March 7, 2020
Eating Healthier: The First Step
So, you want to start eating healthier…that’s awesome! I’m so happy you’re seeking out various resources to gain information before strictly going off of what culture and society passes around. But let me suggest that before you scan the internet, talk to your doctor! It’s important to consult professionals when making drastic changes in your lifestyle.
When deciding to make a change in one’s diet, much of the time, misinformation floats around and unfortunately, the sudden change and desire for a healthier lifestyle results in the formation of unhealthy habits and ways of thinking. My business is based on promoting a healthy lifestyle BUT without the pressure, stress, and idolization that often comes with it. My goal is to show you the benefits of a healthy lifestyle without pressuring you to do it a certain way. I encourage you to incorporate nutritious, whole foods and physical activity into your life with the hopes that you’ll receive it as motivation and a positive form of education rather than an excuse or a source of obsessing over health, constantly feeling doubt and disappointment, or taking extreme measures to achieve the version of health you’ve created in your head.
For these reasons, I urge you to take the information I share with you today and view it as a collection of ideas and a starting point intended to help you gain new perspective and alleviate some probable stress and worry you’ve put on yourself. It’s meant to inspire you to be creative, motivate you to positively pursue a healthier way of eating, and encourage you to accept where you are at this moment as you continue forward on your journey.
The First Step
The idea I’m about to share with you is a great way to approach changing your diet! It’s the idea of taking things one step at a time instead of going all in, feeling great for a bit, but then feeling overwhelmed and lost soon after. I like to call this idea “the 1/3 diet change.” (Just to clarify, I’m using the term “diet’ to refer to a consistent way of eating, not a temporary period of restricting or altering the food you eat.)
Most people eat 3 meals a day with some snacks here and there. Some people prefer 5 smaller meals or some other variation but for the sake of this explanation, we’ll stick to three. If you start by changing just one meal of your day…just one, you’ve changed 1/3 of your diet. You’re already a third of the way there!
Now this isn’t to say that every meal has to be perfectly healthy and thoroughly nutritious and I’m in no way saying that once you decide to eat healthier, foods without a healthy label are off the table forever because that’s not what I believe.
This is simply establishing a routine, new habits, and a new “norm” for you to uphold long-term.
Let’s say you choose to change breakfast. If you feel like your regular breakfast is unhealthy and it doesn’t make you feel the best, swap it out for something healthier (but something you still enjoy!!). There are many resources where you can find healthy breakfast ideas: nutritionists/dieticians, Pinterest, blogs, cookbooks, and hopefully this site!!!
By only changing breakfast, you’ve already changed 1/3 or your diet! I would suggest that you allow yourself to get used to this change and maintain it for a bit so that it becomes more normal to you. Then, you could move on to lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. but this is a great first step!!
As I said before, this step to eating healthier is not meant to be obsessed over or taken to the extreme. It’s simply to help you improve your overall health and maintain it.
This change, while seemingly small, will have a domino effect on your diet as a whole. As I often say, having dessert is not bad, having a meal without fruits or vegetables is not bad, and having food that you enjoy even though it doesn’t have much nutritional value is not bad. But it’s important to have a foundation of health; a consistent way of eating that nourishes your body and helps fuel it to function properly. When you have that foundation that is maintained long-term, the intermittent innutritious foods will not have much of an effect on the body.
I encourage you as you move forward to start small, start slow, and always carefully consider what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I recommend always consulting with a professional if you are unsure of how to approach your nutrition. I also recommend that you remain optimistic about the positive changes you’re making instead of focusing on where you think you’ve “messed up.” Once negativity creeps in, it’s extremely difficult to make progress or return to a positive mindset.
I believe that you can make these changes and I believe that you can stick with them!
Health is important to me and I’m happy that you’re choosing to prioritize it too!! I hope that through this process, you experience joy, learn new things, develop new skills and perspectives, and feel better than you did before.
Remember, just start with one meal. Then, you’ve already changed 1/3 of your diet!!