5 STEPS TO BUILDING HEALTHY EATING HABITS
31st MARCH 2021
By Ashley Valli
Eating healthy shouldn’t have to be hard—but it is. Because even though living a healthy lifestyle is well within the average person’s reach, the right way to navigate healthy eating habits isn’t always right at your fingertips. Sometimes people are overworked and tired. Sometimes people are juggling too many things. Sometimes junk food has become like a crutch to some people—something to look forward to on the day-to-day when life has reached its crunch time. Put simply: building healthy eating habits is hard. But you’ve hopped onto our Pro Fuel blog—a platform dedicated towards promoting healthy eating and living—so I’d say you’re already making an awesome start by tuning in on what can help. So sit back and get a load of this low-sugar recipe for success!
STEP 1: SET A ROUTINE FOR MEALS
Ever set out with good intentions and then realise the shops are closed and there’s nothing left in your fridge except frozen mini pizzas? Been there. Try absorbing a routine for each week’s meals! Getting some routine into what you eat is perfect for stopping those pesky junk food cravings before they grab the gears on your self-control. Keep your fridge stocked with an assortment of food: fruits, vegetables, carbs and meats—you name it! Make eating right convenient for you. Pre-make your meals ready for consumption. Keep those healthy snacks ready and waiting. Let yourself always stay one step ahead of those pesky cravings and you’ll find building better eating habits that much easier.
STEP 2: ENSURE YOU’RE EATING AT THE RIGHT TIMES
Much like our previous point, routine and a bit of know-how goes a long way here. However, this point is less so about what to eat and more so about when. While you can always plan out what and how many times to eat during the day, the activity that occurs during can have a dramatic effect on when you should be eating (as well as, in strong correlation, how good your willpower is towards eating the right things). For example, strenuous activity (e.g. gym for an hour) can lead you to stronger cravings in the aftermath, willing you more towards quick carbs—whereas, if you were not gyming that day (or gyming at a different time), you might find you would’ve been fine going about your usual set times for meals and snacks. But it’s important to know your body and when hunger might be making you stray from a proper diet. Come prepared! Pack extra for the day if you’re burning more calories than usual. Keep some healthy snacks in arm’s reach should you need the extra energy. Anticipate your body’s needs before it rings the hunger bell!
STEP 3: THINK 80% TRACKED DIET, 20% GO WILD
The problem with improving your diet is that people often seem to think about making changes as an all-or-none situation. That if you went for a sneaky breakfast at Maccas, then suddenly the diet’s done for the day and you might as well just start again tomorrow. Realistically, you should be looking at more of an 80/20 rule. Keep your diet 80% tracked for calories, protein, fat, etc., but leave that other 20% for your own indulgences. Allow yourself to feel less like you’ve been imprisoned by healthy eating and more like you’ve worked out a clever system to have it all: health and your occasional cheeky Nandos too.
STEP 4: ENJOY YOUR FOOD!
Don’t just dine on carrot sticks all the time—it’s low calorie but, no matter how hard you pretend, it will never taste as good as French fries. Keep your diet varied and interesting. Enjoy some flavour! Dine on a good ol’ homemade chicken salad wrap. Dig into the occasional Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to look forward to meals anymore. As long as you’re keeping your diet 80/20 and keeping in check with your macros, go to town, and make eating healthy work for you, not the other way around. You’re in the driver’s seat on this one.
STEP 5: GET A TRUSTED FRIEND OR PARTNER TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Team up with a like-minded partner or find someone trusted to watchdog you and encourage healthy eating habits. Particularly in social settings, it can be hard to be mindful how you are eating while out with friends. So find the mates that are happy to chow down on some homemade food (or health-smart takeout) with you. Get yourself a cheerleader to rally you every step of the way. Find yourself alone on the healthy-eating train? Join forums! Make yourself your own cheerleader! You can even try documenting your progress through a diary or apps to keep yourself motivated on your journey to better health. Find whatever way works to bring a sense of accountability into the equation.
All in all, it’s ultimately up to you to go about embarking on this journey to healthier eating. And it doesn’t have to be a challenge! With the right know-how (and a positive outlook), eating healthy is well within your reach. It’s just down to coming in with a game plan and sticking to it. Should you need a bit more smooth sailing, consider taking on one of our meal plans, where you can make your meals as customised as you like, with the ability to choose your preferred carbs and proteins with each meal you purchase. No kitchen work necessary! Pop us an email should you ever like to know more about making eating healthier work for you. Let’s talk!