How I stick to a healthy/balanced diet

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Let’s be completely honest, sticking to a healthy balanced diet is one of the hardest things to do.. There are so many nice foods.. 

First things first, don’t call it a ‘diet’.. It’s a lifestyle change. Diets have this way of freaking us out, it’s like once we call it a diet, we think we’re only allowed to eat salads and if for any reason we eat something we’re ‘not supposed to’ we beat ourselves up about it. But it’s a lifestyle change, so if you fancy a chocolate bar once every few weeks, then have one!

It’s called a balanced diet for a reason; so it doesn’t mean you need to drink a juice that’s filled with all those things you don’t even like every day for your lunch. It means eat food that is good for you but also allow yourself to have a cheat day or a cheat meal once a week. This way we don’t become bored about the food we’re eating and then slowly start going back to our old eating habits. Allow yourself a treat.. you deserve it!

I’ve recently started incorporating more protein into my diet, it’s one thing I never really did before. I’ve started having a protein shake for my breakfast a few times a week, especially on gym days. Do some research on food that is high in protein, decide on what you like and start adding more protein to your meals.

Plan your meals; I use a weekly meal planner. They’re so inexpensive but come in handy when you’re trying to organise your meals. Make a list of all your favourite healthy meals, then get yourself to the shop and buy any bits you need for the coming week. Plan when you want to eat each meal, this way you can prepare before hand.

Drink 2 litres of water every single day. I won’t bang on about all the benefits of drinking water, you probably already know them. But drinking this much water is just as beneficial to a healthy balanced diet as food is. So if you don’t already, this is a good place to start.

Have a cheat day/meal. Yes, an actual cheat meal.. this is the ‘Balance’ part of your lifestyle change. Remember it’s not a diet, so having a takeaway once every few weeks is not against the rules. If you fancy making yourself a homemade curry or something extremely yummy with quite a lot of calories in it, then do so. We’re allowed to enjoy our food too.

When we think of healthy food, it’s usually fruit and vegetables and all the green healthy looking things that come to mind. This isn’t necessarily true, healthy food comes in all different shapes and sizes, you just have to put in a bit of work into researching and trying out new food. The more healthy food we like the better it is in the long run. We need to have a range of different meals so we don’t become bored of the same ones.

Always eat fruit and vegetables daily. Instead of having a packet of crisps, eat an orange or a banana, whatever fruit you like. Try and eat meals that you can add vegetables to on a daily basis. The more fruit and veg we eat, the healthier our bodies will get (not to mention they’re really tasty).

I find it so hard to eat healthy when eating out, just purely because I take one look at the pizza menu and can’t stop myself! Choose a healthier option, maybe a chicken burger instead or something from the low calorie section.. just because we’re eating out doesn’t mean we can’t choose food that is much better for us. OR you could use eating out once a month as your cheat meal, remember it’s entirely up to you.

I feel like this should have been one of the first points, but always eat breakfast. Never skip meals, even if you don’t have much time on your lunch break, make yourself a protein shake to enjoy while you’re working. Whatever the case, don’t skip meals!

Last thing, go easy on yourself, don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad food day. Sometimes we just have those days where the super healthy meal that’s waiting in the fridge isn’t doing it for you.. sometimes we just fancy a takeaway pizza or a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. It’s a work in progress, it’s a lifestyle change not a diet, this means absolutely nothing bad is going to happen to you if you have one bad day every now and then. Find healthy meals that you enjoy, try new things, experiment on new recipes, control your portions, but most importantly enjoy your food; that’s what it’s there for.

Lois x

 

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