Learning how to eat a healthy, balanced diet is overwhelming af.
Especially in the environment we live in today where different eating styles are getting shoved in your face left & right.
You should be vegan!
No wait, you should be paleo!
Actually, have you ever tried Whole 30?
Ok, but then you need to do keto!
WTF right? How can you win & how do you actually know what’s healthy?
I also chatted about this topic in depth on the Ask Abbey Podcast Episode #3
Here’s what’s worked for me:
- Don’t overcomplicate it. As confusing as it may all seem, it doesn’t need to be so complex. Stick to real, whole foods the majority of the time (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, nuts, seeds, etc.) & skip out on processed foods as much as possible. Don’t get sucked into thinking you need to follow the strict rules of a specific diet. If you ask me, this is just restrictive & the kind of stress nobody needs in their lives.
- Educate yourself. Read your labels! This is probably the #1 piece of advice I can give when you’re grocery shopping. You should always know what you’re putting into your body. Most of the foods I buy don’t even have labels, but for the ones that do, I’m checking to make sure they don’t have added sugars, unhealthy oils & tons of additives. Typically I find the best choices have the fewest ingredients because they stick to whole foods, herbs & spices.
- Eat all 3 macronutrients at every meal. Try to eat a healthy source of protein, carbohydrate & fat with every meal. This will make sure you’re fueling your body to workout hard & recover quickly, getting a variety of vitamins and micronutrients in your diet, and staying full for as long as possible! (We all know this is SERIOUS business for me because I was born hungry with a bottomless pit for a stomach. Blessed I know!)
- Plan your meals ahead of time. No, I don’t mean meal prepping chicken, rice & broccoli into containers to last you all week (sorry if you do this but gag, no thx). I mean on Sunday, take 10-15 minutes to pick out some meals that you want to eat during the week & make sure you have those ingredients ready! During the work week, I’m usually rotating between some sort of smoothie, oatmeal, or yogurt mixture for breakfast. I vary my lunches & dinner a lot (green/grain bowls, pasta creations, salads, etc.), but I’ll make 2 servings for dinner so that I can automatically have lunch saved for the next day!
- Keep it balanced. Stop saying you’re “going on a diet.” This is the quickest way to make yourself quit living a healthy lifestyle. If you think about your eating habits as a diet, you’re automatically thinking about it as a temporary thing. The goal is to get you to eat healthier forever. Not for 3 weeks. This means ditching the whole “cheat meal” mentality too. I hateeee this concept! Eating a cheat meal means you’re breaking the rules of your diet. What rules? There should be no rules. Unless you have specific health concerns, you’re allowed to eat ALL FOODS (yep, I meant what I said). The catch is just eating those treats that aren’t healthy options in moderation. #treatsnotcheats!!!!! Get it trending. I also hate counting calories and trying to make things fit into percentages, but so you guys have a better understanding, I choose the healthy option about 85% of the time, and the unhealthy option the rest of the time (#math).
I know this is all way easier said than done, so just remind yourself that it takes time to adopt new habits & that you will get the hang of it. I’ll make sure of it!
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