Eating healthy can feel daunting sometimes. Where do you begin and how do you ensure your success? The best way to stick to your goals is to plan ahead! Planning your meals and knowing your weaknesses is key. Tempted by doughnuts at work? Bring a healthy alternative that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the sugar crash. Many times, we may have intentions to eat healthy, but without proper planning, it’s easy to eat whatever is around. Oftentimes the only thing around is junk food, so we give in. Meal planning is the perfect way to avoid those situations.
Tip #1: Get creative!
Once you’ve committed to your healthy lifestyle, don’t be afraid to try new things! Search for nourishing recipes online and try some out at home until you find several you like. You can rotate the meals each week and add in new ones as you find them.
Tip #2: Plan for work!
No matter where you go, it’s nice to know that you have your meals prepped and ready to grab. Take one day out of the week (the weekend is usually easiest) and prepare your meals ahead of time. Cook your meals and section them into lunch containers for each day of the week. This includes fresh items like fruits. For example, if you’re taking grapes for lunch, go ahead and pick them, wash them, and store them in a container to take with you. That way, if you’re running late in the morning, everything is ready to go!
Tip #3: Expect to be tempted.
Be strong and know that you have prepared for these temptations. If you have an alternative with you, it will be easier to refuse unhealthy options. You can always plan to allow yourself one treat a week. For example, if there is dessert at the office every day, plan to allow yourself a small piece on Fridays.
Tip #4: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Having the mindset that you can never eat certain foods can lead to quitting your plan. Remind yourself that those high-sugar, high-sodium foods should simply be eaten less often, while fruits, vegetables, lean meats, etc, should be eaten more often. Finding balance and sustainability is the goal!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and good luck on your healthy eating journey!
This post was written by Marissa Pender, Dietitian Intern for Johnston Health.