Making drastic changes in the blink of an eye is a great way to fall back into your old habits. Don’t let better health backfire on you! Try these 10 healthy changes…
Don’t immediately run into your pantry and refrigerator and throw out all the crap or you might just stumble into your unhealthy habits once again.
Fast changes to your diet can trigger protests among family members and may even result in lying and sneaking of poor foods.
Take a look at these 10 small changes you can make to get you and your family on the right track to clean eating:
1. Don’t Eliminate Dessert
Instead of completely removing dessert from your household one evening, switch over to frozen yogurt or 100% juice bars. They are much better for you and usually have far less fat and more vitamins and fiber. Plus, they’re sweet enough to make sure that everyone is still happy.
2. Go For Sweet Fruits & Vegetables
Throwing away the junk food isn’t a bad idea, but slowly transitioning into healthy sweet foods might be a better option for the long game. Most kids love bananas, so dice them into bite-size pieces, roll them in yogurt, and sprinkle them with granola or chopped nuts. Grab a bag of baby carrots and strawberries while you’re at it too. They are loaded with essential vitamins and taste great!
3. Let Them Play With Their Food (Briefly)
Stop forcing the children to dive right into every new food you introduce into the diet. These things take time and consistent effort. If they constantly watch you prepare and eat these foods, they might start to catch on themselves. Let them poke at it and smell it without shoving their face into the plate. They might not try it on the first time, but maybe, just maybe, they will on the tenth.
4. Talk About The Food & Benefits
Describe the foods you are preparing like you’re a grocery store salesman at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Get the entire family interested in what you’re preparing and what IT can DO for THEM. Think about it, when’s the last time someone tried to offer you something you’ve never had before and you were instantly sold on trying it – uh, never.
5. Don’t Introduce An Entire Plate Full Of Food
The sight of a plate of foods that have never been seen before can be quite overwhelming for children and adults alike. The aromas. The textures. The bland coloring. It’s quite crazy for a health noobie. Add one item per day at your family meal and add more and more as time goes by. Soon enough, everyone will be ready for just about anything. Except for maybe raw squid…
6. Stop Skipping Breakfast
We get it. You’ve “gotta run” this morning and you probably will the next. It’s extremely easy to forget to grab something or skip breakfast altogether, but it really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism and provides most of the nutrients your body will enjoy throughout the day.
7. Taste The Rainbow
No, we don’t mean go buy a bag of skittles… What we really mean is that the hue of a fruit or vegetable is often dictated by what kind of vitamins and minerals it holds, which is why it’s important to eat a variety. A general rule of thumb is to shoot for at least three different colors on your plate. This will help you create a more balanced meal and it’s also easy on the eyes.
8. Boost Protein Intake
Americans get a good portion of protein, but if you’re constantly dieting or trying to improve your lifestyle, you may not be getting enough. Adding small amounts of protein can help you hold back your sweet-tooth and keep pushing through. Throw some chicken, fish, or legumes to your lunch salad. Replace bagels with something like eggs, cheese, nutter butter and a banana, or yogurt with granola.
9. DRINK MORE WATER
No one is drinking enough water. Women especially… Not only is water completely obvious to our survival, but being dehydrated leads to unnecessary snacking. Most of the time, when you think your body is saying “I’m hungry,” it’s really saying “I’m thirsty as all get-out.” It is recommended you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. If you really despise the taste of water, try throwing some fruit infusion into play!
10. Switch Snacking For Fun Activities
People tend to turn to food most when they’re stressed, sad, or lonely. This tendency can quickly snowball into much larger issues like weight gain (and all the bad stuff that brings) because your body simply doesn’t need the excess calories. This happens because the emotion centers in your mind are craving a boost. Take the time to learn your body and identify your “true hunger” signals. In the meantime, go for a walk, take a warm bath, or read a book – these are all wonderful solutions to ease your stress and sadness.