The 10 Habits of Eating Healthy
Healthy habits don't come easy and though the intention is there, there are often many barriers that get in the way. Recognizing the obstacles that stand in our way and learning how to overcome them is the key to a healthy eating routine.
To help you on this journey, I've compiled the top obstacles I hear most frequently from our members and my client's, and the 10 healthy eating habits you can develop to overcome them!
Challenge #1: I don't have enough time
Make a habit of planning ahead. At the beginning of every week (Sunday's are great!), set aside some time to prepare and set yourself up for a successful week. Prep fruits and veggies for on-the-go snacks and last minute dinners, make a meal plan so you're not scrambling for ideas, and make big batches of dinner so you have leftovers for lunch! If meal planning isn't your thing, Fresh City has you covered with healthy and convenient Fresh Meals, Salad Jars and Recipe Kits.
Challenge #2: I don't have enough money to eat well
Make a habit of buying food instead of eating out. One large grocery bill can feel daunting but I challenge you to compare it with a week's worth of take-out meals, coffees and impulse snacks. Be a savvy shopper. Take advantage of store specials, buy in bulk, eat seasonally and opt for less expensive protein sources (lentils, chickpeas and tofu).
Challenge #3: I don't have the motivation to make that kind of change
Make a habit of celebrating your wins, big and small. We are creatures of habit and breaking long lasting, comforting habits can be challenging. On the flip side, forming a habit can take long, gradual work but once formed, its second nature! For some, making a large number of changes all at once works, and for others, starting with one change at a time is the way to go. Know yourself and your goals, and don't punish yourself when things don't go according to plan. Instead, find ways to reward yourself when you achieve your goals.
Challenge #4: I'll have to sacrifice my social life
Make a habit of finding balance. True or false: those who are healthy do not know how to have fun? False. True or false: all fun activities revolve around unhealthy habits? False... well, sometimes true. There will always be something to celebrate, and there will always be unhealthy temptations. Don't let that be an excuse to throw all your hard effort out the window. When going out set limits in advance, check out the menu ahead of time, know how many drinks you will allot yourself, treat yourself but don't over do it. It's all about balance.
Challenge #5: I enjoy food too much
Make a habit of loving fresh food. Loving food is a huge part of living a healthy life. Often the diet industry makes us think we shouldn't love food and that we should restrict it. But guess what? We need food to live. We just need less of the highly refined and processed stuff, and more of the fresh, whole, plant-based stuff! Luckily, Fresh City's Market is full of hundreds of great options: from organic groceries to recipe kits to fully prepared meals.
Challenge #6: I have trouble saying 'no' to unhealthy snacks at work
Make a habit of packing healthy alternatives. You start the day off with the best of intentions but then someone brings cake into the office. In situations like this, it's best to be prepared! We often indulge in unhealthy treats because we feel hungry so be sure to have lots of healthy treats on hand, and to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Stress can also induce mindless eating so be sure to take breaks (a short walk outside is ideal) to keep a level head.
Challenge #7: I travel often and can't establish routines
Make a habit of embracing change. You often hear 'lucky you, you get to travel for work' but many don't realize that jet setting jobs can be stressful when your sleeping and eating patterns get out of rhythm. Scope out your destination in advance, see what grocery stores are nearby to stock up on staples (fruit, veggies, tea), pack a few travel-safe snacks, use an app like Yelp to find healthy restaurants, often continental breakfasts at your hotel will have fruit, tea, eggs. Don't stress about having a perfect routine just do the best you can with what you have!
Challenge #8: I don't have time/energy to cook healthy meals
Make a habit of prioritizing health. Eating well and moving your body gives you amazing energy! If you are stuck in a cycle of overworked, overtired, unproductive, and unhappy, I can guarantee that as soon as you put in the effort, the effort will be reclaimed in your energy levels. Start small! Slowly chip away at those habits to break your cycle. Try one of these:
- No technology 1 hour before bed
- Prepare your meals for the week ahead of time (Recipe Kits are a great time saver since they're easy to prep and the ingredients are pre-portioned)
- Order Salads and/or Fresh Meals from Fresh City and have healthy, ready-to-eat lunches and dinners delivered straight to your home
Challenge #9: I love having sweet treats/drinks in the evening
Make a habit of rewarding yourself with an activity instead. Sometimes we just need to unwind, especially at the end of a long day when our serotonin levels dip (hence the reaching for sugar and alcohol). On occasion it's nice to enjoy a glass or two of wine but when this becomes the norm, the negative effects ensue (poor sleep, slow metabolism, digestive problems, etc.). There are many things that can give us that same pleasure and escape. Try winding down with a calming activity. Call a friend, play with your pet, give yourself a foot massage, or an epsom salt bath.
Challenge #10: I don't know where to begin
Make a habit of being kind to yourself. Eating habits are a deeply personal thing. It takes time to change. Start small, and focus on adding real food. Swap out that midday chocolate bar with a handful of trail mix. Reduce those sugar laden drinks with water, a green juice, or tea. Being healthy is not a race, it's a journey. Small day-to-day changes are what matter most. Learn from your mistakes and congratulate yourself on the small feats. Fresh City is here to help you make these obstacles as easy to cross as possible and cheer you on throughout the race!
About Dee Buryk
Dee is Fresh City's Certified Nutritional Practioner, yoga instructor and founder of Growing Goddesses. She loves inspiring people to understand how simple changes in our lives can make major changes in how we feel about our bodies.