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Health and Fitness News

Your New Norm

Tips to make healthy eating a habit.

For many, healthy eating is something done every once in a while. If that’s you, you eat healthily on occasion to feel better about yourself. You get on a weight loss kick and try hard for a few days, but it doesn't take long to fall back into old eating habits. Maybe you've even gone on a health food rampage, cleaning out all the junk food from your pantry and refrigerator, but within a few weeks, the junk starts to creep back in.

You know a healthy diet is key to weight loss success so how can you make it last? It starts and ends with making healthy eating a part of your identity. When you do this, healthy eating becomes your new norm and the old, unhealthy you fades away into the past. Wonder how this happens? Keep reading for some helpful tips.

Make a Plan

Healthy eating doesn't just happen on its own. Without proper planning, you'll quickly revert to your old ways. So plan to succeed and you will indeed find success!

At the beginning of each week, plan a menu and stick to your grocery list as you shop specifically for those meals. Grilled chicken on Monday, baked salmon on Tuesday, and on and on. Plan for simple, easy-to-prepare meals so you won't be tempted to grab fast food after a long day.

When you do eat out, make a plan before arriving at the restaurant. You know you'll be tempted to order fried chicken and French fries, so decide ahead of time to make healthy choices. It is a good idea to study the restaurant’s menu online and plan your order out, so you don’t even need a menu when you arrive.

Make It a Joint Effort

If you're the only one in the house or office who's trying to eat healthy, chances are it's not going to last long. When the kids are eating pizza and your coworkers are snacking on donuts, it's a lot harder to stick to your plan. Whenever possible, surround yourself with others who have the same diet goals. Ask your friends and family to support you in your efforts. Your determination might just motivate them towards a healthier lifestyle as well.

Make Snacks Ahead of Time

When you're at work or out running errands and a snack attack hits, where will you turn—the vending machine or closest quick stop? Since it's easy to fall back into old snacking habits, keep healthy snack options on hand. Nuts, apple slices with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, or a hardboiled egg are great snacks that fill you up with protein, which keeps you feeling satisfied longer than a snack of carbs.

Make the Switch

It's awfully difficult to make healthy eating a habit if you think all healthy food is distasteful. One way to improve the health of the foods you enjoy is to substitute key ingredients. Instead of using butter, switch to olive oil. Rather than using full-fat dairy products, try low-fat varieties. Eat more lean meats and fish in place of red meat and fatty cuts. Season your food with spices rather than salt and butter. Slowly, your taste buds will adjust and you’ll actually enjoy eating healthily!

Make Allowances

No one can stick to healthy eating if all the tastiest foods are off-limits. Some of the best diet advice you'll get is to allow small indulgences. Restricting all sweets, steaks, and sodas is a diet waiting to fail. Yes, you need to cut back on unhealthy foods, but give in to your cravings every once in a while so you won't feel deprived and overindulge. Better yet, plan your indulgences. That way, you know when your weekly dessert is scheduled for and can use that as motivation the rest of the week.

Make It Simple

Healthy eating doesn't mean you have to shop at all the specialty food stores, count every calorie, and cook every meal from scratch. For a healthy diet to become habit, make small changes and gradually swap out unhealthy choices. Yes, you may need to prepare more home-cooked meals and eat less fast food, but healthy eating doesn't have to be complicated.

Now get out there and get healthy!