By Sport Nutrition Coach Laura Nava

Eating healthier isn’t always easy, but the benefits are definitely worth it.  Having a stronger and healthier body translates to a fuller, happier life. Think about eating healthy as a lifestyle, and not a diet, then eating healthy can become a habit, just like brushing your teeth or having a morning cup of coffee.  Change is not easy, but once you manage to make it a habit, it will come more and more naturally. Start a new healthy eating routine with these 5 easy steps… NOW!

  1. Say no to sugary drinks. The average American drinks 45 gallons of soda a year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.  There is the obvious risk of Type 2 diabetes and obesity, when drinking the sugary beverages, but there is also liver damage, premature aging and anxiety that can happen.  So instead of packaged juice or soda go for water instead.  If you think water is boring, try infusing it with fruit and vegetables like cucumber and lemon or mint and strawberries. Staying well hydrated helps your body function properly, and it also helps make you feel full, in which, you are less likely to overeat.
  2. Keep healthy food readily available. You are more likely to eat the first thing you see on the counter or in the cupboard when you are hungry.  Keeping healthy food in easily accessible and visible places in your home and workplace will quadruple your chances to be more successful.  Keep fruit in a bowl on the counter, place healthy snacks at eye level in the pantry.  Meal prep some healthy snacks like cut up veggies and fruit in the fridge to easily grab.  At work, when you have a snack attack, make small baggies of nuts and seeds, and some dried berries for your drawer.
  3. Eat mindfully.  Mindful eating is using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgement and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating. You are usually full 20 minutes before you feel full.  By eating away from distractions, and enjoying the present moment, you are able to listen to your body’s cues.
  4. Cut out the junk food and eat whole, real foods. Swap your frozen pizza and instant ramen with whole foods like fresh fruits, veggies, protein and whole grains that are nutrient dense with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.  Commit to adding in veggies to each meal of the day. Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store will help you stick to real, whole and unprocessed foods.
  5. Eat on smaller plates.  Bigger plates mean bigger portions, i.e. you eat more.  Making a change to eating on a 10-inch plate, instead of a 12 inch plate will mean eating 22% less food over the course of the next year, according to a study conducted by Wansink and his research team. Thinking of eating smaller portions off a large plate, your mind will feel unsatisfied, and you will not feel full. You’re brain and stomach don’t view the plates the same way.

Need some guidance on setting up a new healthy way of eating? Set up a FREE nutrition consultation with me.  We will review your goals and find a plan perfect for you to achieve your health goals. That plan may include a single 1-on-1 session, power hour. Maybe a 4-week or 6-week nutrition plan with meal plans and accountability. Let’s get you started NOW!

~ Coach Laura