Alright, I don’t like to say “diet”, but that’s the buzzword that gets people all jazzed up. If you really want these healthy habits to stick, it’s no longer going to be a diet. It’s just going to be the way you eat. You want the way you eat to be healthy – to allow you to get the results you want, to allow you to feel and look fit, and to not be a constant struggle day in and day out. Believe me, I know exactly what it’s like to constantly feel guilty about what I ate the previous meal, and then make the same dumb decision on the next meal. It’s a vicious cycle, and you and I both need to buckle down and make these changes so that what we consider our “diet” will stick with us, and turn into our habitual way of eating.
1. Prepare Your Meals In Advance
This is the easy one and is pretty much a no-brainer. Everyone says they want to meal prep, it’s time to actually do it. Meal prepping does a lot for you, it saves you time throughout the week (you aren’t cooking meals every day), it most likely saves you money (you won’t resort to quick drive-through lunches), and most importantly it will give you abs. If you’re anything like me, the second you get behind on food and need to figure out a meal on the fly, it’s too late. You’re bombarded with advertisements for horrible food everywhere you go, and if you were the type of person who can resort to a salad from the grocery store when you’re hungry, then you most likely wouldn’t be on my blog reading this list right now. If you have already-prepared healthy food that you know you are going to eat for your next meal, you’re much less likely to go eat something worse for you. Cook your food now and allow your future self to make healthy decisions.
2. Don’t Make Drastic Changes
Eating healthy is a lot like working out. You are going to set yourself up for failure or injury if you try to make some crazy drastic change in your diet. You wouldn’t go from sitting on the couch all day to running a marathon out of nowhere without first training a bit… so don’t do the same thing with food. You need to make small habitual changes that will eventually add up. Start out by just making sure you are eating a protein source at every meal. Then once you’re used to that, try cutting out all soda/sugary drinks. Then try to make sure you have a vegetable every meal. Then try to go out to eat one time less per week. These are little changes that are easy to stick with, and when added up they will make huge differences in your health.
3. Eat Foods You Like
You don’t hate healthy food. There are healthy foods that you love, I guarantee it. If you despise broccoli then don’t make yourself eat broccoli every meal in a desperate attempt to be healthy. Find healthy recipes online that look good to you, find healthier versions of foods you already love, experiment with different brands that use less sugar or less fat of the same treats you are already eating. Food is incredible, don’t deprive yourself of it or force yourself to eat stuff you hate, because then you’ll never stick with it. Make eating healthy something you look forward to because it’s delicious. Start with some delicious breakfast smoothies!
4. Don’t Let Perfection Be The Enemy Of Consistency
That’s not a good title but let me explain what I mean. If you slip up once and eat a piece of cake at your nephew’s birthday party, that doesn’t mean you’ve already blown your diet and might as well have 3 more slices of the cake and a plate of whatever that chocolate thing is with the whipped cream over there on the dessert table. Truth be told, that single slice of cake wasn’t going to ruin anything. All the extra stuff afterwards did. Indulge in moderation. You don’t need to be perfect, in fact you should absolutely be able to treat yourself to some treats here and there, but don’t let that turn into a landslide once a week because then your diet isn’t even worth it.
5. Get A Coach
I saved the best for last. If you do this, the other 4 points on this list will all fall into place. Find a high quality coach or program that has proven results and lean on their expertise to help you. A good program or coach will have some sort of aspect of accountability, which is what most of us need.
The true value of a coach isn’t just in them educating you on what and how much to eat, but also in them holding you accountable and supporting you to make the changes YOU wanted to make.
Don’t know where to start in finding a high quality coach? Start here.