with real maple syrup or agave for some sweetness.
1 peeled avocado
1/2 of lime juice
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 slices of bread
Mash avocado in a bowl. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Spread on both slices of bread. Fry or poach eggs (any style of cooking you like–scrambles, hard-boiled, sunny side up, etc.) and add on avocado toast.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
- When eating out or staying at a hotel, don’t be afraid to ask for substitution. Turkey bacon for regular bacon. Brown or cauliflower rice for rice. Opt for just egg whites. Avoid sugar. Almond milk for milk.
- Bring your own prepped meals and snacks and make use of the mini fridge that hotels provide. You can also go for a quick grocery stop for fresher choices.
- Yelp restaurants ahead of time to search for places that provide healthier options.
How to Eat Healthy with Kids?
- Make it an enjoyable experience for the little ones by getting creative. Arrange food that will be appealing and kid-approved. For the picky ones, juicing your fruits and vegetables is a great option. Check out benefits of juicing for kids and adults here on my post: Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes
- Reinforcing these good habits early on in life will help shape our kids’ lifestyle for the better. They might not appreciate it right now, but they will thank you as they grow older.
- Set a good example and eat with them.
- Set a consistent schedule to avoid hunger and cravings.
- Avoid criticisms and applaud small accomplishments.
- Introduce healthy food slowly. If eating healthy was not your original lifestyle, it will take some time to change.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
Healthy lifestyle can really be challenging if you’re not familiar with how to eat healthy because you grew up in a household that is not accustomed to clean eating. Think about all the energy you will have and the person you will become.
To longer and healthier life!
Scribble on Your Printable
Trying to eat healthy foods is a bit challenging. I suggest using the nutrition log below so you can track the foods you’re consuming. This will keep you in the habit until you come to a point where you are familiar with what types of food you need.
Keeping track will keep you in control and on check! Write everything down and be honest. This will open up your eyes to your actual eating habits and will definitely force you to change if you don’t usually eat clean.
How to Eat Healthy is part 11 of the Perfecting Habits Series where you can join me in incorporating some habits that definitely changed the course and my outlook in life. Get your FREE Habit Tracker today and use it as a tool to help you to develop good habits for yourself!