4 Tips for Implementing Healthy Eating Habits

So, you’ve decided to eat healthily—so shall it be written, so shall it be done!

But implementing and maintaining healthy eating habits isn’t always as easy as it sounds. So shall it be written, so shall it be… attempted?

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. If your goal is to eat better, let’s do it right. Here are four tips for consistent, healthy, and doesn’t-make-you-miserable eating habits.

#1 Same Meals, Healthy Substitutions

Good news: you don’t have to reinvent the cookbook here! 

If healthy eating habits are a big adjustment for you, start implementing incremental changes at the beginning. Make your favorite meals as you usually would, but with a few key swap-outs: 

  • Whole-grain noodles for pasta or stir-fry
  • Cooking with olive oil instead of full-fat butter
  • Replacing salt with more varied spices (for more flavor, too!)
  • Low-fat versions of cheeses, yogurts, and milk or cream
  • Lean turkey bacon instead of pork

#2 Good Foods Can Be Good-For-You, Too

Healthy eating, huh? So, you’re talking about a diet of raw veggies, kale, chickpeas, bland white meat, and water? Nope. Healthy doesn’t have to come at the price of tasty. 

To implement healthy habits that actually stick, take some time to find meals you’ll enjoy that just so happen to have all the good-for-you staples, like a sauteed chicken dinner on a single burner that doesn’t keep you in the kitchen for hours.

Make some time for this discovery first so that you don’t get discouraged at the beginning of your healthy eating journey. Otherwise, you might give up before you realize just how tasty roasted Brussels sprouts or sauteed green beans actually are (because, seriously, they’re tasty).

#3 Trim the Fat (Literally)

Some amount of dietary fat is good for you (and even necessary). The problem is when the fat-content exceeds everything else.

There’s no need to eliminate fatty foods, but you can eliminate some of the fat on those foods:

  • Always opt for a leaner cut of meat and trim any visible fat once you arrive home from the butcher or grocery store. Freeze the meat for a few minutes before placing it on a countertop cutting board to cut away the excess fat. 
  • Try to drain as much fat as you can when making high-fat foods like bacon. Just because your dad liked to fry up bacon then cook his omelet in the leftover fat does not mean that’s a healthy lifestyle choice. You can use a roasting rack in the oven to keep your food from cooking in a pool of its own fat.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to blot or dab at ultra-greasy food, like take-out pizza, bacon, or basically anything fried. All that grease adds virtually no flavor and will only make you feel gross in the long run. 

#4 Learn to Love Vegetables 

We’re not talking about your grandma’s boiled Brussels sprouts or bland broccoli here. But there are plenty of ways to make leafy greens your new go-to (and not just out of guilt): 

  • Roast vegetables – Cut up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and whatever else you like, and roast them on a cooking tray with salt, pepper, olive oil, and some garlic. Then, you can use this easy-to-make base as the substance for a Buddha bowl, your own take on a Greek veggie gyro, or as a simple but tasty side dish.
  • Start experimenting with salads – Salads get a bad rap for being boring and bland, but you can do amazing things with the right ingredients, including tasty (low-fat) dressing and fresh toppings.
  • Sneak veggies into everything you can – When you’re making your signature creamy pesto dish or teriyaki stir fry, why not sneak a few extra vegetables in there? Thinly dice zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and more for an extra dose of goodness that you hardly even notice. 

Eating more vegetables is a great way to instill healthier habits without cutting out the things you love. To make lifestyle changes that will actually last, focus on adding “good” foods rather than limiting “bad” ones—and while we’re at it, let’s stop labeling foods as good or bad. 

Health, Health, Baby!

To implement healthy eating habits that endure past the end of the month (or even week), you have to make your new go-to menu just as appealing as your old one. So, crack open a cookbook, experiment with old favorites, and start eating healthy foods that aren’t too different from the ones you know and love (minus the dripping-in-fat part, but no one really needs that).

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