Changing your eating habits can be overwhelming when you’re trying to decipher what information from websites, friends and family is actually legitimate. I’ve broken down some of the professionals’ tips and tricks in this quick guide to healthy eating.
- Forget about a cheat meal
Almost seconds after doing a Pinterest search for healthy recipes, thousands of pins promoting the “next cheat meal” begin to pop up. But cheat meals are unrealistic. Instead, professionals suggest that you incorporate everything you like into your meals.
“If [you] want to start eating healthy, you don’t have to think that every option needs to be a healthy option,” Kayla Droessler, dietetic intern and nutrition coach at Northern Illinois University said.
“I’m not saying eat ice cream every day but if you’re craving ice cream – well, eat the ice cream.”
However, there are some parameters for this “everything in moderation” belief.
Jane Maxwell, nutritionist at Northern Illinois University, suggests people understand the nutrition facts of what they consume.
“A simple rule of thumb is: if it’s fresh or has a minimal number of ingredients then you’re probably good to go.”
2. Plan ahead
Meal prepping is going to be a big part of eating healthy, Katelyn Martin, Northern Illinois University fitness and wellness graduate assistant says.
Of course, there are times when even Martin sways from her planned meals.
“I have a really weird craving for popcorn all the time,” Martin said. “If I’m really lazy, I’ll have a glass of wine and some popcorn if I’m not starving for a full dinner.”
If you ever want to exchange dinner for a bowl of popcorn, here are four ways to spice up the typical popcorn bowl:
Martin also suggests packing a lunch before leaving the house but if she’s running late she will order from Chipotle, a healthier option than other restaurants in the DeKalb, Illinois area. Like Droessler, Martin doesn’t expect her clients to always eat healthy.
“I don’t eat healthy all day everyday so I don’t think my clients should have to either,” Martin said. “There are days I definitely pick up a donut. It’s unrealistic to think that everyone can eat completely healthy every day all the time.”