Eating healthier is one of the top resolutions made every year, along with exercise more and lose weight.
You may be one that set a goal to ditch the processed foods, the sugar and start eating healthier this year too.
Setting a goal to eat healthier is always a great goal to have. But, we often find it to be a lot more complicated than we thought it would be.
I’ve mentioned before that goals are not your enemy and they don’t have to be complicated. The key to your eating healthy goal is to keep your goal uncomplicated and simply focus on clean eating.
In case you’ve heard the term “clean eating” but haven’t quite understood what it means — clean eating is all about consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed junk.
Whether you’re ready to jump-start your clean eating now or you’re wondering what it takes to get started, I’ve got some super-simple steps for a no-fail progression into clean eating. These are the steps I used and I know they will work for you too.
Here’s six steps to get you started on your healthy eating goal…
Focus on your inner motivation
What’s your “WHY?”
You must have a motivating factor to begin to eat a cleaner diet. It may be that you’re tired of being tired, you’re sick of being sick, or you’ve decided that you’re not putting one more man-made chemical in your mouth; you’re ready to change. Or you’ve seen first-hand the damages done by not eating well through relatives or friends that have suffered as a result of their eating habits.
Whatever it is that is motivating you to eat clean, bring it into your direct focus so you will be more successful in sticking to your clean eating plan.
Reevaluate what you’re currently eating
Have you kept a food journal?
I see this all the time; my clients will begin their eating habits discussion with “Oh, I eat healthy all the time”, and then will share what they had yesterday. As they begin to remember what they ate, they realize that their choices weren’t always healthy.
Before you begin your clean eating journey, it helps to journal about what you’re eating before beginning. This way, you can truly see what it is you’re eating and look for patterns. After the stressful end of week push at the office, you might notice you’re more prone to ordering pizza, and you can take steps to head that off at the pass rather than fall into the same pitfall time and time again.
Download my food journal worksheet and begin tracking the food you eat.
Set realistic, measurable and specific goals
Goals are wonderful and inspiring, and I encourage you to set goals in every area of life. Just make sure you keep them realistic.
When people make changes to things in their lives such as a change to their eating habits, they can set themselves up for significant failures if they don’t take it step by step. That means that if you want to be successful in the long-term, you should tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks, so you have a better chance of sticking to it. Don’t just say you’ll stop eating desserts forever. Instead, set a goal of only eating one small dessert per week, and go from there to decrease it further. It’s realistic, measurable and very specific.
Clean out your pantry
I’ve found this to be the biggest challenge for my clients. Their cabinets are full of unhealthy processed foods and their budget doesn’t allow them to donate what they have, or their family refuses to join the clean eating lifestyle.
Start here: Begin today to no longer buy unhealthy processed foods. Within three weeks your cabinets should be stocked with healthy foods and all the unhealthy processed foods are gone.
What to buy? A good rule of thumb is to cut out anything that contains more than five ingredients on the label, and anything unnatural should stay at the store. Be very careful and understand that the food manufacturers know that you’ve decided to begin eating clean and their labels are proclaiming that their food is healthy. READ your ingredient labels – if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.
Refocus your grocery shopping strategy
Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store will give you the healthiest choices when buying groceries. Start your shopping there and, if you must, go down the aisles. Be careful though, that’s where all the processed foods are with labels screaming that they’re healthy.
Master meal prep
“I don’t have time to eat clean” is the most common complaint of my clients. Here’s an idea – master meal prep on the weekend.
Prepping your meals will save you tons of time during the week. Yes, it will take a couple of hours, but once it’s done – it’s done for the week. You won’t believe how nice it is to come home, open the frige, pull out your pre-cut veggies, cooked wild rice or quinoa, and have a meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. Or, pull your slow cooker out, dust it off and start using it. You’ll find tons of healthy meal prep plans online that even give you shopping lists to use.
As you can tell, it only takes small changes over time to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
This is one way I work with my clients, teaching them and giving them the tools to succeed in their journey toward transformation. If you’re tired of the struggle, or just not sure how to get started with your journey toward healthier eating, please contact me and we’ll set a time to discuss your goals.
Here’s a FREE bonus gift to help you on your journey toward eating healthier. My Slow Cooker recipe book with healthy recipes for the busy woman. Request your copy today.
Blog Photo Credit
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash