Living a healthier lifestyle is all the rage these days (newsflash: being healthy should always be all the rage), and part of that new way of living is being mindful of your diet and what you’re eating. For a lot of people, though, healthy eating conjures up notions of munching on celery, going dressing-free on salads, and steering clear of any and all fatty foods. Which is why it makes sense that when people start their so-called “diets,” it’s easy to kick off the new eating routine on a high note only to lose momentum and fall off the train entirely later on. To make sure that your healthy eating becomes more of a lifestyle change than a temporary diet fix, and to help you turn away those pesky temptations once and for all, here are some tricks to keep you on track.
Have a Reason to Be Motivated
First things first, if you are serious about living a healthier lifestyle, you should have a good enough reason to keep yourself motivated. A lot of people stick to healthier diets when they have their loved ones, like family and friends, rooting them on and encouraging them. Other people might commit to a different lifestyle after discovering that they have an intolerance that makes them feel better when they steer clear of certain foods, like dairy or certain grains. But it doesn’t always have to be a specific person, or specific circumstances, that encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize. If you’re unhappy with where you are and how you feel healthwise, then that should be motivation enough to keep you going.
Stay Away from the Fad Diets
Trust us, they don’t work as well as they promise they do – at least not in the long term. Forcing yourself to stick to a specific kind of restrictive or elimination diet, like Weight Watchers or low-carb, might work for a while, but it’s super hard to maintain over a longer period of time. And when it comes to picking a good diet, the secret is to go with something that will allow you to stay healthy for a longer period of time. You can easily come up with a healthy eating plan that works for you and play around with healthy foods that way, like putting the veggies you enjoy most in a rice bowl or throwing your favorite fruits into a big fruit salad. Doing so is one way to make sure that you’re healthy eating plan is one you can stick to more in the long run. Plus, if you are consuming foods that you really don’t like, you are more likely to cave into temptations.
Pack Lunches and Snacks
When you know you’re going to be busy throughout the work day or you have tons of errands to run around town, pack lunch or a few healthy snacks in your handbag so that you don’t feel obligated to eat fast food while on the move. Susceptible to sugar cravings after lunch? Always pack a healthier dessert option, like banana protein muffins or fruit with some dark chocolate, so that you can stay on track even when you’re letting yourself splurge a bit. Packing your lunch every day, and keeping snacks on hand, is a good way to make sure that you’re always on top of it – and that you have no trouble saying no to those cupcakes your coworker brought in.
Don’t Let Yourself Get Hungry
It’s a known fact: if you are hungry, you are more likely to give into your temptations. After all, when your stomach is growling and that burger joint across the street is a whole lot closer than your go-to salad spot a few blocks away, chances are you’ll be likelier to get swept off your feet by the burger. It’s also a proven fact that if you are hungry, you are more likely to pick sweets to splurge on rather than savory food items. Make sure you snack throughout the day and eat big enough meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that you stay full throughout the entire day.
Indulge Every Once in Awhile
Having a few bites of chocolate cake once in a blue moon won’t make you gain ten pounds overnight, and neither will having a whole slice of cake every now and then either, for that matter. (Eating an entire chocolate cake, however, may have some negative repercussions.) For the most part, there’s nothing you absolutely need to cut from your diet all the time to be healthy, save for anything that you’re allergic to or intolerant of, of course. It’s important, when trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle, to focus on balance, like by satisfying your cravings with smaller portions.