A new year means new resolutions, a common one being to eat healthier. You’ve probably seen me say it a million times on here: I love working out, but I also really love food. Give me a bag of gummy candy or some creamy milk chocolate and I am a happy girl. While I totally support anyone eating those things in moderation, there has to be a line. That can be a difficult line a lot of the time.
Not even kidding, as I start writing this there are doughnuts sitting right across from me. They look REALLY good. Thankfully, I have some cantaloupe and strawberries that I can enjoy. With this in mind, here are my tips for staying on track with healthy eating, and staying away from that junk food. You know, sometimes.
Prep the Healthy Options
The nice thing about junk food is the convenience factor. It’s easy to grab a bag of chips and open it. It’s simple to buy the chocolate bar at the checkout line and indulge. It’s quick to take 5 steps and grab a doughnut. There is almost no prep time involved with unhealthy foods options.
The easier the healthy options are to access, the more likely you are to eat them. Start washing and cutting up that fruit the minute you get the rest of your groceries put away. Keep apples and bananas on your counter where they are visible and easy to grab. Cut the lettuce so you can have a salad with your supper. The more visible and accessible you make the healthy options, the better.
Along with making the healthy options accessible, make the unhealthy foods difficult to get at and hard to find. Stash them in the back of the pantry or hidden away on the top shelf of your closet. Make it so you actually have to work to get those items. They may suddenly become less tempting when they aren’t visually available to you.
Like I said at the start, I’m writing this and eating fruit in an effort to distract myself from the doughnuts sitting across from me. So far, it’s working. Eventually, the desire to eat one will pass and I will be in the clear. Eventually.
As long as you can keep yourself busy, you’re less likely to give in. Eat a healthy snack, drink some water. Get up and take a little walk. Distract yourself by playing a game. There are a lot of activities you can do that aren’t eating that snack. Soon enough, you’ll be so involved in your distraction that you won’t even remember what the treat was.
Know Your Limits
Personally, I know that if I have “just one”, that will quickly turn into “just another one”. Before I know it, I have eaten 5 doughnuts. Yeah, not the most ideal for someone who wants to lose weight and be healthy. If there is an item I know I can’t limit myself on, it’s much easier for me to avoid it completely. Knowing your limits is important for both healthy & unhealthy food; too much of a good thing does exist. If you know that you can limit yourself to one square of chocolate a day as your dessert, go for it! Enjoy that treat. You totally deserve it for staying on track the rest of the time. If opening that wrapper means the entire bar will be gone in less than 5 minutes, avoid it until you really need it.
A lot of the time I’m more likely to spend $2 on a can of Pringles that will last me a couple of days, rather than $3 on a pineapple that will last me 5+ days. Even though the cost of fresh food may be higher at first glance, it’s the long-term price you should be looking at. Fruits & veggies are more filling due to the fibre & often high water content. This means that you will need less of it before you feel full and satisfied. Not to mention the benefits you get with all the vitamins & nutrients.
These are the four main ways I avoid the temptation of junk food. It’s not easy, and sometimes I do cave, but I never regret the times that I say no. I feel better, and each ‘no’ gets me one step closer towards my goals. That being said, I don’t believe in total deprivation. Give yourself that treat sometimes and enjoy it. Balance is the key to success. Something that is completely off-limits will often become even more enticing and it may be harder to control yourself.
You got this.