Simple nutrition habits can serve as a foundation for the rest of your life. Don’t wait. This is in your power to start establishing habits, discipline, nutrient density, accountability, decreased inflammation, and fun with your food!
Here are some simple nutrition habits that will be foundational pieces for total lifestyle success!
1) Start Small – To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthier diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. By approaching changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you might think. For example, instead of focusing on building the whole wall, focusing on laying one brick down at a time.
2) Simplify – Maybe hold off on weighing and measuring macros and foods right now. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness. Challenge yourself to eat as many bright and colourful foods as possible. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and you’ll find each meal more delicious and satisfying.
3) Make Small Steps – Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. The diet that works is the one that you will stick with. Changing everything at once usually leads to overindulging or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different colour vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to coconut oil when cooking. As your small changes become habits, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet. Think of these as habits rather than a diet. That way they can last longer and become a part of your day to day routine.
4) Think Long-term – Every change you make to improve your diet matters. Celebrate those small wins by sharing with a friend or loved one or doing a little happy dance. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. Try not to go from one extreme to the other as the answers typically lie in the world of moderation or in the middle of the spectrum. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, decrease inflammation, enhance body composition and performance, and reduce the risk of illness and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you — every healthy food choice you make counts. A food log could help with accountability as well.
5) HYDRATE – Drink Water. Consider water as one of the central components of your diet. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated —causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It is very hard to over hydrate, try keeping a water bottle close to you so it is in sight and in mind. Many of you have asked about strategies to stop snacking when home all day. Hydrating is a great way! In addition, try not to have the snacking foods in your home and stick to the ones that serve you rather than the ones that leave you feeling guilty later. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
Try not to give in to what you want NOW for what you truly want forever. Building the discipline with your nutrition habits now will set you up for success later physically, mentally, and emotionally.