How I Make Healthy Choices

Start-Small-make-healthy-choices-every-dayTrying to become fit and healthy is not easy especially when you have spent years training your body to accept junk food as nutrition. Cutting processed foods is hard when you have become dependent on the ease that they provide. The hardest part of living a healthy life style is retraining your body and mind. It is hard but doable.

The truth is being healthy is a daily choice. You choose what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Becoming healthy begins with making small choices each and every day. Building on these small choices can lead to life changing fitness levels. It is hard, and I fail often but I am not giving up.

My Tips for eating healthy.

Focus on benefits:  When I want that cookie or piece of cake I ask myself “how will that benefit me in the long run?”  Nine times out of ten that one question will make me choose to not eat the food that I really do not  need. Cake and cookies have a place, but they have no place in an everyday diet. When I am eating a great meal and want seconds I ask myself, “are you hungry or is it just good?”  More often than not this leads to me not partaking in a second helping.

Spice it up:  Chicken every night, or loads of vegetables can become boring. Using spice can change the taste and make your meals more interesting. Experiment and try new things. Use spices to make food more interesting.

Toss triggers:  You will be hard pressed to find any junk food in my house. Cookies are gone. Ice cream is gone. Most processed snacks are gone. My kids are going through withdrawals, but they are learning that grapes and cheese is a great snack. They are also learning that you don’t snack to just snack.

Eat only when hungry:  I used to have a very bad habit of going into the kitchen every night around 8:00 to get a snack. Most of the time I was not even hungry. I just had a habit. I have now trained myself to only eat when I am hungry, not because of the time of day. Don’t eat just because someone offers you something. It is not impolite to not take free food.

Write it down.  Several months ago I started writing down everything I put in my mouth. I noticed that I was consuming more than I thought.  Taste testing while cooking can add a ton of calories.

Don’t just weigh. Weight is a funny thing. I have noticed that my weight can stay the same but my clothing feels different. When exercising and changing eating habits your body can change without your weight changing. So instead of just depending on the scale, also take a look at the actual measurements of your body.

Plan the week:  Each week I create a menu of all of my meals. By doing this I can ensure that I am getting enough of all of the necessary foods. I can also plan for special events that may be occurring. If I know I have an office party on Wednesday, I plan a light dinner that is heavy on vegetables. Making a plan also prevents those trips to the store that result in bringing home pre-prepared foods that have many hidden ingredients.

Avoid temptation.  I avoid temptation by not bringing the foods I need to avoid into the house. I also avoid the junk food aisles in the grocery stores. Out of sight out of mind is very useful when trying to maintain a healthy diet.

Drink lots of water:  When I find myself “feeling” hungry between meals I reach for water. If after a few minutes I still feel hungry I will have a small snack. I have found that most of the time a cup of water does the trick.

What small choice will you make today to help improve your health and fitness levels?

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