How to Maintain a Healthy Eating Lifestyle

Have you been recently diagnosed with health problems? Or are you simply looking to eat healthier to have more energy and manage your weight? Have you been trying to adopt better eating habits but find it difficult to stick with your changes? Don’t beat yourself up about it; old habits die hard—just keep trying. It sometimes takes a while for new changes to become habits. 

Food has become not only a way to satisfy our hunger, but also a way to eat our feelings. Many people who struggle with anxiety, depression, or other diseases usually turn to food to overcome emotional struggles. But this is not the main problem: Today’s food is so addictive that most people can’t stop eating it. According to Science Daily, “One in eight Americans over 50 show signs of food addiction.”

Here we’ll discuss the various stages you may experience while trying to make the change, and the various steps you could take to help you transition with ease.

What stage are you at in the process?

  1. You’re thinking of making changes

Implementing such a change can be difficult and may take some time. It may be helpful for you to consider the pros and cons of it. How would this change improve your health and your life? Let’s say, for example, that your goal is to lose weight, so you’re probably considering healthy eating for this reason. Thinking about making changes is already a progress towards achieving goals.

  1. You’ve decided to make changes

Once you’ve decided to get started, you then need to develop a plan. Learn all that you can about healthy eating and the foods that you would need to eat more of, less of, or avoid altogether. With a plan in place, you now need to set goals for yourself. Remember to start small. Perhaps swap out some unhealthy ingredients in your old favorite recipe with healthier choices.

Some people find it difficult to make changes alone. That is why you need to get in touch with those who will share your passion. Reach out to your friends, relatives, or someone online. Just don’t forget to learn more about strangers on Nuwber or any other reputable resource. The more you know, the better.

  1. You’ve begun making changes

It’s important to track your progress so that you can identify areas that may need improvement. When you’re hit with roadblocks, remind yourself why you want to eat healthier and steer the course. Reward yourself for every milestone that you achieve, but choose your rewards carefully though, as a cheat day may not be the best option—it may derail your efforts.

  1. You now have a new routine

Now that healthy eating is part of your daily routine, remember that good health takes a lifetime commitment; avoid slip-ups as much as possible. To help you stay motivated, try mixing in some physical activities and perhaps some new recipes and rewards. If, for example, you’ve been successful at limiting your saturated fat intake, challenge yourself by now trying to cut back on added sugars.

How to achieve and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle?

  1. Eat more whole foods

There are several nutritious diets out there, and no two of them are the same. What the successful, long-term ones do have in common, though, is that they are rich in whole foods. Eggs and dairy, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fresh animal protein are a few examples. Whole foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and don’t contain sugar. When the majority of your diet is whole foods, it lowers the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

  1. Stock up on healthy snacks

Research shows that people tend to throw out all their healthy eating plans when there’s a tasty treat in sight and they feel extremely hungry. Keeping prepared, healthy snacks on hand can lower your tendency to reach for unhealthy ones. Snacking on nutrient-dense foods can, no doubt, keep you feeling full for longer, lowering your calorie intake and improving your overall health. Snacks high in fiber and protein fit the bill—fresh veggies and fruits, whole grain crackers, yogurt, and hardboiled eggs are just a few.

  1. Don’t totally cut out your favorite foods

Cutting out your favorite foods is a surefire way of making your cravings for them even stronger, especially if you’re one of those who are generally more susceptible to food cravings. Rather, begin by reducing the portion sizes of these foods and eating them every now and again. As you continue in this way, you may find that you crave them less and less, until they become occasional indulgences.

  1. Track your progress

Keep a record of what you eat each day, and rather than focusing on how much weight you lose, ask yourself a few questions: “Have I noticed any changes to my physical or mental health?” “Do I enjoy what I eat, and will I be able to continually eat this way?” Your answers to these questions will help you determine whether the healthier diet is working for you.

  1. Avoid the all-or-nothing approach

An all-or-nothing approach can most definitely derail your efforts. When you restrict your eating throughout the week, and on the weekend you feel like you need a cheat meal, one cheat meal can at times turn into a cheat weekend. Some people would think to themselves that they’ve already messed up and might as well throw in the towel. But don’t let that be you. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy treats in healthy portions during the week—that way, you won’t be tempted into binge eating. Know that your efforts are not all wasted. If you continue to persevere with your healthy eating lifestyle, you will most definitely reap the rewards of a healthier and longer life.

The bottom line

It’s not always easy to break an old habit and build a new one, especially when it involves foods you’ve been eating all your life. But when you feel like your health is at risk, it’s more than worth a try. We have provided you with a number of tips to help you successfully transition to a new healthy eating lifestyle that you can stick with over the long haul–eating whole foods, snacking healthy, allowing occasional indulgences, tracking your progress, and avoiding the all-or-nothing approach.