When you’re planning to eat clean and transform your health, it’s normal to feel excited and motivated. Most people do. However, most people quit too.
There’s a reason for this…
- Take the slow approach – What most people fail to understand is that eating healthy is not a fad. It’s a habit that becomes a lifestyle… and all habits take time to build. You can’t develop a habit overnight. In the same vein, you can’t overhaul your diet in a day. It’ll be extremely difficult to suddenly start eating clean if you’ve been on a diet of junk food and processed food for years. You’ll struggle with the new diet and quit after a few days because the food cravings will be too much to bear. You’ll cave in and gorge on all the foods that you were desperate to avoid. This can be very demotivating. The best way to adopt a clean eating lifestyle is to make gradual changes to your diet and choose healthier foods each day while slowly reducing your consumption of the bad foods.
- Swap foods – Swapping foods is an excellent way to build up to a healthy eating lifestyle. Instead of fried chicken, go with grilled chicken. Instead of milk chocolate, try dark chocolate. Eat sweet fruit instead of candy. Opt for brown rice instead of white rice. Drink a cold glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice instead of a sugary soda. By making food swaps daily and choosing healthier options, you’ll cut your calories and sugar consumption. Over time, you’ll break your addiction to the unhealthy foods… and then you can slowly remove the swapped foods and clean up your diet even further.
- Eat what you love – This is an important point to note. You can eat healthy food that’s tasty too. Taste and nutrition are NOT mutually exclusive. We often believe that healthy food is bland and boring. This is a fallacy. You just have not acquired a taste for healthy food yet. Get a good recipe book and try cooking different healthy dishes. You’ll be amazed at how good vegetables can taste with the right recipes. Eat more of the foods you love and stop forcing yourself to eat lean chicken breast or avocados if you dislike eating them. By sticking with the healthy foods you love, you’ll be less likely to quit on your weight loss journey and healthy eating lifestyle.
- Journaling – Journaling is an excellent way to keep yourself on track. Write down what foods you’re eating, what times you eat, how the foods make you feel and most importantly, what is the reason you decided to clean up your diet. Knowing your why is very important and it will keep you on track even when the journey becomes a struggle and you want to quit badly. Writing is also cathartic and will help release some of the stress when trying to switch to a cleaner diet. No matter how gradually you approach this change, some sacrifice will be involved and you will feel the pinch. Journaling will help ease the pain.
- Exercise daily – Exercise is so important that you should engage in it daily even if your diet is clean and healthy. You NEED exercise to be a strong and healthy human being. Your body craves movement. One hidden benefit of exercise is that it gives you confidence and an appreciation of your body. You’ll be less likely to eat junk food if you’re working out hard at the gym. You know the sweat equity required to burn your calories and will be more reluctant to indulge in unhealthy foods because of all the effort you’ve expended. Exercise keeps you on track with your eating habits and helps to take up the slack should you falter every now and then.
Apply the points in this article and you’ll be able to transform your diet and achieve good health without quitting halfway. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s definitely a manageable one. Keep going.