How To Stay Motivated to Eat Healthy
You’re on the journey to live a well rounded healthy lifestyle and thus far it has been so refreshing and energizing. That is until you realize you’re going to have to clean up that diet of yours. You can no longer have 5 snack size snickers for breakfast with your coffee or a cheese quesadilla buried in a bag of hot Cheetos with a monster that has enough sugar for the next 3 days. Or is this just how my diet was? Oops. I mean, when your friends laugh at you because all you eat are Mcdonald's fries and chocolate covered eggs you probably need to clean your diet up. I should’ve made the life change then. Instead, here I am 5 years later finally starting to clean up what I eat and instead fuel my body with nourishing foods.
It may have taken me some time to step up to the plate but it is never ever too late to make a positive change. If you’re wanting to start eating well or have already started and are in a difficult slump where you want to give up, keep pushing! You can do this!
Because I too recently went through a difficult week where I wanted to give in and let the whole idea go, I wanted to share with you how I was able to push through and come out victorious (for now). At least until I hit another slump and have to refer back to these steps lol.
1. Write Down Your Why
Before you make the change, take some time to write down exactly why you want to eat healthier. What goal do you want to attain? Do you want to lose weight, feel more energized, improve your physical performance, reduce blood pressure and/or cholesterol, increase self-confidence, etc. Any reason in the world is the perfect reason as long as it motivates you. If you have a clear goal and vision, you’ll be more focused on getting there. It’s also nice to be able to remind yourself why you’re doing something when the going gets tough.
2. Take Before Pictures (you’ll thank me later!).
The day you get started take a few pictures of your body. I took two: one front facing and one from the side. These pictures will be extremely important in a few weeks, in a few months, and even in a few years. Not only will they remind you of why you started this journey but they will also show you how far you have come. There will be times you feel as though you are not making any progress. If you feel like this take new pictures and compare the two. You will be surprised to see the subtle and even the drastic changes that you’re body will go through as you progress.
3. Stay Off the Scale!
This may just be one of the most important tips I could ever provide you! I’d like to take all the credit for this one but it’s definitely something I had to learn the hard way. Stay off of the scale as much as you can. It is not an accurate measure for the progress you are making and if you rely on it for strength, it will have the exact opposite effect.
4. Use My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is the most helpful app I have probably ever downloaded. Not only does it help you keep track of your macros and what you’re eating but it’s super educational. You’ll learn what foods have what macros, accurate portion sizes, and gain a more accurate picture of how awful some foods are for you.
5. Be Prepared Not Impulsive
The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to make impulsive purchases or meal choices. Meal prepping can save you a lot of time and worry at least for a few days. You know exactly whats in the food and exactly how much you’re eating. However, if you’re like me, meal prepping for several days is not an option. I cannot eat the same food for more than two days, It drives me absolutely crazy and kind of makes me sick. Dramatic I know! I’ve found it easier to prepare the next days lunch with the leftovers from dinner. This is a small step but it helps tremendously. If you plan at least one meal in advance it will make all the difference!. No matter how you plan, as long as it works for you, it will be beneficial.
6. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods Variably
Variety is everything when you’re eating healthy. Try not to eat the same foods for every single meal. This will more than likely drive you crazy. There are so many different meal prepping ideas and recipes available to you on Pinterest that there really is no excuse for lack of variety.
Also, if you’re using My Fitness Pal you’ll get a general idea of which micronutrients your diet is lacking and you’ll be able to find foods rich in these nutrients to supplement in your meals.
7. Be Patient with Yourself
The most important thing to do during this process is to be patient with yourself at all times. So you had a piece of cake at your cousin’s birthday party, they pressured you at work to eat a donut, your best friend was in town and you ate out…do NOT beat yourself up. The beautiful thing about macros is you can fit in a little cheat here and there and if it doesn’t fit in then you will survive. I promise. Just because you indulged does not mean all of your hardworking and goals are thrown out the window. Start fresh, things will be fine.
Maybe you get frustrated because you feel like you’re not making any progress. Be patient. You’re working and progressing even if at times it may not feel like it.