We all know that eating healthy is just as important to living healthy as exercising and finding happiness. But the truth is, it’s much easier said than done. I know for a fact that I am not one of those personal trainers who dream of Brussels sprouts and crave chick peas. In fact, I grew up with a father who was a chef and food just so happens to be my favorite thing in the world. As a personal trainer I’ve learned to find a balance with foods. I know and understand what certain foods (or lack of certain foods) can do to my body. My goal is to teach you that eating right does not mean that you have to give up everything you love. Food is pleasure, food is fun, food is apart of most of our cultures. What kind of life would we live if we eliminated all of those things that makes us smile. After all, isn’t smiling and happiness a vital part of living healthy and thriving.
Fortunately, I’ve found some secret ways to change your eating habits without making major sacrifices in your diet or without committing to more than you can handle right away (which usually leads to failure).
- MAKE YOUR BAD FOODS BETTER: The next time you are eating something not-so-healthy, add a few ingredients to make it better. It’s best to substitute topping with empty calories with something that is nutritional. For example: Take the sour cream off of your potato or taco and use plain Greek yogurt. Switch the lettuce on your burger with spinach. When in doubt, add nuts and seeds. The key is to make your meals better buy adding vitamins and minerals that otherwise would not be there.
- EAT ALL DAY: Break up your meals into several small meals instead of eating 3 large meals. This helps curb your appetite so you won’t over eat. It also keeps your blood sugar levels even and keeps your body from feeling like it is going to starve in between meals. When your body feels like you are starving it, it will hold on to fat that would usually because it doesn’t know when you will feed it next.
- EAT WHAT YOU LIKE: Don’t make your life miserable by stuffing your face with foods that you absolutely hate. Besides, what good would eating foods that you can’t keep down really do? For example, I am not a fan of bananas. I know how healthy they are and most people are quick to pick a bunch of bananas when they are starting their healthy eating plan. Personally, I can’t stand them but I’ve found a way to get much potassium by eating spinach and coconut. You should always start with food you actually like because forcing yourself to eat foods that you hate will set you up to fail. However, please note that your tastes buds can change. Once upon a time, I despised spinach but now it’s one of my favorite things to eat.
- Eat Like Your Parent’s Parent’s Parent’s: Think about what your ancestors had to eat when they were alive. They didn’t have deep fryers, snack-cakes in boxes or any of the other trans fatty, highly caloric foods that we have today. The more processed foods you eat, the less nutritional value it has. You don’t have to stress out trying to find something “healthy” to eat, just remember to eat REAL FOOD. Just as your ancestors, eat foods as it naturally comes from the earth and you will find that eating healthier isn’t as bad as it seems. Pick lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and grains to give yourself a balanced diet.
- Rethink Your Main Course. Change the way you load your plate. Most people throw a huge piece of meat on their plates, alongside a large portion of carbs (like potatoes or macaroni & cheese). They then complete the plate with a very small portion of vegetable. This is the wrong way to go. Think of your whole grains and vegetables as the main course when you eat. Finish it off with a small portion of meat. Most of us are not lacking protein as much as we are lacking fruits and veggies.
Check out these other tips to help you choose the right foods:
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.