If you are wanting to eat healthier food, but the prospect of changing your diet is just too daunting, here are some tips on how to make the transition to a healthier diet.
Although we need food to survive, and it's essential for bonding with others and keeping ourselves happy, many of us are on diets that aren't good for us. Whether we overeat and are unhappy because of the resulting body changes or we undereat from stress, our bodies are showing it: these changes aren't healthy.
Unfortunately, many people think that the best way to change is to do it 'cold turkey.' This approach can shock the system, forcing us into survival mode and killing our metabolism or overwhelming us mentally to the point that we quit because we're overwhelmed.
The best changes are gradual.
Here’s how to transition into a healthier diet without overwhelming your body or mind.
Start With Liquid Changes
Many people don't get enough water in their diets or take in calories in drinks. The liquid isn't as filling as solid food, so many refer to this as 'empty calories' since you gain only calories instead of sustenance. Although some drinks can be a good source of calcium or vitamin C, you could still gain these if you ate fruit instead, plus it would leave you fuller for longer.
Try to phase soda out of your diet and replace it with either flavored water or plain water if possible. Adding ice and a squeeze of a lime wedge can make it easier to take down.
Move To Change One Meal A DayDon't cut all terrible food at once. If you have an unhealthy eating style, the chances are that it's been going on for a long while. Change one meal every day to start with, so you can acclimate to the new diet. This could mean switching out skipping breakfast or eating an unhealthy breakfast to eat overnight oats with fruit and honey. Or, you could go for vegetarian lunches so that you can get in more greens and healthy foods during the day. You might have to break with this sometimes, like having to eat out while you look at real estate in Toronto, but when those times come, you should still try to be conscious of what you're taking in.
Shift Over To A Most-Meals Change
A most-meals change is a diet that doesn’t hold you back from still enjoying things you like. You shouldn’t dedicate an entire day to 'cheat' food every week, but you should always occasionally want the things that make you happy. This plan could mean that you have a really carby chicken alfredo once a week if it makes you happy, or even sneaking in one or two small chocolates or candy every couple of days. You have to hold yourself accountable for this, but it's good to keep the little things you enjoy. If you cut everything off, you'll be miserable and quit more easily.
Be patient with yourself as you make these changes. No life change is easy, so it’s okay to have growing pains and fall off the wagon here or there. As long as you get back into it and don’t give up, things will work out in the long run.