Food is a tricky thing. There are so many unhealthy temptations available to us, it's hard not to bite (haha, see what I did there?).
I think what confuses eating habits even more is dieting. Let me explain.
Everyone has their reasoning when they begin to diet. Maybe it's certain health reasons or the want to lose or gain weight. I think goals are great, but when it comes to eating habits, dieting won't do you justice long term.
The way to change your eating habits is by changing your lifestyle. I know it sounds pretty extreme, but hear me out.
Throughout my life thus far, I've been around a family of great cooks and yummy food. One thing constantly stressed is eating real food.
What do I mean by real food? Basically anything in it's natural state. Food that hasn't been processed or altered with fake (chemicals) stuff. You want to shoot for single-ingredient, unprocessed foods.
With any life changing habit, the approach seems tough and somewhat intimidating. Which is why it's important to take small steps and don't scare yourself. For example, get your feet wet and try one real food meal a day for the first week. The next week, make three days a week solely real food meals. Continue to progress each week; eventually you'll find yourself in a rhythm.
You can find real foods in your grocery store, but a great place to look is your local farmer's market. At farmer's markets, you're likely to find fresh produce and organic, natural products. On top of purchasing healthier foods, you're simultaneously supporting local small businesses!
Another fun way to get in the habit of shopping for real foods is by making it an activity. For instance, apple or strawberry picking.
I'm not going to pretend I only eat real food 24/7. I love, and I mean LOVE Doritos and Smartfood popcorn. And that's OK. You're allowed to treat yourself. Of course, what you put in, is what you get out, so the less cheat meals you have, the healthier you'll feel. But I'm a believer in if you don't treat yourself once in awhile, burnout will occur and it's easier to resort back to old habits.
What's sometimes great about treating yourself to junk is you then realize just how fake it really does taste. You'll appreciate the wholesomeness of real food you've now started to eat. I started focusing on eating cleaner in college ( yeah that's right, no freshman 15 for me) and then the following summer I had soft serve ice cream for the first time in awhile and the experience wasn't the same. This example isn't to say I don't like ice cream or if you start eating clean you'll no longer enjoy ice cream. The point is, your body will adapt and appreciate the real, nutritional foods you give it.
Lastly, find what works for you. Each body works differently at its own pace, so find eating routines that ultimately make you feel best. I personally love having a small glass of orange juice, a banana, and a green apple together because it keeps my body flowing (if you know what I mean 😬💩).
There are tasty AND healthy ways of eating. Don't discourage yourself from giving it a try. After all, we only have one life and body to take care of. Might as well makes the best of it!
Enjoy your food and the journey of life!
P.S., if you have a dog, keep an eye on your plate. You won't be the only one who enjoys real food.
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