This is a guest post by Kim and Kalee, who are online healthy living coaches that have helped 100s of clients hit their goals in the past 5 years. Get their entire free library of meal plans and tips to help you feel and look your best!
We’re excited to share our favorite, simple secrets to creating a healthy lifestyle!
If you’ve felt like healthy eating habits are out of reach, you’re not alone. A lot of the time we know the basics of eating well, but we fail to implement them.
With that said, we’ve found eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or restrictive!
These simple tips will help you feel your best and still enjoy your favorite foods!
How Can You Develop Healthy Eating Habits?
Just like any habit, healthy eating becomes part of your routine with planning and practice. That’s why we like to keep things simple as you’ll see in our tips below.
The first thing to identify is why you want to eat healthy though. Without a good reason why, it’s easy to fall into old habits. Once you know why you want this habit, the how becomes clearer.
Our 11 tips will give you a strong foundation that our clients have found to be very effective and simple to implement into their busy lives.
11 Healthy Eating Habits for Life
1. Watch Your Portions
We believe in a balanced diet, and we eat everything from broccoli to pizza. The portion size of your food is just as important as the actual food you’re eating.
That being said, we tend to overestimate how much we need to eat – especially when it comes to sweets and healthy fats. Restaurants are also notorious for doubling to tripling portion sizes! Yikes!
We personally love the Portion Control Diet because it’s not restricting, and it doesn’t require you to count calories!
2. Choose Fresh Foods [skip the boxes]
Another way to watch your portions and up your nutrition is to choose fresh foods.
We’ve all been guilty of eating too many potato chips from a large bag, but you rarely hear someone eating 3 bananas in a session. It’s because whole foods are already pre-measured and pack so much nutrition (like fiber) that we are satisfied after a serving.
Plus, by skipping boxed food, you’ll skip added sugar and sodium that is often added during the processing of food.
3. Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
One way to know if a food is fresh or considered a whole food is to shop the perimeter of the grocery.
Typically grocery stores are set up with the produce in the front, meat (and meat substitutes) in the back and then dairy on the other end. While some dietary needs require certain food groups to be avoided, the average person can benefit from all three sections of food.
Plus by shopping the perimeter, you’ll be able to skip the tempting, processed foods typically found down the aisles in the middle of the store. If you don’t see it, it’s easier to avoid it!
4. Don’t Cut Out Foods
We still want people to enjoy their food, though. If you told us we’d never have another piece of cake, that is all we’d ever want to eat.
Instead of cutting out a major food group or even your favorite junk foods, aim for everything in moderation. This will help keep your cravings down and your mindset strong.
5. Track Your Drinks
One way people gain or lose weight without really noticing is by watching what they drink. This could be alcohol or a high-calorie drink like soda or juices.
The calories in drinks count the same as calories in food, but they don’t make us feel any more full. Swap your high calorie drinks for water or a low calorie option.
6. Slow Down & Enjoy
Eating shouldn’t be part of your multitasking. That means stopping the car, putting down the phone or turning off the tv to enjoy your meal. By doing this, your mind and body connect to the eating experience leaving you feeling more satisfied with your meal.
7. Get Active
Getting active doesn’t directly tie with food; however, there is a correlation to eating healthy and working out.
If you’re working out you don’t want to undo your work, and you also want to fuel your body with the right types of foods. Plus exercising can balance out hunger-hormones which can help with your appetite over time!
8. Keep Snacks Heavy [so you don’t starve!]
Keeping snacks on hand can keep you from hitting the break room’s candy jar or going through a drive through.
Keeping snacks on hand can be as simple as putting 1/4 cup of nuts in ziplocks and carrying them in your purse.
We also love protein bars when we’re in a pinch.
9. Cook More [& make leftovers]
By cooking more, you’ll start to limit fast food and eating out more.
Plus, if you make something with leftovers you’ll have lunch or dinner the next day without much effort.
10. Split a Meal
If you do go to a restaurant, remember to watch the portions.
It’s a good idea to split with a friend or ask for the waiter to go ahead and wrap up 1/2 of your meal before bringing out to you.
This keeps you from being tempted to overeat, and it also creates those leftovers for later if you want!
11. Use the Buddy System
It’s so much easier to stick to healthy eating habits when you have a support system.
We are very lucky to have one another as accountability partners, and we create that same support in our online groups. When everyone else is saying eat that 2nd or 3rd roll at a restaurant, we can remind you that you enjoyed the first roll, and there will always be more next time.
Simple, almost silly, reminders like that can make a huge difference in motivation.
We follow the 80/20 Rule.
We’ve outlined our favorite tips to creating healthy eating habits, but how do we eat?
We actually follow all of the tips above and practice the 80/20 rule. We found this 80/20 Rule about 11 years ago, and it still works today!
The 80/20 rule says:
I’ll eat healthy 80% of the time so that 20% of the time I can have my favorite foods.
That isn’t to say some of our favorite foods aren’t healthy, but the 20% allows us the freedom to say yes to a glass of wine or dessert. It also takes away the stigma of having to eat perfectly.
Food is meant to be enjoyed — not overeaten, but enjoyed.
Following this rule allows us to enjoy and still stick to our healthy living goals! We have a free sample 80/20 meal plan as well!
We’re so grateful to be able to share these tips with you, and we’d love to hear from you! We hope you’ll enjoy our free library of meal plans and tips, too!