A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating

Healthy eating often gets a bad rap that it’s hard to keep up, unappealing for our lifestyle, and even unbearable to do more than a day. However, healthy eating only means consuming an assortment of foods that give you the proper nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. While some websites tell you to steer clear of certain foods, here’s a secret to fill you in on: you do not have to give up foods that you love. Ever. So follow our steps below carefully and be well on your way to a healthier you.

Small Goals Are Better Goals

Making major changes to your normal routine is a sure way to set you up for failure, and why disappoint yourself when you can avoid that? Make small goals, such as giving up fried foods for an entire week, and achieve that before you move on to the next goal. Instead of an extra heaping of starches at dinner, get a small portion of those creamy potatoes to coincide with your two scoops of vegetables. When you get small steps like this down pat, you eventually become a creature of habit, and it’s easy breezy from here on out.

Auga, Auga, Auga

Water can be the biggest proponent to weight loss and healthy eating. Most people don’t realize they are dehydrated and mistake those stomach grumbles for hunger when in reality, your body just craves water. Every time you think you’re hungry, chug some water first to see if the hunger goes away. If it doesn’t, go for a light snack.

Color Your Plate

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Eat your greens as a vegetable for dinner or try a kale smoothie for something new. Foods such as corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and even onions give you a taste that curbs the sweetness you crave from donuts and chocolates. People may have suggested that you shouldn’t eat fruit after a certain time, but fruit can be eaten all day long! Add some berries in your whole grain cereal at breakfast, throw it in your yogurt at snack time, add it to your salads at lunch, and try a healthy fruit salad at dinner time (especially in the summer).

Prepare Your Meals At Home

If you’re cooking your meals at home, you know exactly what’s going into those meals. In restaurants, you have no way of knowing what really goes on behind those doors. Swap sour cream out of that casserole for plain yogurt to dock some calories or trade vegetable oil for coconut oil. Little things add up to make the end result look even better.

Read The Labels

A little trick to label reading: if you can’t pronounce a word in the ingredients list, don’t buy it. You want to know that you’re eating food that isn’t toxic to your body. Make sure that granola you buy has more protein and fiber than it does carbohydrates and sugar. Enjoy a healthier brand of peanut butter that only uses peanuts and palm oil as opposed to one that contains hydrogenated oils. In need of a carbonated drink? No one said you couldn’t have one, but make sure you know that bottle of Vanilla Coke you’re about to buy has about 70 grams of sugar.

Don’t Count Your Food, Make Your Food Count

While it’s good to become healthy, it’s also unhealthy to be too healthy. Counting calories can become obsessive overtime and you may find yourself eating only healthy foods and never treating yourself. Think of your food in color, variety, and freshness. If you’re going to eat dinner with your family, choose vegetables as a side to go with that thick trimmed steak. Want that sweet potato soufflé? Who wouldn’t! Why not ask for a smaller ounce of meat or go with the blackened tilapia instead.

When it comes to healthy eating, make sure it’s a lifestyle change over those infamous fad diets. And be sure you don’t knock yourself down if you had three desserts this week and didn’t get to work out as hard. Life will always get busy and weight is meant to fluctuate, but remember these small tips to get you started on your healthy eating, and you’ll live a long, happy life!

Balance Fitness has been in business for more than two decades in Northern California for a reason. If you’re in need of a consultation, feel free to give us a call at (650) 348-1259 in San Mateo or (408) 244-3010 in Santa Clara or contact us online. We discuss anything from gym design to healthy eating and love to help out in any way possible.