I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how to start eating healthy. I totally get it, because a lot of tips you see online are given by more advanced healthy eaters. Which may make you feel overwhelmed or leave you with questions on how to actually start. That’s why I’m sharing four steps I took when I started my healthy life journey. These steps are easy to do for everyone and will kickstart your healthy food adventure, let’s go!
Start tracking everything
The first step to eating healthy for beginners is tracking everything you eat and drink. You need some insight in your way of eating before you can make the necessary adjustments. Many people including myself, start cutting and throwing out random things out of their diets. Mainly because they saw someone else doing the same with good results. The main thing you should always keep in mind is that you are unique. Therefor you also need a unique plan to star eating healthy in a way that actually suits you.
Track everything you eat and drink for at least a week or two. I used the My fitness pal app to do the same and boy… Was I surprised by what I discovered about my eating habits, it was shocking! I thought I was eating healthy, but I really wasn’t! I just didn’t realize what I was actually eating and how much I was eating. As I tracked my diet and weight for two weeks, I got a major wake-up call. I also gained the necessary insights to figure out what was going wrong and well in my diet, so I could actually fix it.
Small steps are everything
Eating healthy is often associated with extreme measures like strict diets or eliminating food groups. In my opinion small steps are a much better idea, because going cold turkey is often too hard for people. Especially when you’ve had the same bad habits for years. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle, something that comes organic like a good habit. But it takes time to develop a habit, so don’t worry about ‘fixing’ that in one day. Try small steps instead so you can actually create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
For example, after tracking my food intake for two weeks, I knew I was drinking too much Coca Cola. The first thing I did was quitting sugary drinks, as they are silent fatteners. After a week or two I noticed my body was less puffy, just by quitting the sugary drinks. It wasn’t the biggest step, but it made a really good difference. As I also felt less sluggish, tired and I didn’t have those weird sugar rushes anymore. Start eating healthy by quitting small, but very unhealthy habits like sugary drinks or eating less snacks than you used to.
See a dietician and a doctor
When you’re truly ready to start a healthier way of eating, I can definitely recommend seeing a dietician and a doctor. Most people start some kind of diet without knowing if it actually suits their body, lifestyle and goals. After trying a bunch of diets myself, I realized I wasn’t even near my goals. I didn’t even know what the status of my healthy was and what was best for me to eat. That’s why I had some bloodwork done at the doctor and I went to a dietician to see what food and diet options were good for me.
This gave me some much-needed insight to start eating healthy the right way. I found out I was actually pretty healthy, but I was overweight because I still ate too much crap. I simply didn’t understand how calories and macros worked, which lead me to keep eating unhealthily. Getting some much-needed basic information about my healthy and nutrition, eventually helped me find the right way of healthy eating for me. Don’t be stubborn and think you can figure it out with just Google. Use your doctor and dietician to your advantage.
How to start eating healthy? Well, it all starts with trying something new in my experience. Unhealthy food habits can be replaced by trying a new way of eating. I personally dislike diets because they often make the problem worse. That’s why I recommend a way of eating that suits your body, goals and lifestyle. Diets are often based on constantly restricting yourself, which often has a bad effect on your mental health. That’s why I think that finding a way of eating is better, since it’s something that focusses on the good sides of food.
I personally tried a few diets, counting calories and intuitive eating. After a few years I came across the Keto diet which was explained as a way of eating, which actually really suits me. You can only figure out what fits you if you try new things. Don’t just follow the advice of someone on the internet and get mad if it doesn’t work. Remember you and your situation are unique, therefor there is no one-fits-all-solution. You have to try things out and maybe even mix and match ways of eating to find your own mojo.
It’s all about balance
Oh my god, I would beat myself up every time I ‘failed’ at not eating healthy all the time. Until I figured out that it’s all about balance. You see, we live in a world full of temptations and it’s okay to indulge once in a while. A healthy lifestyle and eating healthy also means you don’t develop a fear and/or a bad relationship with food. It’s okay not be completely healthy the first try. It’s okay to fall back once in a while, as long as you pick up the good work the next day.
How to eat start eating healthy? By never giving up, even if it doesn’t always go as planned. In my experience a healthy mindset around food is 75% of the solution. When you understand that eating healthy means balance, you’re completely going to be okay. So don’t beat yourself up if you have a day full of snacks. Just get back to your healthy foods the next day and try to keep that up. Give yourself a good snack moment a week and work on that healthy mindset around food. Food should be fun, food should be your friend!
This is how you start eating healthy for beginners, let me know how you started!