I struggle with my nutrition and eating right so much. I have no problem motivating myself to get up and exercise most days, but for some reason, food has always sorta stumped me. I’ve wrestled with healthy eating choices for years, so I’ve developed some tricks along the way to make sure that I eat what I should… And not what I shouldn’t.
Everybody always says that the ratio is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, and I know through experience they’re right. If you don’t keep an eye of what you put into your body, the exercise may as well be futile. Keeping a food journal is a good way to start tracking what you eat. I’m not necessarily saying to count calories, but journaling helps you be more mindful of what you put into your body.
Drink. Water. And lots of it. If anything, try to cut sugared drinks out completely. When I was in high school, I drank one to two Cokes a day after school. When I stopped and just drank water, I swear it made a huuuuge difference. Try to only have two or three sugary drinks a week. This goes for iced teas, sodas, and alcoholic drinks. Still want a refreshing drink for those last days of summer? Find a seltzer water you like, or infuse your water with fruit!
Try not to have too many salty snacks as well, such as chips and things like that. Cut down on snacking on chips and cookies and other things like that, and choose things like fruit or hummus. A few handfuls of chips or crackers can easily turn into polishing the entire bag or box. Again, I know from experience, haha!
Not all granola bars are made equal. Avoid bars that have less than 3% protein, because that’s the stuff that will make you feel full! If there’s even less than 4%, you will probably still feel hungry after you’ve eaten the thing.
If you get a sugar craving or feel unnecessarily hungry soon after you’ve eaten, take a drink of water. Sometimes when our bodies are thirst or need water, the signal gets confused and translated into a craving.
Find some superfoods you know your body and your tastebuds like. I’ve gotten into eating overnight oats and greek yogurt with fruit lately. I eat them at both breakfast and lunch most days because I like how they taste, they travel well, and they keep me feeling full so I don’t snack. Find a couple things like this you can switch throughout the week, so you won’t get tired of them.
Figure out what your body runs best on. For me, I need lots of protein in order to feel fuller longer. For some others, I know carbohydrates are the thing their body needs to run right. Feel out what makes your body feel the best after you’ve eaten it! If that turns out to be pasta in small doses, so be it.
Keep it balanced when you’re eating. Keep general portions in mind when you eat. I like trying to adhere to the old plate-pie chart: 50% proteins, 25% fruits/veggies, and 25% starch (mashed potatoes, chips, etc.).
If you’re craving something, just have it. Have that cake, pie, chocolate, or whatever it may be. Just don’t let it turn into more than one portion. Set a goal for yourself that you’ll only have three or four sweet treats a week, and stick to it. That way, you look forward to those indulgences, but you also learn to set limits for yourself.
I rely on Pinterest for healthy recipe ideas, as cliché as that sounds! But it truly is such an amazing resource. When I’m just not feeling my go-to meals, I just search “healthy recipes” and thousands of options pop up. There’s something for everybody, and I find the Pinterest algorithm less intimidating than the deluge of information that comes with a Google search.
I’m not a nutritionist. I am just a girl who tries her best to eat as healthily as possible, and I stumble and make mistakes frequently. And I mean it when I say frequently. Everybody is different! Do your research, and do what’s best for your body. And as always, know that when you slip up, that it’s not the end of the world. Just keep on going, and doing your best!
What are some of your favorite tricks to keep yourself on track and eating healthy? Let me know in the comments!