Whether you’re someone who makes new year’s resolutions or not, many people still see the start of a new year as a time for new beginnings.
A chance to check in with themselves, take stock of their life, and start making (/being consistent with) changes. Usually this includes checking in with their body and evaluating how they look and feel vs. how they want to look and feel.
Next come the self-promises to hit the gym more regularly (my gym is packed this time of year) and eat healthier to make up for all of the holiday indulgences.
When making the decision to eat healthier, this usually comes with a list of self-imposed restrictions… like: no sugar, less processed foods, no fast food, less carbs…or only eat XX calories a day.
When we create restrictions like this on ourselves, we’re forced to rely on our willpower to stay on track and not give in to temptations.
At first we might find it easy, but a few days or couple weeks in, most people start experiencing the rollercoaster effect:
Eat healthfully or are ‘on track’ all day or week but when nighttime or the weekend comes around, so do feelings of being out of control which leads to overindulging on the foods they were trying to stay away from.
Research shows restriction through relying on willpower is not an effective long-term solution to healthy eating habits.
That’s why I’m recommending to flip your approach from restriction >> adding.
Instead of focusing on the foods you can’t or shouldn’t be eating, focus on adding more healthy foods to your existing diet instead. This will help you naturally eat less of the not-so-nutritious foods. Think about it – your stomach can only fit so much food at once, so if you fill it up with good stuff, you’ll be less likely to crave the not-so-healthy stuff.
There are lots of ways to do this, but my favorite is to use the balance plate concept. It’s a great starting point and will help you naturally feel fuller longer, maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, and balance your hormones.
For each meal, you’ll want to divide your plate into 4 parts:
- 1/4 of your plate protein
- 1/4 of your plate starchy veggies or complex carbohydrates
- 1/2 of your plate non-starchy vegetables
- PLUS healthy fats
Protein: Choose meats that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, and wild caught due to the antibiotic, pesticide, and cancer-causing growth hormone exposure. Great options: beef, buffalo, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, beans.
Starchy Veggies or Complex Carbohydrates: Swap out the blood sugar and insulin-spiking simple carbs (white bread, white pasta, white rice, white flour) for alternatives like quinoa, cauliflower rice, millet, lentils, teff, brown rice pasta.
Non-Starchy Vegetables: Choose organic whenever possible to avoid disease-causing synthetic chemical pesticide and herbicide exposure. To save money, use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists (see next page!), shop local, and shop seasonal. When cooking, use an oil with a high smoke point like coconut oil.
Healthy Fats: Don’t fear fat! Certain types are key to losing weight, reducing inflammation, absorbing nutrients, and more. Great options: avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, nutbutter, grass-fed butter.
Healthy food should be fun and delicious, not bring and bland, or won’t stick to it.
So I love to ask myself: what am I in the mood to eat? How can I take that and make it balanced? How can I tweak the ratios and add ingredients to bring it into balance?
It’s not a quick fix, but I’ll help you build real, lasting healthy habits for real, lasting results.
If you’d like some support with this, I’d be happy to help you one-on-one! Click here to book a free consultation session.
The 28 Days to Healthy Eating Habits: Suggested Meal Plan & Recipe Book is designed to take all of the guesswork and pressure off of you for a whole month of delicious and healthy eating – but beyond that: it teaches how to set yourself up for success with developing lasting habits too.