Add a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet, the more colors the better. The best way to do this is to buy fruits and vegetables seasonally (i.e. watermelon in the summer, butternut squash in the winter). This also helps to save money as in season produce is always less expensive. Try to incorporate as many different fruits and vegetables, the more colorful the better!
Setting realistic expectations is so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Cutting your calories to drop 5 pounds in two weeks for spring break is not sustainable for a healthy lifestyle. Remember what motivated you to start eating healthy in the first place. When you are tempted to indulge, remind yourself of why you want to make healthy choices to stay on track. Were you trying to lose weight, did you want to look better and feel better? You do not have skip meals or eat small portions in order to maintain a healthy weight.
3) Don’t stress.
Creating a maintainable healthy diet requires balance, it takes time to make it a lifestyle. Don’t worry if you slip up at Christmas dinner (have that extra cookie). Just get back to your routine the next day. Don’t restrict calories or punish yourself by doing obscene amounts of cardio. If you are eating clean 80% of the time, you have wiggle room to add in “not so healthy foods” 20% of the time!
Surround yourself with friends and family who share a similar mindset and support your healthy eating, this will make it effortless to stay on track. This might mean sharing those organic wild blueberries that you just bought from Whole Foods with your sister… but it’s worth it!
5) Do what works for you!
Everyone is different. You may enjoy a vegan diet, keto diet, eating paleo or tracking your macros. It’s important to be open minded…how do you know being keto is right for you? You won’t know until you try! After years of trial and error, trying low-carb/high protein diets, following the paleo diet, the keto diet, and more, we discovered that eating copious amounts of veggies, fruits, some meat and nuts is what works for us.
6)Make a healthy version of your favorite “cheat meal”.
We absolutely love a fresh chicken parm, a nice margarita pizza, and ice cream. Making healthy alternatives to your favorite “not-so healthy” meals is a simple way to enjoy yourself while staying on track! We mix in a gluten-free crusted chicken parm, a cauliflower crust pizza and frozen banana ice cream to enjoy our diet without missing out on our favorite meals.
7) Be prepared.
Stock your pantry and fridge full of healthy ingredients. Fill up predominantly on fruits, vegetables and some nuts, that way you don’t have room to eat “not-so healthy” processed foods.