Switching to healthy eating habits is often a struggle, especially at first. For those who are ready to make a drastic change, it’s an even tougher battle, especially with temptation all around us at school or work. The key to clean eating is to gradually cut certain foods out while introducing healthly alternatives. You also need to forgive yourself if and when you slip up and focus on getting back on track, not beating yourself up for the misstep. It’s a process that can take time and persistence. But when you do achieve clean eating, you will feel a positive different in mind and body.
If you’re new to the concept of clean eating, here are a few great ways to get started.
First things first – what’s motivating you to make a change? The reason why most people fail on any attempted “diet” is generally a lack of motivation – and of course, because “diets” are never a long-term solution. Whether you reach your goal or not, a diet is a temporary measure and you will return to previous unhealthy habits. Instead, conceptualize it as a total lifestyle change.
In order to alter your bad eating habits and transform them into a life-long change, you need to identify your motivation behind the change and keep it thriving in the forefront of your mind. Each and every day, remind yourself why you’re doing this. It’s the essential component that will keep you moving onward and up.
Make Specific, Measurable Goals
You need to be specific with what your goals are. Determine your target weight and how you wish to feel; determine how much you’re willing to eliminate from your current habits and write them down. The more specific you can be about your goals, the more likely you will achieve them. At the same time, don’t determine success by a number on a scale. If you feel better, sleep better, and have more focus, you’re moving in the right direction.
Audit Your Current Eating Habits
Start by auditing what you currently love to indulge in every day. Get a notepad out and make a food journal recording everything you eat for at least three days. Begin by selecting 3-5 items at a time to eliminate from your diet. Focus on the ones that are highly processed, and contain high amounts of sugar or such as pop, fast food, and any sugary snacks.
For one whole month, just focus on avoiding those three items. You’ll find that after 30 days, your body will crave it less (or hopefully not at all), and that habit of eliminating those items will be something you can continue you do. Each month, add more items.
Incorporate Healthy Food
While you go through the process of eliminating the bad food, it’s equally important to introduce healthy food as well.
So focus on adding more green vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and fruit into your diet. These foods will not only make you feel great, but they will also help you feel more satiated much longer than processed food would. Hop onto websites like Pinterest to see just how many delicious recipes you can create with completely healthy alternatives.
Drink More Water and Herbal Tea
While your body adjusts to the cleansing process of cleaner eating, it’s important to keep your body hydrated. If you struggle with water, try drinking herbal teas to add in some great natural flavours with lemon, mint, and other tasty ingredients. Be sure that you’re getting at least eight glasses a day!
Clean eating is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that requires commitment, persistence and solid motivation. Follow these steps to help get you started. And better yet – if you can find a friend to make the change with you, you’ll be looking at a cleaner, healthier you in no time.