Are you sticking to them? Have they fallen to the wayside? Did you begin 2015 on fire but slowly the flame has burn't out?
Adhering to some of those habits/goals can be difficult, especially when it comes to eating. However, using a few simple tips healthy eating can become effortless.
This is great right? Well it is great if you can maintain such a huge adjustment. If you have a big enough "why" then perhaps you can stick to a program like that. However, very few people can keep the focus, motivation, and commitment to do so.
If fact only about 5% of people can be given something that is totally different (nutrition, fitness, career, lifestyle) from their traditional life and actually adhere to it for more than 30 days.
So what do the rest of us 95% do?
Well you need to start small. Start building a solid foundation and work your way up. Don't try to construct the Empire State building right off the bat. Shoot for a nice bungalow with a low maintenance yard!
Begin by implementing small changes into your diet, sticking to them, "mastering" them, then they will become an everyday part of your life. Like brushing your teeth.
For example, you could start be eating a healthy lunch 3 days per week. Once that is mastered move to 5 days, then 7 days. All of a sudden your lunches are nailed and you can put your focus on breakfast.
Over the years I have found what works for me. Not necessarily special tricks or tips but simple things that allow me to adhere to healthy eating virtually every single day.
It took some time. You need to initially find what healthy foods you like that deliver the results you are looking for. Can you eat those foods almost everyday? Are they easy to prepare? Do you enjoy them?
If so you are on the right track! If not, then keep doing some searching.
These 5 things help me maintain a very healthy diet and I know that they can help you too!
1. Consistent volumes.
Let me explain.
You know that I do not believe in counting calories nor do I believe in measuring your food. However what I do believe in maintaining consistent "volumes" of meals virtually everyday.
For example, my first meal of the day is a salad with lots of veggies, a can of tuna, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I make the salad in the exact same container every single day and therefore the amount of food or total calories is exactly the same (give or take) all the time.
The same goes for my post workout oatmeal. I do not know if I am consuming 40 grams of carbs or 60 grams of carbs (although I know it is in that range) but what I do know is that I use the same scoop everyday to make it and therefore I consume the same amount each time I dive in.
The benefit to this is that if I need to make a change, lose a little fat, or gain a little muscle, it is super simple to do. I simply add or subtract to my meala. If I am not getting the results I am looking for I can very easily make a change again.
Having a consistent volume everyday makes it almost dummy proof when it comes to making a change to meet a new goal of yours.
2. Consistent foods.
A couple things to keep in mind. First, find what you like! Let's say you hate kale. If that is the case it is probably something you should not eat everyday. That just leads to misery and eventually failure.
Find healthy foods that you like enough to eat every day and stick to them!
Second, find what fuels you. If you can find foods that keep you energized, awake, and vibrant, then those are the foods that you are going to want to stick with. Don't keep eating something, even is it is healthy, if it does not make you feel good.
Lastly, I find that keeping this consistency 5 days per week is good enough. Now this doesn't mean that on the weekends I fall off the wagon. What it means is that I eat virtually the exact same Monday-Friday and on the weekends I switch it up. Still eat healthy but give yourself a break.
Note: I generally eat the exact same thing everyday with the exception of dinner. I think that my wife would kill me if we ate then same dinner everyday 5 days per week so that is meal that gets switched up everyday!
3. Eat at the same time.
Now most people work jobs where your day to day life is fairly constant. You break at the same time each day. Eat lunch at the same time. And even exercise at the same time.
This gives you the opportunity to add another layer to your consistent eating plan. Now that you have found what foods you like and what "volumes" to eat them in, start eating at the same time each day.
It may take a little bit of tweaking but once you have found the optimal "feeding" times (that sounds like a pig on a farm...sorry) you can stayed fuelled, energized, and most importantly satiated throughout the day.
4. Simple foods + meals.
One mistake you might not want to make is to find meals that are not that easy to prepare. I love zucchini lasagna but you can't whip it up in 10 minutes. If that was a meal that I wanted to include into my life everyday I would almost certainly end up failing.
Perhaps I could make it for a few weeks but eventually I would just say screw it and make something else. My salad on the other hand takes me about 4 minutes to make. A couple handfuls of greens, a handful of broccoli, maybe some mushrooms, a little dressing, done!
Fast, simple, and something that I can easily do everyday. I recommend finding meals that are similar.
5. Meal prep.
If you can spend an hour or so on Sunday making all of your simple, healthy meals for the week, then failure is virtually non existent.
When all of your meals are grab-and-go eating healthy is the simplest on the planet. Sure it takes a little time out of your Sunday, but it will make the rest of your week much much easier.
I hope that these little tips will help you maintain a healthy diet. It all comes down to consistency and these 5 habits make consistency a breeze!
Live Your Best Life!