Hey guys, welcome back to the blog! Today’s post focuses more on how to eat healthy and keep yourself accountable. It’s unrealistic to think that establishing a healthy lifestyle is without its ups and downs. Even though it seems like most of us have it handled, it’s easy to lose track of life and our eating habits, especially in lockdown. Although I stuck to eating dairy and gluten free foods, I didn’t feel as good about my nutrition a few weeks ago. I didn’t feel like I was having balanced meals and I found myself binge eating almost every night. I wasn’t eating for fuel or because I was hungry, I was eating out of habit.
A month ago, I gradually started to get back onto my previous eating habits and slowly started seeing changes in my mood and energy levels. Since my goals are different to everyone else’s, these tips aren’t based on any particular goals such as weight loss or fat loss, although they are beneficial for them as well. Rather than that, these tips are useful to implement if you want to start or get back to eating healthy. My advice is to implement the ones you see fit to your lifestyle, so here they are…
#1. Food Substitutes
You don’t have to deprive yourself to eat healthy, you can simply substitute or adapt your favourite foods for healthier options. Substituting doesn’t necessarily mean less calories it means choosing foods you know will fuel you and that are wholesome with less processed ingredients and more nutrients. For example, substituting regular pasta with chickpea or lentil pasta, regular chocolate with a vegan/sugar-free alternative or choosing popcorn or pop chips over regular potato chips. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food, in fact after cleaning up my nutrition again, I found that I’ve enjoyed my meals more because they are more mindful. If you want more substitute ideas, check out my post on a sample grocery list.
#2. Intermittent Fasting
One habit I’ve gotten back into is intermittent fasting and it’s helped me a lot with binge eating. I opted for 16/8hr fast and it’s been useful for stabilising my nutrition, because between 7pm till 11 am the next day I don’t focus on food and it’s sort of liberating. Of course, if you suffer from critical binge eating then this method may not suit you, however if you need a technique to keep you accountable then this one might be worth giving a try.
There are many videos explaining the different methods of intermittent fasting; 2/5 day method, 14/12 hr method etc. You can find one which suits your lifestyle better and remember to start slow. It’s counterproductive to try out too many habits at once and if you take it to the extreme you might find yourself burning out. Remember to go at your own pace.
#3. Intuitive Eating
Even in a calorie deficit, I like to eat intuitively and choose the meals I feel like my body needs. Some days I feel like I need more food than other while some days are more carb focused and that’s ok. Eating healthy does not mean forcing yourself to eat broccoli and steamed chicken everyday, instead choose things that will fuel your body and make you feel good. Most of the time I enjoy carbs in every meal and sometimes I have breakfast for dinner, it’s all about listening to your needs. Now if you feel like your body is craving fries, try making them in the oven or air fryer instead of buying regular ones.
The whole point of intuitive eating is also eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Don’t feel like you have to eat because it’s a certain time only because you’re hungry. If you feel like your hunger cues are messed up, try drinking water before and asking yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re bored or stressing. However, listen to your body and never deprive yourself if you’re hungry.
#4. Accountability Partner
I found that finding someone to accompany you in your journey to healthy eating is very beneficial. Not only can you keep each other accountable but you have moral support. When I started intermittent fasting, having someone join in made it much easier, we both would break and start our fast together. Your partner doesn’t even have to be living with you, it can be a friend over the phone or it can be your digital community.
#5. A Healthy Eating Mindset
If there’s one thing I want you to take from this, it’s that the key to eating healthy is achieving a healthy eating mindset. This isn’t a 2 week diet or 1 month plan, these are small steps you can take towards a healthier lifestyle. So if the words in your head are ‘restriction, no carbs, and no fat’ then you’ll be doing more harm than good. The last thing you want is to start labelling foods as bad or good because you can have the foods you enjoy, banning them is not necessary.
Also, don’t assume that once a person assumes a healthy lifestyle that they’ll have the perfect diet all the time. It’s normal to lose track every once in a while, don’t be too hard on yourself you’re only human. I want you to have fun with it, this shouldn’t be a punishment, learn to create your own healthy lifestyle.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and let me know your healthy eating advice/habit down in the comments. Please like and follow for more posts like this one and follow to join the journey to living a healthy lifestyle that’s realistic. Thank you for reading, xoxo!